AFRAS President Charles “Skip” Bowen, left, presents the search and rescue award to Capt. Nathan Lins at a January ceremony.

Supporters of AFRAS! It has been an exciting year so far for the Association! For starters, we have been able to donate well over $28,000 to the Virgin Islands Search and Rescue (VISAR), supporting their efforts to reconstitute their capability following last year’s tremendous hurricane that impacted the Caribbean. In addition, congratulations to Mr. Mark Cianciolo, Mr. Fair Kim and Mr. Joe Re for joining the AFRAS Board. Mark Cianciolo, a retired Marine Corps Colonel, brings a wealth of experience to the Board representing McMurdo, Inc., a huge supporter of AFRAS. Retired Coast Guard Captain Joe Re also joined our team. Joe joined Sev1Tech as the Director of Mission Solutions after a long and exemplary career in the U.S. Coast Guard. Fair Kim, a retired Coast Guard Commander, brings to AFRAS an extensive operational service background, as well as expertise in maritime policy objectives through his work at the Coast Guard’s Office of Legislative Affairs, and now his position as Policy Director and Counsel for the non-profit American Maritime Congress, in Washington DC. Next, I would like to congratulate all of our 2018 award recipients. They will be recognized at our annual Association for Rescue at Sea award reception, set for Thursday the 13th of September on Capitol Hill. Finally, I will be stepping down as President of AFRAS at the end of my term in September. It has been a true privilege to serve the last three years. However, all organizations need fresh perspective from time to time and it is time for me to step down. I am very proud of what we have been able to accomplish. I will remain part of this fantastic organization as a Director. Stay tuned for the announcement of a new President, and thank you!