by Curtis Hand with content from Press Release
The US Coast Guard Pacific Area Command (USGC-PAC) hosted a change of command ceremony Wednesday, 16 June, at Coast Guard Base Alameda. The change-of-command ceremony is a historic military tradition. The event, which has remained unchanged for centuries, includes a reading of the command orders in the presence of all unit crew members to ensure continuity of command.
USCG Commandant Adm Karl L Schultz presided over the ceremony, whereby RAdm Peter W Gautier relieved VAdm Linda L Fagan as the acting Pacific Area Commander.
The USCG-PAC covers an extensive area of the Pacific – from the US Western States to Asia, and from the Arctic to Antarctica according to the USCG – that is of particular strategic maritime interest to the USA and its trading partners.
VAdm Fagan was recently nominated by President Joe Biden April 19 to serve as the Coast Guard’s vice commandant. If she is confirmed, then VAdm Fagan becomes the first woman in the USCG to be promoted to the rank of Admiral.
Fagan led the 13,000 men and women during her tenure as head of the USCG-PAC, through the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Under her leadership, the Pacific Area of the USCG implemented policies and mandates to protect the health of the workforce, and ensured the Coast Guard met its maritime safety and security missions.
As Pacific Area Commander, the USCG-PAC interdicted and detained more than 1400 narco-terrorists, and removed more than (circa) 400,000 kgs of cocaine and and an excess of 50,000 kgs of marijuana from the maritime approaches of Central and North America. Additionally, VAdm Fagan deployed the Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star and Healy – the USA’s only ice-breakers – to project USA’s regional dominance and execute national scientific research at both poles.
Fagan’s role underscores and represents the USA’s national security objectives in the Indo-Pacific, for example, by providing three national security cutter deployments to the region. These deployments, within the US Navy’s 7th Fleet area of operations, supported US national objectives to promote its own global maritime governance and strengthen its international partnerships.
Pacific Area Command is the Coast Guard’s regional command element and force provider for maritime safety, security and stewardship throughout the Pacific.