Coast Guard Cutters Win Gunnery Award

ALAMEDA, Calif. – Coast Guard Cutter Mellon and Coast Guard Cutter Steadfast were named the 2007 winners of the highly competitive Pacific Area Gunnery Award Feb. 8, 2008.

The Pacific Area Gunnery Award is presented annually to recognize cutters in the Pacific Area that best demonstrate the skills necessary to run an exceptional weapons program in the Coast Guard.

“We are glad we won the award,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Jesse Meerscheidt, a gunners mate on-board Coast Guard Cutter Mellon. “It obviously earns us some bragging rights, especially since we also won the award in 2001, 2003 and 2005, but really all we had to do to win was what we were supposed to do,” he said.

Mellon, a 378-foot high endurance cutter homeported in Seattle, was name the winner of the major caliber category, while the Steadfast, a 210-foot medium endurance cutter homeported in Warrenton, Ore., was named the minor caliber winner.

The Gunnery Award is based on Coast Guard cutter’s notable contributions to the Pacific Area ordnance program. Cutters are evaluated on their non-combat expenditure allocation levels, results of their Maintenance and Logistics Command PAC weapons system review and their performance during the tactical cycle.

Both the Mellon and the Steadfast’s names were engraved on a plaque that hangs above the original trophy, a historic U.S. Coast Guard artifact, residing at the weapons school at Training Center Yorktown, Va. The winners are also honored on the Pacific Area commander’s Gunnery Award plaque here, on Coast Guard Island.

The Gunnery Award was first presented to the Coast Guard Cutter Snohomish in 1927.

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