Mike Casey with his certificate, above; Phil Hill with the Gilbert Champion Award, below.

Thank you to Duane Treadon for the following article and Linda Olson for the images.
This has been quite the week. We are thinking of everyone who was impacted by the storm that ravaged our area this past week. Our monthly Flotilla meeting was impacted to, but to a much lesser extent than many. We were to hold our meeting at the Leon County Eastside Branch Library however, they were without power. We still met at the library under the shade of an oak tree living the Coast Guard moto, Semper Paratus, always ready.
Given the circumstance the meeting was still well attended. Several members in attendance, like many, were still without power at their homes and others not in attendance were attending to storm-related damage.
Discussion during the meeting consisted of a review of the Division Meeting held at Pensacola Naval Air Station (mentioned in previous article) that included comments about the new Division air assets based out of Panama City. When fully functional this air asset will fill a void in air response time to our area. Currently the closest air assets are based out of Mobile, Alabama and Clearwater.
The meeting closed with several awards being presented. Mike Casey received a certificate signed by the National Commadore, Gus Formato, in recognition of his completing all requirements to become BQ (Basic Qualification). Member Phil Hill was also recognized by the National Commodore for his service as Flotilla Commander in the previous year. Phil Hill was also recognized by the members of the Flotilla as the Gilbert-Champion Award for his dedicated service to the Flotilla and Auxiliary. Bravo Zulu to Mike and Phil on their recognition for outstanding service and performance.
This week also begins National Safe Boating Week. The tip to kick off this week is to label your gear with your name and a valid phone number. This includes your boat, kayaks, canoes, paddle boards, life jackets and watercraft. If items are found adrift, it allows the owner to be contacted can prevent an unnecessary search effort. The Auxiliary can provide you with “If Found” stickers to attach if needed.

If you would like to learn more about vessel safety checks, please contact Steve Hults, Staff Officer for Vessel Examinations at steve.hults@uscgaux.net.

Please contact us for more information about our safe boating classes or learning more about getting involved in the Auxiliary, check out our website at www.uscgaux.net follow us on FaceBook @ Apalachee Bay Flotilla 12 or contact our Flotilla Commander Phil Hill at pnkkhill2000@yahoo.com.

The Coast Guard Auxiliary is the uniformed civilian volunteer 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, please visit www.cgaux.org.