U.S. Coast Guard Sector Northern New England’s crew will receive a new commander during a change of command ceremony at 11:00 a.m., June 24, 2011 at the Portland Head Light in Fort Williams Park.
Rear Adm. Daniel Neptun, commander of the 1st Coast Guard District, will preside over the ceremony.
Sector Northern New England's current commander, Capt. James McPherson of Bradley Beach, N.J., will be assigned as chief of staff for the First Coast Guard District in Boston.
Capt. Christopher Roberge will assume command of Sector Northern New England. Roberge previously served as chief of prevention for Coast Guard Atlantic Area in Portsmouth, Va.
Sector Northern New England is the regional operational command overseeing all Coast Guard activities across Maine, New Hampshire, and the whole of Lake Champlain, an area that includes more than 5,000 total miles of coastline. The sector includes 19 field units and more than 1,100 personnel. The sector annually prosecutes more than 700 search and rescue cases, completes 2,000 recreational and commercial vessel safety and law enforcement boardings, conducts 750 U.S. and foreign vessel inspections, monitors more than 1,300 deep draft and cruise ship arrivals, and maintains 1,000 aids to navigation. Sector units also oversee and conduct annual ice breaking operations along critical northeast waterways to facilitate commerce and to prevent dangerous and costly river flooding.
The change of command is a time-honored tradition that ensures the continuity of command. It is a formal ceremony conducted before the entire crew. The ceremony marks the transfer of total responsibility, authority, and accountability for the unit and the accomplishment of its assigned mission. It is conducted according to a formally prescribed ritual, to honor and maintain traditions of the service.