Jacksonville Beach-based Coast Guard unit receives prestigious readiness award

Southeastern Coast Guard News
JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. — The crew of Coast Guard Aids to Navigation Team Jacksonville Beach received the prestigious Sumner I. Kimball award for excellence Friday.

The award, recognizing excellence in operational readiness and vessel condition, is awarded to crews who meet exceptionally high standards of the service after a thorough inspection by Coast Guard Headquarters’ Office of Boat Forces.

The crew at ANT Jacksonville Beach was recognized for superior performance and for receiving an inspection grade of 48 out of a possible 50 points.

The crew faced a strenuous, week-long inspection, which included an examination of boat material condition, crew knowledge, and the crew’s performance during standard drills and exercises.

Capt. Tom Allan, commanding officer of Coast Guard Sector Jacksonville, presided over the ceremony.

“I am very proud of the hard work and dedication our crew has shown throughout this whole inspection,” said Chief Petty Officer Keith Nichols, officer in charge of ANT Jacksonville Beach. “It is an honor to receive this award. It serves as a great opportunity to let the people of Jacksonville know that we are, without a doubt, always ready.”

The award cites the crew’s hard work and efforts to maintain the Coast Guard’s highest standards of boat and crew readiness. It also recognizes their overall high level of excellence and professionalism in executing all Coast Guard missions.

The award is named for the first general superintendent of the U.S. Life-Saving Service, which was later incorporated into the U.S. Coast Guard. Sumner I. Kimball was appointed to the position in 1878 due to his persuasive efforts in convincing Congress to improve upon what was a system of volunteer life-saving stations. Kimball’s elevated standards laid the foundation for modern day Coast Guard small boat stations.

The crew of ANT Jacksonville Beach conducts maintenance and repair operations for aids to navigation throughout Southern Georgia, Northern Florida, and parts of Florida’s Gulf Coast. Such aids serviced by ANT Jacksonville Beach include buoys, day boards and other navigation tools used by commercial and recreational mariners.

Aids to Navigation Team Jacksonville Beach award

Crew members stationed at Aids to Navigation Team Jacksonville Beach Fla., and Capt. Tom Allan, commander of Sector Jacksonville, display the Sumner I. Kimball Award for excellence during an award ceremony held at the unit Friday, Aug. 9, 2013. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Anthony L. Soto)
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