Coast Guard Aids to Navigation Team Duluth receives prestigious unit readiness award

9th Coast Guard District NewsCLEVELAND — The crew of Coast Guard Aids to Navigation Team Duluth, Minn., were presented the Coast Guard’s esteemed Sumner I. Kimball Readiness Award, Feb. 9, 2011, at the unit.

This is the first time in the history of ANT Duluth that the unit has received this award.

The Sumner I. Kimball Readiness Award recognizes exceptional performance and a grade of 90 percent or higher during an arduous week-long inspection of their equipment, demonstration of the crew’s knowledge through written tests, execution of practical drills, and assessment of the unit’s training plan.

“The fact that we received this award showcases the dedication the crew has to doing their jobs day-in and day-out,” said Chief Petty Officer Justin Olson, officer-in-charge of ANT Duluth.

Many of the unit’s junior crewmembers weren’t even aware of the award’s existence until they were told that they had scored so high on the inspection, said Olson.

“They are simply that devoted to advancing their skills and maintaining their equipment,” he said.

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 of general superintendent in 1878 due to his persuasive efforts in convincing Congress to improve upon what was a system of volunteer-based life-saving stations. Kimball’s elevated standards laid the foundation for modern day Coast Guard smallboat stations.

“The Sumner Kimball Award recognizes those crews that, through an extraordinary dedication to mission execution, truly exemplify the Coast Guard’s service motto of ‘Always Ready’,” said Rear Adm. Michael Parks, commander of the 9th Coast Guard District.

“The talented crew here in Duluth, like the award that bears Sumner Kimball’s name, embodies the spirit of one of the Coast Guard’s greatest heroes.”

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