Coast Guard Aids to Navigation Team Astoria received the Sumner I. Kimball award for excellence Friday. The award recognizes excellence in operational readiness and vessel condition. It is awarded by Coast Guard Headquarters' Office of Boat Forces after a thorough inspection of Coast Guard units to determine if crews are meeting the high standards of the service. Those units, which exceed the readiness standard are considered the best of the best. Only ten percent of all Coast Guard shore-based boat forces units are awarded the honor every year.
"I am privileged to present Coast Guard Aids to Navigation Team Astoria with the Sumner I. Kimball Readiness Award," said Capt. Daniel LeBlanc, Commander of Marine Safety Unit Portland, Ore. "It is obvious to me the ANT Astoria crew is well prepared to perform their mission having earned this award for two consecutive years. I am proud of Chief Bentle and each and every member of his crew."
Aids to Navigation Team Astoria is responsible for six lighthouses, 302 minor (smaller) aids to navigation and performs discrepancy response for 287 aids belonging to USCGC Fir and USCGC Bluebell. The ANT operates a 26 foot and a 20 foot trailerable aids to navigation boats towed by 4x4 one ton crew cab trucks to perform their mission. They also operate an assortment of small field equipment and weight handling equipment.
"The maritime community and industry on the Columbia River relies on what you do," Captain LeBlanc told ANT Astoria crew members. "The work of ANT Astoria allows their crews to safely navigate these waters, and they're the first to sing your praises when the weather gets rough."