Coast Guard Unit Receives Sumner I. Kimball Award

Belle Chasse, La. – Maritime Safety and Security Team (MSST), New Orleans was presented the Coast Guard’s prestigious Sumner I. Kimball Readiness Award during an official military ceremony presided over by Rear Admiral Thomas Atkin last Wednesday, October 10th. MSST New Orleans is one of 12 elite Coast Guard teams dedicated to combating maritime terrorism throughout the nation, and this award speaks volumes about their goal of being always ready to respond to terrorist events and other disasters.

Very few Coast Guard units receive this award for outstanding performance which requires a grade of 90 percent or higher during a rigorous week long inspection. The inspection covers numerous categories including; the condition of response boats, trucks, trailers, crew knowledge of equipment, training program status, and practical drills and exercises. MSST New Orleans received a near perfect score of 49 out of 50 points on their inspection.

The award’s namesake, Sumner I. Kimball, would have certainly approved of MSST New Orleans’ performance. Kimball was appointed by President Rutherford B. Hayes in 1878 to the post of General Superintendent of the U.S. Life-Saving Service which would later comprise a key component of the modern day U. S. Coast Guard. Kimball’s lofty standards laid a solid foundation and significantly contributed to the modern day Coast Guard’s reputation as life saving responders.

Continuing that tradition of excellence in response, last year MSST New Orleans conducted 1,221 maritime critical infrastructure patrols, 99 high interest vessel escorts, and 277 boardings, which helped keep the Port of New Orleans and nation safe for commercial mariners and recreational boaters.

Upon accepting the award Commanding Officer MSST New Orleans, CDR Randall Wagner said, “I am very honored and privileged to be associated with the outstanding group of professionals stationed here at MSST NOLA. The Kimble Award is a testament to their pride, dedication, and effort these individuals give everyday they put on the Coast Guard uniform”.

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