The foundation will honor heroism and mission excellence with special recognition for USCG members who responded to hurricanes and natural disasters in the region in the last year, including the most recent hurricanes, Irma and Maria.
The foundation will also recognize Rick Sasso, chairman of MSC Cruises USA, for overseeing a company whose policies greatly align with USCG core values like safety, health and environmental protection. This month Sasso marks 50 years in the travel industry, 46 of those years in the cruise business.
Adm. Paul Zukunft, USCG commandant, will deliver keynote remarks.
'Every day, the men and women of the Coast Guard serve and safeguard the public, protect the environment and its resources and defend our nation’s interests in our maritime region,' Coast Guard Foundation president Susan Ludwig said. 'They rescue people in need in the most difficult conditions, see cargo ships to port and are our first line of defense in the face of everything from storms to oil spills.
'We all witnessed this recently in their preparation for and response to the devastating storms that hit Texas, Florida and the Caribbean. We are humbled to recognize their service and give back as much as we can.'
Following Hurricane Harvey’s Texas landfall, which called on many Seventh District assets to support the response there, September brought two more hurricanes to the area. Irma and Maria, both Category 5 storms, impacted all of Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands and the entire state of Florida, as well as coastal regions of Georgia and South Carolina. They brought 185 mph winds, mass destruction and catastrophic flooding.
More than 200 flights were performed by Seventh District heavy lift aircraft, carrying in excess of 2.5m pounds of supplies and assistance. More than 20 Coast Guard cutters responded, supporting the delivery of generators, medical supplies, food and water, and repairing critical water pumps in isolated regions like Vieques, Puerto Rico.
Buoy tenders and aids to navigation teams repaired buoys and critical channel markers from South Carolina to the US Virgin Islands while conducting port assessments. These teams had most federally maintained waterways open within two days following the storms, which allowed for bulk shipment of aid to affected regions and the resumption of commerce.
The Seventh District tribute will start at 6:30 p.m., Nov. 16, at the Pier Sixty-Six Hotel & Marina.