Reservist Receives Coast Guard Commendation Medal

NEW ORLEANS – A Des Moines, Iowa, native and Coast Guard Reservist assigned to Coast Guard Reporting Unit Pacific Command, Camp Smith, Hawaii, returned from an extended tour of duty for the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Response, May 2, 2014.

Cmdr. Scott Saunders was recalled to active duty in July of 2013 and remained on active status 10-months during his second deployment to the largest oil spill response in U.S. history.

Due to his considerable incident command knowledge, Saunders worked as the deputy federal on-scene coordinator in New Orleans. There he oversaw daily operations of the Gulf Coast Incident Management Team, and provided leadership to 56 Coast Guardsman.

Saunders expertly led a Pollution Removal Funding Authorization team to review invoices and amendments resulting in allocation of $16.1 million and over $1.9 million in Military Interdepartmental Purchase Requests to Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund claimants. 

"While glad to be returning to my wife and three boys, I have great trust in the new command staff of the Gulf Coast Incident Management Team,” said Saunders. “This was the best crew in my 17-year Coast Guard career.” 

Saunders was awarded the Coast Guard Commendation Medal for his performance during the response.

At the conclusion of this deployment, Saunders will be returning home to Murrieta, Calif., and working as a civilian for the United States Navy.

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