Silver Award Winner presented to Coast Guard Auxiliary

Silver Award Winner presented to
Coast Guard Auxiliary
at their National Convention in Phoenix, AZ
August 27, 2016

 

Presentation of Silver Award Winner to USCG Auxiliary at their National Convention in Phoenix, AZ August 27th, 2016
(L-R: CAPT F. Thomas Boross, USCG, Chief Director of Auxiliary, Mr. Patrick Porter, USCG Auxiliary, Silver Award Winner, Mr. Wayne Spivak, VP – Association for Rescue at Sea, ADM Paul F. Zukunft, USCG Commandant, COMO Mark Simoni, USCG National Commodore)

 

ALCOAST 2814/16 Aug 02 2016

R 021545 AUG 16
FM COMDT COGARD WASHINGTON DC//CG-5RI//
TO ALCOAST
UNCLAS //N16100//
ALCOAST 284/16
COMDTNOTE 16100
SUBJ: 2015 ASSOCIATION FOR RESCUE AT SEA (AFRAS) AWARD RECIPIENTS
A. COMDT COGARD WASHINGTON DC 021345Z MAR 16/ALCOAST 081/16
1. IAW Ref (a), this ALCOAST announces award of the 2015 AFRAS Gold and Silver medals.
The AFRAS Gold Medal is awarded annually to a Coast Guard enlisted member who
exhibited exceptional courage and heroism during a rescue at sea. The Silver Medal is
awarded annually to a deserving Coast Guard Auxiliarist for a heroic rescue either
inland or in coastal waters.
2. The AFRAS Gold Medal has been awarded to Aviation Survival Technician First Class
Benjamin A. Cournia, Air Station Clearwater, Florida. The AFRAS Silver Medal has been
awarded to Coast Guard Auxiliarist Patrick Porter, District Eleven Southern Region.
3. Petty Officer Cournia is recognized for his heroic achievement while serving as
rescue swimmer on Coast Guard Helicopters CG-6027 and CG-6009, on 01 October 2015.
A. While deployed to the Coast Guard Forward Operating Base in Great Inagua,
Bahamas, CG-6027 responded to a distress call from M/V MINOUCHE, a 212-foot freighter
that was rapidly taking on water 60 miles west of Haiti. CG-6027 launched into extremely
poor visibility and winds exceeding 50 knots from Hurricane Joaquin, a category four
storm whose eye was less than 90 miles from the stricken vessel.
B. As M/V MINOUCHE foundered, the 12 crew members were forced to abandon ship into
a small life raft. Once on-scene, Petty Officer Cournia was lowered into tumultuous
15-foot seas and battled his way to the raft. After instructing the frightened crew on
the impending rescue process, he took the first survivor and signaled for the rescue
basket. By the time the first survivor was being hoisted, the raft had been blown nearly
100 yards away, visible only when it crested waves. Again and again, Petty Officer
Cournia bravely fought his way through the dark churning seas to the raft. One survivor
panicked as he entered the water, grabbing Petty Officer Cournia around the head and
neck, dangerously forcing him underwater. Remaining calm, Petty Officer Cournia
conducted a front head-hold release and expertly placed the survivor in a cross-chest
carry, safely bringing him to the rescue basket.
C. After rescuing eight survivors over two hours, Petty Officer Cournia was hoisted
into the cabin as the aircraft returned to base for fuel. An hour later, Petty Officer
Cournia again deployed into the turbulent seas, rescuing the ninth survivor before the
flight mechanic found damage to the hoist cable, forcing the crew to return to Great
Inagua and transfer to CG-6009.
D. On the third and final trip, Petty Officer Cournia rescued the final three
survivors. The heroic actions and skill of Petty Officer Cournia were instrumental in
the saving of 12 lives. His courage, judgment, and devotion to duty are most heartily
commended and are in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Coast Guard.
4. U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliarist Porter is cited for outstanding, meritorious achievement
and operational skill in performance of duty on 8 August 2015, while serving as a member
of the 2015 Bullhead City River Regatta patrol team.
A. While conducting a ten-hour patrol that ensured the safety of over 35,000 event
participants tube-floating a six-mile stretch of the Colorado River, the largest annual
Sector San Diego marine event, Auxiliarist Porter demonstrated outstanding operational
performance that prevented critical injury or death of two event participants.
B. During his patrol, Auxiliarist Porter observed a participant swimming against the
current without a personal floatation device. After noticing the person go under the
water three times due to fatigue, he navigated his personal water craft to the person’s
location, grabbed his clothing, and pulled him aboard. Auxiliarist Porter skillfully and
quickly navigated through the heavy congestion of participants while ensuring the
individual remained onboard to be successfully transported ashore for medical attention.
C. Later that day Auxiliarist Porter displayed expert situational awareness when he
noticed a person in the middle of a large group of over 70 participants unconscious and
foaming at the mouth. Executing careful and precise navigation, Auxiliarist Porter
retrieved the person, transited to a safe location, and transferred him to another boat
with medical personnel onboard.
D. As patrol team member and vessel operator, Auxiliarist Porter demonstrated expert
proficiency during an extremely challenging mission. His actions were essential to the
overall safety of event participants and prevention of further injuries or fatalities to
two individuals. His perseverance, dedication and devotion to duty are most heartily
commended and are in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Coast Guard.
5. Although there were several inspirational nominations, selection for the AFRAS Gold and
Silver Medals is limited to one awardee per medal. Nonetheless, all of the AFRAS award
nominees exhibited great courage and brought credit to the service. Their performance
honors our profession and life-saving heritage. Other award nominees include:
A. AST2 Daniel Harrity, Coast Guard Sector North Bend, Oregon.
B. AST2 Robert Granger, Coast Guard Air Station Miami, Florida.
C. AST2 Phillip Walker, Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point Kapolei, Hawaii.
D. AST2 Jason Yelvington, Coast Guard Air Station Sitka, Alaska.
E. Auxiliarists Bryan Teague, Mace Coleman, and Lynn Disque, Auxiliary Flotilla
054-23-03, West Annapolis, Maryland, and Ian Lickers, Auxiliary Flotilla 054-06-07,
Williamsburg, Virginia.
F. Auxiliarists John Fewer, Paul Deafenbaugh, and Anthony Wisniewski, Auxiliary
Flotilla 054-23-03, West Annapolis, Maryland.
6. AST1 Cournia and Mr. Porter will be recognized at a ceremony hosted by AFRAS in the
Rayburn Congressional Office Building, Washington, DC, on 21 September 2016.
7. Congratulations to AST1 Cournia, Mr. Porter, and all Active Duty and Auxiliary AFRAS
award nominees for a job well done.
8. Ms. Dana S. Tulis, Director of Incident Management and Preparedness Policy, sends.
9. Internet release authorized.

2016 Maritime Lifesaving Award Winners Announced

Our Board of Directors has reviewed all submissions for our annual lifesaving awards program, voted on the heroes most deserving of recognition and have selected the following awardees:

  • Vice Admiral Thomas Sargent III Gold Medal – Aviation Survival Technician 1st Class Benjamin Cournia, U.S. Coast Guard
  • Silver Medal – Mr. Patrick Porter, U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary
  • AMVER Award – Crew of the cruise ship Veendam, Holland America Line
  • AMVER Special Award – Crew of the training ship State of Maine, Maine Maritime Academy
Petty Officer 1st Class Ben Cournia, a rescue swimmer at Air Station Clearwater, Fla., poses for a photo after being awarded the Coast Guard Air Medal at the station Feb. 24, 2016. Cournia was honored for saving 12 lives during Hurricane Joaquin. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Auxiliarist Joe Perez)
Petty Officer 1st Class Ben Cournia, a rescue swimmer at Air Station Clearwater, Fla., poses for a photo after being awarded the Coast Guard Air Medal at the station Feb. 24, 2016. Cournia was honored for saving 12 lives during Hurricane Joaquin. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Auxiliarist Joe Perez)

Petty Officer Cournia, a helicopter rescue swimmer from Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater, was nominated for the Gold Medal for a rescue on the evening of Oct. 1, 2015, during which his heroic actions saved 12 lives from the sinking 212-foot freighter Minouche. The crew of the Minouche abandoned ship 60 miles west of Haiti, and just 90 miles from the eye of Hurricane Joaquin, which was a raging category four storm. Cournia and the other rescuers aboard two Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk rescue helicopters battled 15-foot seas and 50-knot winds to complete the rescues.

The crew of the U.S. Coast Guard rescue helicopters who rescued 12 mariners in the Caribbean while Hurricane Joaquin raged. They are displaying a personal flotation device from the freighter Minouche, with details of the rescue case written on it. Photo courtesy U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater.
The crew of the U.S. Coast Guard rescue helicopters who rescued 12 mariners in the Caribbean while Hurricane Joaquin raged. They are displaying a personal flotation device from the freighter Minouche, with details of the rescue case written on it. Photo courtesy U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater.

Cournia battled churning seas to get survivors from their life raft – which was continuously blown hundreds of yards away from the rescue scene – into the helicopter’s rescue basket for hoisting to safety. He spent two hours in the water to rescue the first eight, then had to be hoisted himself so the helicopter could return to their forward operating base in the Bahamas for fuel. The crew was back on-scene an hour later, but after Cournia rescued the ninth survivor, a malfunction aboard the helicopter forced the crew to once again return to base – this time to switch airframes and return to the scene a third time and deploy Cournia into the turbulent water, where he expertly completed the rescue of the three final survivors.

Auxiliarist Porter was nominated for the Silver Medal for actions that potentially prevented critical injury or death to two participants of the 2015 Bullhead City River Regatta, an event in Arizona that attracted more than 35,000 participants for tube-floating on a six-mile stretch of the Colorado River. During his patrol, Porter witnessed a person swimming against the current of the river without a personal flotation device, and then go under the water three times, due to fatigue. Porter rescued the individual by pulling him aboard his personal watercraft. Later that day, he witnessed another participant, among the thousands of people in the water, unconscious and foaming and the mouth – he rescued this individual and transported her to another vessel with emergency medical technicians aboard. During both rescues, Porter had to navigate carefully through the throngs of participants crowding the river, ensuring his own safety, the safety of others and the safety of the rescuees.

The Amver participating ship Veendam’s crew rescued the pilot from a single engine plane after he ditched his aircraft in the ocean, after experiencing fuel and engine problems, 200 miles northeast of Maui, Hawaii, Jan. 25, 2015. U.S. Coast Guard authorities launched rescue assets after the initial call for help, but found that the Veendam was in the path of the aircraft, using the Amver system. After the aircraft hit the water, the pilot got into his life raft and was quickly recovered by the crew of the Veendam. The pilot was uninjured and remained on the ship until it reached its next port of call.

The Amver participating ship State of Maine rescued a lone sailor after his sailboat began taking on water 520 miles southeast of Halifax, Canada, June 10, 2015. After the initial call for help, U.S. Coast Guard authorities launched search and rescue aircraft from both the U.S. and Canada, but soon discovered, using the Amver system, that the State of Maine was only 29 miles away from the sailor in distress and was willing to divert to attempt a rescue. Cadets aboard the ship readied rescue equipment, fast rescue boats and rigged a Jacob’s ladder to allow the sailor to board the ship. Within a few hours of the initial notification, the survivor was safely aboard the training ship.

The Association for Rescue at Sea will present these maritime lifesaving awards at our annual awards ceremony. The event will be held at the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington D.C., Sep. 21, hosted by Congressman Duncan Hunter, Chairman of the House Merchant Marine and Coast Guard Subcommittee.

ALCOAST 284/15 7-10-15

R 101828Z JUL 15
ALCOAST 284/15
COMDTNOTE 16100
SUBJ: 2014 ASSOCIATION FOR RESCUE AT SEA (AFRAS) AWARD RECIPIENT

A. COMDT COGARD WASHINGTON DC 011841Z APR 15/ALCOAST 126/15

1. IAW REF (A), THIS ALCOAST ANNOUNCES AWARD OF THE 2014 AFRAS GOLD MEDAL. THE AFRAS GOLD MEDAL IS AWARDED ANNUALLY TO A COAST GUARD ENLISTED MEMBER EXHIBITING EXCEPTIONAL COURAGE AND HEROISM DURING A RESCUE AT SEA.

2. AFRAS HAS SELECTED AVIATION SURVIVAL TECHNICIAN SECOND CLASS (AST2) CHRISTOPHER LEON OF AIR STATION SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA, FOR AWARD OF THE 2014 GOLD MEDAL. PETTY OFFICER LEON IS RECOGNIZED FOR HIS HEROIC ACTIONS WHILE SERVING AS RESCUE SWIMMER DURING TWO DRAMATIC RESCUES IN WHICH HE PLACED HIS OWN PERSONAL SAFETY IN PERIL SO THAT OTHERS MAY LIVE.

3. ON THE NIGHT OF 20 JUNE 2014, AST2 LEON AND THE CREW OF COAST GUARD HELICOPTER 6531 (RESCUE-6531) RESPONDED TO THE OCEAN ROWER BRITANNIA, WHICH WAS TAKING ON WATER 60 MILES WEST OF MONTEREY, CALIFORNIA. THE VESSEL, POUNDED BY 15-FOOT SEAS AND 30-KNOT WINDS, WAS IN IMMINENT DANGER OF SINKING WITH FOUR SOULS ABOARD. A. UPON ARRIVAL ON SCENE, PETTY OFFICER LEON DEPLOYED INTO HAZARDOUS SEAS AND QUICKLY SWAM TO THE SWAMPED VESSEL. HE IMMEDIATELY ASSESSED THE SITUATION AND THE VICTIMS, IDENTIFYING THOSE AT GREATEST RISK, FOR IMMEDIATE EVACUATION. PLANS ANTICIPATED A SWIFT BASKET RECOVERY BUT PETTY OFFICER LEON AND HIS FIRST VICTIM WERE PROMPTLY SWEPT AWAY BY CRASHING SEAS. EXHIBITING EXEMPLARY STAMINA AND FITNESS, PETTY OFFICER LEON MAINTAINED POSITIVE CONTROL OF HIS VICTIM AS BOTH STRUGGLED TO STAY AFLOAT. KEENLY AWARE OF THE HAZARDS INVOLVED, HE MANAGED TO SEIZE CONTROL OF THE SWINGING RESCUE BASKET AND SUCCESSFULLY EMBARKED THE VICTIM. HAVING BEEN SWEPT SOME 500 YARDS AWAY FROM THE BRITANNIA, PETTY OFFICER LEON WAS RECOVERED ABOARD RESCUE-6531 AND RETURNED TO THE SCENE TO ASSIST OTHER VICTIMS. B. RECOGNIZING TIME WAS OF THE ESSENCE DUE TO THE HELICOPTERS LOW FUEL STATE, PETTY OFFICER LEON EXERCISED ON SCENE INITIATIVE AND EMBARKED TWO ADDITIONAL VICTIMS IN THE BASKET FOR EXPEDITIOUS RESCUE. HE REMAINED BEHIND WITH THE BRITANNIA AND THE LAST VICTIM. RESCUE-6531, FACED WITH THE PROSPECT OF FUEL EXHAUSTION, DEPLOYED A LIFE RAFT PRIOR TO DEPARTING THE SCENE BUT IT WAS QUICKLY SWEPT AWAY. PETTY OFFICER LEON CONTEMPLATED A DIFFICULT DILEMMA – ABANDON HIS VICTIM AND CHASE THE RAFT OR REMAIN WITH THE VICTIM AND THE STRICKEN VSL WHILE AWAITING RESCUE. PETTY OFFICER LEON, WITH SECONDS TO DECIDE, WEIGHED THE RISKS AND OPTED TO REMAIN WITH THE VICTIM, SHIELDING HIM FROM THE SEAS AND PROVIDING WHAT LITTLE WARMTH HE COULD DURING THE ENSUING TWO HOURS. BOTH WERE LATER RECOVERED AND RETURNED TO SHORE SAFELY.

4. DURING A 24 DECEMBER 2015 RESPONSE, AST2 LEON ONCE AGAIN ACCOMPANIED RESCUE-6531 TO ASSIST A SAILING VESSEL, WHICH WAS REPORTED TAKING ON WATER 65 MILES SOUTHWEST OF MONTEREY, CALIFORNIA. A. ON SCENE ASSESSMENT REVEALED THAT THE VESSEL WAS NOT FLOODING BUT RATHER ITS SINGLE OCCUPANT WAS STRICKEN WITH SEA SICKNESS, HYPOTHERMIA AND DEHYDRATION, HAVING PASSED THREE DAYS WITHOUT FOOD OR WATER. ALTHOUGH INITIALLY RESISTANT TO THE PROSPECT OF ABANDONING HIS VESSEL, THE STRICKEN MARINER SUBSEQUENTLY YIELDED AND REQUESTED EVACUATION DUE TO HIS RAPIDLY DETERIORATING CONDITION. B. GIVEN RISKS TO THE ACFT POSED BY THE UNCONROLLED PITCH AND ROLL OF THE VESSEL, PETTY OFFICER LEON DEPLOYED INTO THE 15 FOOT SEAS TO AFFECT THE RESCUE. HE QUICKLY EMBARKED THE VICTIM IN THE RESCUE BASKET BUT SUBSEQUENTLY INCURRED INJURY WHILE COORDINATING HIS OWN RECOVERY. HAVING ATTACHED HIS HARNESS TO THE HOIST HOOK, PETTY OFFICER LEON SUFFERED BACK INJURY WHEN THE HOIST CABLE UNEXPECTEDLY TOOK A STRAIN AS HE FELL OFF THE CREST OF A WAVE. DISREGARDING HIS OWN PAIN, PETTY OFFICER LEON PROCEEDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL TREATMENT TO THE VICTIM UNTIL HE WAS DELIVERED TO EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES ASHORE.

5. THROUGH HIS SELFLESS SERVICE, IMPRESSIVE COMPETENCE AND EXEMPLARY JUDGMENT, PETTY OFFICER LEON PREVENTED LOSS OF LIFE AND BROUGHT GREAT CREDIT TO HIMSELF AND THE ENTIRE SERVICE.

6. ALTHOUGH SEVERAL INSPIRATIONAL NOMINATIONS WERE SUBMITTED FOR THE 2014 GOLD MEDAL, SELECTION WAS LIMITED TO ONE. NONETHELESS, ALL OF THE AFRAS AWARD NOMINEES EXHIBITED GREAT COURAGE AND SELFLESS SERVICE. THEIR PERFORMANCE HONORS OUR PROFESSION AND LIFESAVING HERITAGE. DESERVING COAST GUARD MEMBERS NOMINATED FOR 2014 AFRAS AWARDS INCLUDE:

A. AST1 MIKOL J. SULLIVAN (COAST GUARD AIR STATION MIAMI, FLORIDA).

B. AUXILIARIST CURTIS CANTRELL (FLOTILLA 8-11, NORTH ALABAMA, ALABAMA).

C. AUXILIARISTS FRED GILMAN, DIANE GILMAN, CECIL STOUT, ROBERT WORKMAN AND DALE LEIGHTON (FLOTILLA 11-7, CLARKSVILLE/FORT CAMPBELL, TENNESSEE).

D. AUXILIARISTS KAREN CHAPMAN AND SHERRY FULCHER (FLOTILLA 10-2, PAGE LAKE POWELL, ARIZONA), KAY MCBROOM AND MIKE JOHNSON (FLOTILLA 10-7, METRO PHOENIX, ARIZONA) AND BOB SELL (FLOTILLA 10-10, PRESCOTT, ARIZONA).

E. AUXILIARISTS MICHAEL PACKARD, KEN SARNECKI, GINA PACKARD, AND MARGARET TOURNIER (FLOTILLA 61, AKRON, OHIO).

F. AUXILIARISTS WALLY SMITH (FLOTILLA 6-10, CAPITOLA, CALIFORNIA), TRACY SCHULTZ AND STEVEN MCANN (FLOTILLA 64, MONTERREY, CA), MARY KIRKWOOD (FLOTILLA 14, CENTRAL MARIN, CALIFORNIA) AND JAMES DUFFLEY (FLOTILLA 21-1, EAST BAY, CALIFORNIA).

G. AUXILIARISTS DAN COLE AND MARSHALL BULLOCK (FLOTILLA 21, HOMER, ALASKA).

H. AUXILIARIST GREG JUREK (FLOTILLA 68, DANA POINT, CALIFORNIA).

I. AUXILIARISTS KEN SIMPSON, DIANA SIMPSON AND JAMES ZIEGLER (FLOTILLA 45, BURBANK, CA), PHILLIP HORLINGS (FLOTILLA 43, SANTA CLARITA VALLEY, CALIFORNIA) AND JACKSON ASTON (FLOTILLA 12-42, SANTA MONICA BAY, CALIFORNIA).

J. AUXILIARISTS NORM RAYMOND, LAURIE JACKOWSKI, DAVID JAEGER, AND JAMES DUFFIN (FLOTILLA 20-10, WARREN, MICHIGAN), JOHN HOLLINGSWORTH AND ROBERT HOLLINGSWORTH (FLOTILLA 20-14, NEW BALTIMORE, MICHIGAN), AND MITCHELL KAMLAY AND DANIEL PRATER (FLOTILLA 20-19, MT CLEMENS, MICHIGAN).

K. AUXILIARISTS TOM PELOSI (FLOTILLA 7-61, MORRO BAY, CALIFORNIA) AND LESLIE PELOSI (FLOTILLA 45, BURBANK, CALIFORNIA).

7. AFRAS WILL PRESENT THE GOLD MEDAL TO AST2 LEON DURING A CEREMONY HOSTED AT THE RAYBURN CONGRESSIONAL OFFICE BUILDING, WASHINGTON, DC, ON 9 SEPTEMBER 2015.

8. CONGRATULATIONS TO AST2 LEON AND ALL ACTIVE DUTY AND AUXILIARY NOMINEES FOR A JOB WELL DONE.

9. M. E. LANDRY, DIRECTOR INCIDENT MANAGEMENT AND PREPAREDNESS POLICY SENDS.

10. INTERNET RELEASE AUTHORIZED.

ALCOAST 126/15 4-01-15

R 011841Z APR 15
ALCOAST 126/15
COMDTNOTE 16100
SUBJ: ASSOCIATION FOR RESCUE AT SEA GOLD AND SILVER AWARDS
A. MEDALS AND AWARDS MANUAL, COMDTINST M1650.25 (SERIES)

1. THIS ALCOAST SOLICITS FOR NOMINEES FOR THE ASSOCIATION FOR RESCUE AT SEA (AFRAS) 2014 AWARDS.

2. BACKGROUND. A. FORMED IN 1976, AFRAS IS A NON-PROFIT FOUNDATION WHICH SUPPORTS MARITIME SERVICES INVOLVED WITH SAVING LIVES AT SEA. THE AFRAS AWARDS PROGRAM PROVIDES AN OPPORTUNITY FOR AREA AND DISTRICT COMMANDERS, COMMANDING OFFICERS AND OFFICERS-IN-CHARGE TO RECOGNIZE DESERVING COAST GUARD PERSONNEL FOR BRAVERY IN THE CONDUCT OF SEARCH AND RESCUE MISSIONS. B. THE AFRAS GOLD AND SILVER MEDALS ARE THE HIGHEST SEARCH AND RESCUE AWARDS PRESENTED TO COAST GUARD MEMBERS BY A CIVILIAN ORGANIZATION.

(1) GOLD MEDAL. ESTABLISHED IN 1982, THE GOLD MEDAL IS PRESENTED ANNUALLY TO A COAST GUARD ENLISTED MEMBER FOR AN ACT OF EXTRAORDINARY BRAVERY DURING A RESCUE AT SEA.

(2) SILVER MEDAL. ESTABLISHED IN 2000, THE SILVER MEDAL (SILVER REFLECTS THE DISTINCTIVE AUXILIARY UNIFORM) IS PRESENTED ANNUALLY TO A DESERVING COAST GUARD AUXILIARIST. THE NOMINEE MUST HAVE PERFORMED A RESCUE INVOLVING LIVES SAVED IN EITHER INLAND OR COASTAL WATERS WHERE THE HEROIC ACTION OF THE NOMINEE WAS UNIQUELY DISTINGUISHED. CONSIDERATION, HOWEVER, WILL BE GIVEN TO ALL RESCUES INVOLVING LIFE-THREATENING SITUATIONS.

3. AWARDS PRESENTATION. BOTH THE GOLD AND SILVER MEDALS WILL BE PRESENTED ON 09 SEPTEMBER 2015 AT A CEREMONY IN WASHINGTON, DC. CEREMONY PARTICIPANTS INCLUDE CONGRESSIONAL REPRESENTATIVES, AFRAS LEADERSHIP, THE COMMANDANT OF THE COAST GUARD AND VARIOUS SENIOR COAST GUARD LEADERS. AWARD RECIPIENTS WILL BE HONORED AT THE CEREMONY AND FAMILY MEMBERS INVITED TO ATTEND.

4. AFRAS AWARD ELIGIBILITY. AFRAS SELECTS RECIPIENTS FROM AMONG NOMINATIONS SUBMITTED. AWARD CRITERIA IS SET FORTH IN REF (A) AND REITERATED BELOW:

A. GOLD MEDAL NOMINEES MUST BE ENLISTED MEMBERS ON ACTIVE DUTY AT THE TIME OF THE RESCUE BEING RECOGNIZED. SILVER MEDAL NOMINEES MUST BE COAST GUARD AUXILIARISTS AT THE TIME OF THE RESCUE BEING RECOGNIZED.

B. THE RESPONSE MUST INVOLVE A LIFESAVING RESCUE INVOLVING PERILS FROM THE SEA WHERE THE HEROIC ACTIONS OF THE NOMINEE ARE UNIQUELY DISTINGUISHED. HOWEVER, CONSIDERATION WILL BE GIVEN TO ALL RESCUES INVOLVING LIFE THREATENING SITUATIONS.

C. NOMINATIONS MUST INVOLVE CALENDAR YEAR 2014 RESCUES. 5. ADMINISTRATION. A. UNITS ARE ENCOURAGED TO SUBMIT NOMINATIONS TO COMDT (CG-SAR) VIA THEIR CHAIN OF COMMAND. DISTRICT AWARDS BOARDS SHOULD REVIEW ALL NOMINATIONS TO ENSURE COMPLIANCE WITH THE CRITERIA SET FORTH ABOVE.

B. NOMINATIONS SHALL INCLUDE:

(1) A BRIEF COVER LETTER IDENTIFYING THE NOMINEE AND PAY GRADE (IF APPLICABLE), CURRENT DUTY STATION/AUXILIARY FLOTILLA, AND EXPIRATION OF ENLISTMENT (IF APPLICABLE).

(2) COAST GUARD AWARD RECOMMENDATION, FORM CG-1650.

(3) ONE PAGE AWARD CITATION.

(4) 1-2 PAGE SUMMARY OF ACTION THAT FULLY DESCRIBES THE RESCUE.

(5) ANY ADDITIONAL INFORMATION PERTINENT TO AFRAS EVALUATION OF THE NOMINATION.

C. FORWARD COMMAND ENDORSED NOMINATIONS TO: COMMANDANT (CG-SAR), U.S. COAST GUARD, 2703 MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. AVE SE, STOP 7516, WASHINGTON, DC 20593-7518. ATTN: AFRAS NOMINATION.

D. ALL AWARD NOMINATIONS MUST BE RECEIVED BY COMDT (CG-SAR) NLT 08 MAY 2015.

6. COMDT (CG-SAR) AFRAS AWARDS POC: MS. WILLIE FOSTER (202) 372-2090. AWARD NOMINATIONS ADVANCED COPY CAN BE EMAILED TO MS. FOSTER AT: WILLIE.M.FOSTER(AT)USCG.MIL.

7. ADDITIONAL AFRAS AWARDS INFORMATION CAN BE FOUND AT WWW.AFRAS.ORG.

8. RDML P.J. BROWN, ASSISTANT COMMANDANT FOR RESPONSE POLICY, SENDS.

9. INTERNET RELEASE AUTHORIZED.