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Outer Banks Flotilla of U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary receives National Flotilla of the Year Award

By Kathi Neal, Outer Banks Flotilla

During its recent Change of Watch ceremony, the Outer Banks Flotilla of the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary was celebrated for having been selected as the National Flotilla of the Year. The award was presented by National Commodore of the Auxiliary Larry King, who personally selected the Outer Banks flotilla from more than 825 flotillas based on exemplary achievement across the many missions the Auxiliary supports. King highlighted several areas that differentiated the Outer Banks flotilla from the rest:

#1 in total hours served. The 45 members of the Outer Banks flotilla volunteered over 13,000 hours conducting boating safety courses, making boating safety presentations at local schools, doing vessel examinations and assisting local United States Coast Guard (USCG) commands in their training activities on the water.

#1 in Recreational Boating Safety activity hours – Delivering the message of boating safety across our community is the primary mission of the USCG Auxiliary and the OBX team excelled in reaching out to boaters and local businesses supporting the incredibly diverse boating environment in which we live.

#1 in total missions completed. The Outer Banks flotilla assists Air Station Elizabeth City and Boat Station Oregon Inlet in the training of their crews. Auxiliary support of more than 100 H60 helicopter and C130 rescue aircraft training missions saved the Coast Guard more than $4 million by providing resources that otherwise would have come from the active USCG.

#1 in total miles driven. The Auxiliary augments active duty USCG resources in many of their activities and Outer Banks flotilla members drove more than 20,000 miles providing a wide variety of services to our active duty colleagues.

The Change of Watch ceremony also celebrated the swearing in of the Flotilla’s new slate of officers for 2021. In addition to the keynote address delivered by King, guest speakers included Capt. Chip Lewin and CDR Jim Pershing, Commanding Officer and Operations Officer from Air Station Elizabeth City; Capt. Matthew Baer, Commander of US Coast Guard Sector NCCDR; and John Block, Commanding officer, District 5 Southern Region Director of Auxiliary.

All of these officers from the military or “Gold Side” Coast Guard recognized the meaningful contributions of the Outer Banks Auxiliary team and congratulated them for the incredible honor of having been named National Flotilla of the Year.

The Outer Banks Flotilla is always looking for new shipmates. If you are interested in exploring a role with this dedicated group of volunteers, please check out our website – you can Google Flotilla 16-07 or use the website address (http://wow.uscgaux.info/content.php?unit=054-16-07), or see our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/cgaux1607) or contact our Flotilla commander for more information: Timothy Glenn Baker, 252-722-3821, timothygbaker@gmail.com.

The Coast Guard Auxiliary is the uniformed civilian component of the U.S. Coast Guard and supports the Coast Guard in nearly all mission areas. The Auxiliary was created by Congress in 1939. For more information about a boating course near you or to learn more about water safety or becoming one of America’s Volunteer Lifesavers, please visit www.cgaux.org.

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