Guam Coast Guard Unit Honored with Readiness Award

HAGATNA, Guam — The Fourteenth Coast Guard District Commander is scheduled to present the Sumner I. Kimball Readiness award to U.S. Coast Guard Sector Guam’s Boat Forces unit in Hagatna, Guam.

On a biennial basis, U.S. Coast Guard standardization teams visit Coast Guard units to ensure best practices are being followed, ensuring units meet all crew and equipment readiness requirements.

Units which score a 90 percent or higher during the arduous testing period are presented with the Kimball Award, which may be permanently displayed at the unit. Units are also authorized to fly a special pennant during the two-year period. Fewer than 14 percent of units tested receive the award during a given period.

Rear Adm. Sally Brice-O’Hara, commander of the Fourteenth Coast Guard District, will present the award in a ceremony scheduled for 1 p.m. in Guam today. She is the senior officer for units in Guam, Hawaii, American Samoa, Singapore and Japan.

Coast Guard Sector Guam’s Boat Forces personnel have grown from one boat and four crew prior to September 11, 2001, to three boats, 18 active duty, and 12 reserve crew today.

“Two years ago I told the crew the climate will have to change,” said Boat Forces supervisor Chief Petty Officer Eric Benafel. “Not only did they adapt to our ever-changing pace of operations, they set a benchmark as a crew. They set a standard that accepts only their best, 110 percent, day in and day out. Even after critical setbacks caused by our remote location and challenges shipping vital parts, my shipmates maintained a high degree of professionalism that enabled them to succeed in all aspects of military tasking. It is readily apparent in their operational mindset.”

The Kimball award is named for Sumner I. Kimball, who was Superintendent of the U.S. Lifesaving Service from 1878 to 1915. Kimball completely transformed a disorganized collection of life-saving stations into a well organized, cohesive organization.

In 1915, the US Lifesaving Service joined with other agencies to become the modern Coast Guard.

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