Of, by and for the people
Posted by PA2 Stephen Lehmann, Monday, June 11, 2012
With an area of responsibility spanning more than 200 miles of Florida’s panhandle including approximately 12,000 registered boaters as well as the constant traffic along the Intracoastal Waterway, the crew of Coast Guard Aids to Navigation Team Panama City, Fla., has a sizeable responsibility to the Gulf Coast mariners. They make sure that anyone out on the waters can intelligently navigate and safely transit through their area of responsibility by relying on the buoys and dayboards they keep in service.
Less vital, but nonetheless important is their work in the community by making appearances and educating the public on the missions and culture of the Coast Guard. 2012 is only half over, but already this busy unit has found time to conduct multiple community appearances.
On May 19, ANT Panama City partnered with the Bay County Humane Society while participating in The Furry Friends 5K. This event supported the BCHS’s efforts to find shelter pets a home. Additionally, participants donated time and resources assisting the animals that were in need of food and shelter. The day started off with a 5k run with the dogs from the humane society. Once the 5k was over, the volunteers held a car wash to raise money for the needy animals.
In honor of Black History Month, ANT Panama City participated in the Blountstown, Fla., Black Heritage Parade. This parade recognized the cultural achievements of African Americans in the northwest Florida area. The crew utilized a 26-foot Trailerable Aids-to-Navigation Boat to be a part of the parade and provided candy for the children along the parade route. They were recognized for their participation by legendary Tuskegee Airman, Cornelius Davis.
Members of ANT Panama City received high praise for their efforts participating in Naval Support Activity Panama City’s Take-Your-Kids-to-Work Day. They showed the children and their parents how to combat fires and dewater spaces. They also demonstrated buoy deck evolutions aboard the 49-foot Buoy Utility Stern Loader, even allowing children to act as buoy-deck supervisor and issue commands. They provided static displays of their rescue equipment and 26-foot TANBs. By far, the most popular event for the children, however, was the heaving-line toss. The crew demonstrated proper techniques for heaving a rescue line and then umpired an accuracy contest among all the children.
For Armed Forces Day 2012, ANT Panama City led a contingent of military personnel in Tallahassee, Fla. The crew provided a static display of a 26-foot TANB at a block party hosted by the Northwest Florida Disabled American Veterans chapter. The next morning, they participated in Armed Forces parade through downtown Tallahassee in honor of veterans and active duty personnel.
On June 6, six members of ANT Panama City were honored by the Bay County School superintendent, Bill Husfelt, and Navy Cmdr. A.J. Anglin, for their participation in this past school year’s Partnership In Education collaboration. The program is designed to assist struggling students by providing an adult tutor and mentor. The participating crewmembers were all recognized individually and received certificates of appreciation and a commemorative pen set.
Despite their long list of responsibilities and sizeable workload, the crewmembers of ANT Panama City understand why they do what they do and why they’re in the position they’re in. It’s all for the American citizenry. That’s why after a hard day repairing and replacing buoys they make such a strong effort to participate in local events. The safer and more expediently the American mariner can transit the nation’s waterways, the louder Coast Guardsmen, like those from ANT Panama City, can say “Mission Accomplished.”