Auxiliarists, guests assemble for annual training summit in Anchorage, Alaska

Auxiliary water safety demonstration

Sue Lang of Seward leads a training session about water safety information booths, during the Coast Guard Auxiliary summit held Feb. 22-24 in Anchorage. Lang, state chair for National Safe Boating Week, was named Alaska 2012 Auxiliarist of the year. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Auxiliarist Drew Herman.

During three packed days, 105 Alaska Auxiliarists from 13 flotillas threw themselves into intensive training in areas such as commercial fishing vessel examinations, recreational boating safety instruction, public affairs, leadership and seamanship. Many active duty members, including Chief Petty Officer Jon Jones, Chief Petty Officer John Moreland, both boatswain’s mates, Lt. Jon Dale and Lt. j.g. Lauren Calhoon led training sessions.

With about 450 members scattered from Ketchikan to Barrow to Nome, the 17th District’s Coast Guard Auxiliary gets a special boost from its annual summit, held this year in Anchorage Feb. 22-24. The rare chance to get together with far-flung colleagues helps recharge the batteries of the volunteer force, what Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Robert J. Papp calls “a force multiplier” that backs up almost the full range of Coast Guard missions.

The summit also highlights fellowship and “silver-gold” relationships, fostering networking and cooperation within the Auxiliary and with active duty Coast Guardsmen. Special guests this year included Rear Adm. Thomas Ostebo, commander, Coast Guard 17th District and National Commodore Tom Mallison of Bear Lake, Mich., the Auxiliary’s top elected official.

During awards ceremonies, Auxiliarists received recognition for thousands of volunteer hours and extraordinary efforts devoted to everything from public education and vessel examinations, to administrative support and search and rescue. Sue Lang of Seward was named 2012 Auxiliarist of the Year and the Kenai flotilla earned the award for flotilla of the year.

Established in 1939, the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary has more than 39,000 members nationwide. The Auxiliary in Alaska includes several members who are also active duty members. For more information about the Coast Guard Auxiliary in Alaska please visit: http://uscgauxalaska.org

 

 

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