The Coast Guard will commission a new station in the port of Boston at 2 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 25, at the Coast Guard Integrated Support Command in Boston's North End. Mayor Thomas M. Menino will serve as the keynote speaker. The commissioning ceremony formally signifies the establishment of the unit as an official independent Coast Guard Station. For Station Boston, it is a return to an official status the unit held until 1996, when a realignment of operational forces throughout the Coast Guard downsized the station to seasonal operation under the control of Coast Guard Station Pt. Allerton in Hull, Mass. Immediately following the tragic events of September 11th, 2001, additional active duty and reserve personnel were temporarily assigned to Boston on a full-time basis due to the huge increase in homeland security operations required for the port of Boston. Over the past two years, more than 50 different Coast Guard personnel have rotated through the station contributing to the extremely high operational tempo maintained by the temporary unit. During this period, the men and women of the unit have accomplished numerous search and rescue cases, hundreds of ship boardings and the escort of cruise ships allowing the safe passage of more than 300,000 passengers. The station also provides safety and security measures, including escorts and inport security zone enforcement for the arrival of Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) carriers that call on the port of Boston on a frequent basis. More than 95 port visits have been accomplished since late October of 2001. The unit has operated more than 7,000 boat hours in the past 18 months, more than double the typical Coast Guard standard. Station Boston is assigned to Coast Guard Group Boston, which oversees day-to-day Coast Guard operations from Plymouth Bay on the south shore, north to the Massachusetts/New Hampshire border. The station will be assigned a large variety of critical Coast Guard missions including Search and Rescue, Maritime Homeland Security, Law Enforcement, Marine Safety and Recreational Boating Safety. Capt. Daniel R. May, Commander Coast Guard Group Boston, is thrilled to have the station returned to its original status and has worked hard with senior Coast Guard officials to make the change possible. "This is a very welcomed accomplishment for us that will greatly enhance our ability to perform all of the missions that we are currently tasked with throughout the port of Boston" said May. "Their formal establishment and assignment of more active duty personnel here in Boston will also be a huge benefit to the port of Boston given the level of homeland security activity here," he added. "We work extremely well with the city of Boston harbormaster and state police marine units to provide security for the entire port and this effort will just provide greater capability for the outstanding team we have built," May concluded. Chief Petty Officer Rick Barone, a native of Hull, is the new officer in charge and is also a second generation Coast Guardsman. He previously served as the second in command of the station in Hull and has more than 17 years of experience. The crew consists of seasoned Coast Guard members from the Massachusetts area as well as new members from throughout the entire region.