The 29th Annual Coast Guard Foundation Pacific Area Awards Dinner was an evening in tribute to the men and women of the United States Coast Guard. Held at the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco on April 17, the evening highlighted the mission of the Coast Guard throughout the Pacific Area, a region that encompasses six of the seven continents, 71 countries, and more than 74 million square miles of ocean from the Western United States to Asia, from the Arctic to Antarctica.
Paul Cayard, one of America’s most decorated sailors as a two-time Olympian, seven-time world champion and seven-time America’s Cup competitor and the youngest athlete to be inducted in to the U.S. Sailing Hall of Fame, served as the master of ceremonies.
“This was a great Coast Guard day,” said Bob Flynn, Coast Guard Foundation chairman. “These three honorees tonight are just a representation of the great work going on here in the Pacific Area. What you see here tonight is going on every day on bases, and on cutters, all across the globe. Tonight we are fortunate to see and hear first-hand what the Coast Guard does and meet these Coast Guard heroes.”
V.Adm. John Currier, V.Adm. Paul Zunkunft and V.Adm.-Select Charles Ray shared inspirational remarks about the work of the Coast Guard, and emphasized the impact the Coast Guard Foundation has for the men and women of the service.
“What you do with your generosity materially contributes to the readiness and ability of these young people to do their jobs and for that I salute you,” said V.Adm. John Currier, USCG. “You call us heroes, but I’m here to tell you tonight that you are our heroes and I offer my profound thanks and gratitude.”
The Pacific Area Awards Dinner was chaired by Michael Nerney from the Port of San Francisco with Leo Paul Koulos, Coast Guard Foundation Director.
The highlight of the evening was the presentation of the three awards. The Admiral John B. Hayes Award to the USCGC Washington, represented by Lt. Nathan MacKensie and MKC Anthony Harris.
•The Admiral James S. Gracey Award to AST3 Corey A. Fix from Air Station San Francisco
•The Admiral Chester R. Bender Award a helicopter crew from Air Station Sitka, Alaska: L.Cdr. James Gibson, pilot, Lt. Christopher Enoksen, copilot, AET2 Mark Newkirk, flight mechanic and AST3 David White, rescue swimmer.