The following U.S. Coast Guard personnel were honored at the Coast Guard City Dinner in Rockland March 12.

Seaman Warren Gardiner of the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Tackle was commended for outstanding service and named the Tackle‘s sailor of the year for 2009.

Gardiner’s commendations reads, in part, “You participated in nearly four hundred and fifty hours of physically demanding ice breaking operations on Maine’s Penobscot and Kennebec Rivers. As an aid to navigation technician, you climbed numerous skeleton towers, spindles, and lighthouses in difficult to access locations, conducting servicing in awkward positions, often while being subjected to less than ideal weather conditions. Demonstrating a commitment to community, you volunteered your time helping the less fortunate of Knox County. You participated in seven different food pantry load outs to help local humanitarian aid organizations restock supplies and you assisted in the winterization of more than 15 homes before the harsh Maine winter took hold.”

In addition, the commendation states that Gardiner spent many hours, on and off duty, supporting the Friend’s of the Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse, assisting with and participating in the Maine Lobster Festival, and completing community service projects such as the repainting of the Rockland Public Library.

Boatswain’s Mate 1st Class Kurt Kuntzmann of the cutter Thunder Bay was named his vessel’s person of the year.

“Petty Officer Kuntzmann exemplifies the core values of honor, respect and devotion to duty both at work and in his personal life,” his commendation said. “Using expert technical skills and a diligent work ethic, Petty Officer Kuntzmann was able to ready Thunder Bay with just two weeks notice to deploy to the Great Lakes in March 2009. By his tireless dedication, Thunder Bay was able to correct and prepare over 200 charts and publications, and load two electronic charting systems, with Canadian and U.S. charts, to sail in the demanding time constraints.

“Petty Officer Kuntzmann is always looking to lend a helping hand to another shipmate or for the morale of the crew. The morale of the cutter and its reputation for exceeding mission requirements is a direct result of his tendency to put others first within the constraints of scheduling and mission priorities.”

The commendation said Kuntzmann also displayed the Coast Guard core values while away from work.

“Kuntzmann is an extremely active volunteer firefighter in Searsmont and this past year he responded to over 30 cases,” the commendation said.

Electronic Technician 2nd Class Elizabeth Collins was named person of the year for the cutter Abbie Burgess as well as for Coast Guard District One for 2009.

“During the period you displayed extraordinary adherence to the core values of honor, respect and devotion to duty,” Collins’ commendation said. “Petty Officer Collins effectively managed a vital and understaffed electronics shop on board Abbie Burgess. She skillfully took on the demanding job of unit IT and adroitly handled numerous computer casualties including two server failures and rectifying enormous data losses. She eagerly volunteered for secondary schools and available training and recently [underwent training] on the MK-92 Fire Control Weapons System in order to further her rating knowledge and professional growth. Collins volunteered for a day trip on the cutter Marcus Hanna to become more familiar with the new side scanning sonar technology. Because of her enthusiasm and performance, ET2 Collins has been highly commended by other units she regularly works with for an outstanding ability as a technician and troubleshooter.

“Collins actively sought volunteer opportunities throughout her community. She recently was one of two personnel who spearheaded the Partners in Education Program at a local elementary school for Abbie Burgess, displaying superb leadership in gathering her shipmates to get involved and actively support the PIE program. Collins was a vital member of a team of volunteers that winterized the homes of those less fortunate in Knox County and also gave time to paint the Rockland library.”

Marine Science Technician 2nd Class David Diggins of Marine Safety Detachment, Belfast also received a commendation

“Petty Officer Diggins has been critically instrumental in the successful execution of the Port Operations Program at MSD Belfast,” the commendation said. “Drawing on previous qualifications in Port State Control, Pollution Investigations, and Harbor Safety, Diggins was able to make significant contributions to MSD Belfast’s operational readiness immediately upon reporting to the unit. Diggins’ respectful, professional demeanor served to portray a positive image of the Coast Guard in all his dealings with the public.”

“In addition to rigorous duties, Diggins found time to volunteer twice a week at the local high school as a trainer,” the commendation said. “In this capacity Diggins contributed toward the health and fitness of the local community in addition to providing a positive role model for young athletes.”

Fireman Daniel Ponikvar was selected as Station Rockland’s sailor of the year for 2009.

“During your duty days you have taken on responsibilities far beyond those normally expected of your pay grade and have demonstrated an ability to perform all tasks assigned with a high degree of stamina and professionalism,” the commendation said. “You often share your knowledge and experiences with your shipmates and are very influential in their qualification.

“Your dedication goes beyond the Coast Guard as you took time to volunteer at one of the local food pantries and [to do painting] at the local library. Your unsurpassed military behavior, exceptional standards of appearance, respect for authority, and command loyalty have not gone unnoticed and have generated the respect, confidence and enthusiasm among your shipmates that resulted in your peers voting you the second quarter sailor of the quarter for 2009.”