Cutter Bids Farewell to Commanding Officer

Wednesday, June 08, 2005
The crew of the Coast Guard cutter Tampa will conduct a change of command ceremony at the Coast Guard Integrated Support Center Portsmouth pier Thursday. During the ceremony, Cmdr. Steven A. Banks will relieve Capt. Charles A. Mathieu. Chief of staff for the Coast Guard’s Atlantic Area, Capt. Christopher C. Colvin, will preside. Capt. Mathieu is a 1982 graduate of the Coast Guard Academy, having earned his commission and a degree in electrical engineering. He assumed command of Tampa in June 2003, following a shore assignment as chief, Engineering Division at the Coast Guard Command and Control Engineering Center in Portsmouth. His next assignment will be as chief, Office of Command and Control Architecture at Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington, D.C. Cmdr. Banks is a 1988 graduate of the Coast Guard Academy. He reports to Tampa upon completion of his assignment to liaison to J-5 (Strategic Plans and Policy), at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. During Capt. Mathieu’s tenure as commanding officer, the Tampa patrolled the Caribbean region in support of both Operation New Frontier and the Joint Interagency Task Force counter drug operations, acquiring four drug busts, seizing seven tons of cocaine, and arresting 10 drug traffickers. The Tampa also deployed to the Mediterranean and Black seas as part of the U.S. Navy’s Sixth Fleet, and conducted several migration interdiction and law enforcement patrols in the northern Caribbean. The change of command ceremony formally restates to the men and women of the command the continuity of authority, vested in the commanding officer. The change of command of a military activity is a unique ritual representing a total transfer of responsibilities, authority, and accountability from one individual to another.

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