Coast Guard Auxiliary’s Outer Banks Flotilla named National Flotilla of the Year

USCG Auxiliary Outer Banks Flotilla members participate in an exercise with active duty U.S. Coast Guard personnel. [submitted photo]

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 the National Commodore of the Auxiliary, Larry King, who personally selected the OBX Flotilla from more than 825 flotillas based on exemplary achievement across the many missions the auxiliary supports, leading the country in four categories.

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The OBX Flotilla was number one in total hours served with 45 members who 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 commands in their training activities on the water.

They were first in the nation for 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.

Total missions completed by the OBX Flotilla were also the best in the United States, assisting 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.

And they had the most miles driven of any flotilla, augmenting active duty USCG resources in many of their activities and OBX Flotilla members drove more than 20,000 miles providing a wide variety of services to our active duty colleagues.

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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 Commodore King, fuest 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 NC; CDR, 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 OBX Auxiliary team and congratulated them for the incredible honor of having been named National Flotilla of the Year.

The OBX Flotilla is always looking for new shipmates. If you are interested in exploring a role with this dedicated group of volunteers, visit http://wow.uscgaux.info/content.php?unit=054-16-07), the OBX Flotilla Facebook page , or contact Flotilla Commander Timothy Glenn Baker at (252) 722-3821 or [email protected]

This story originally appeared on OBXToday.com. Read More local stories here.