14th Coast Guard District to receive new commander

HONOLULU– Rear Adm. Stephen E. Mehling will relieve Rear Adm. Manson K. Brown during a change of command ceremony at Base Support Unit Honolulu on Tuesday at 10 a.m.

Vice Adm. Jody Breckenridge, the Coast Guard’s Pacific Area commander, will preside at the ceremony. Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle and numerous local dignitaries are also expected to attend.

Brown has served as the district commander since May 2008 and is leaving to assume the duties as commander of U.S. Coast Guard Pacific Area on May 17.

Mehling has served as the chief of staff for the 14th Coast Guard District since August 2008.

“I am honored and looking forward to the opportunity to serve as the commander of the 14thCoast Guard District,” said Mehling. “The Coast Guard men and women and all of our partners are dedicated to providing great value to the American people,” Mehling added.

Prior to this assignment, Mehling served as the commanding officer of Coast Guard Air Station Miami, Fla., where he directed fixed wing and rotary wing aircraft operations throughout the Southeast U. S. and the Caribbean, including oversight of the Coast Guard’s support detachment in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Mehlingis a career aviator with 17 years of operational flying experience at air stations across the country, including two air station command tours. Between aviation assignments, he served nine years in program oversight and personnel management duties in Washington, DC, including service as the chief of officer personnel management, deputy chief of aviation forces, and shipboard-helicopter platform manager.

Mehling received his commission in 1980. His first assignment was as a deck watch officer and operations officer aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Sweetgum. Following this tour afloat, he attended flight training in Pensacola, Fla., in 1982 and was designated a Coast Guard aviator in 1983.

Mehlingholds a bachelor’s degree with high honors in mathematics from the Coast Guard Academy and a Master of Science degree in management from the University of Maryland. In 2009, he attended the Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies in Honolulu and was a member of the U.S. delegation to the Pacific Islands Forum in Cairns, Australia.

Mehling’s personal awards include the Legion of Merit, four Meritorious Service Medals withOperational Device, two Coast Guard Air Medals, two Coast Guard Commendation Medals with Operational Device, the 9-11 Medal and numerous other team, unit, and individual awards.

Headquartered in Honolulu, the 14th Coast Guard District area of operations encompasses more than 12.2 million square miles in the Central and Western Pacific Ocean.

The change of command ceremony is a time-honored tradition and formal ritual conducted before the assembled company of a command to confirm to the men and women of the unit that the authority of command is maintained. The ceremony is a transfer of total responsibility, authority and accountability from one individual to another.

The ceremony is not open to the public

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