Clearwater Coast Guard unit to hold change of command ceremony

CLEARWATER, Fla. – Coast Guard Port Security Unit (PSU) 307 is scheduled to conduct a change of command ceremony Saturday at 1 p.m. at Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater.

Cmdr. Keith Johnson will relieve Cmdr. Robert Grassino as Commanding Officer of PSU 307 during the time-honored naval tradition.

Johnson was most recently assigned at the Fifth Coast Guard District Contingency Planning and Force Readiness Branch.

In 1994 Johnson received his commissioning in the Coast Guard through the Reserve Officer Candidate Indoctrination. While on his first assignment at PSU 305 in Fort Eustis, Va., Johnson served in multiple exercises including Operation Dynamic Mix, in Mararis, Turkey, and Operation Fuertes Defenses, in Panama. He was then assigned to the Coast Guard Atlantic Area Intelligence Division as a Counter-Drug Analyst. Following Sept. 11, 2001, Johnson was recalled to active-duty status and served as a Coast Guard Intelligence Watchstander. In 2002, Johnson returned to PSU 305 and deployed to Rota, Spain, Souda Bay, Crete, and Sigonella, Italy, in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. In 2005, Johnson deployed to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba as the Officer-in-Charge of Maritime Security for Joint Task Force Guantanamo Bay.

Johnson holds a Bachelors of Science Degree in Public Administration from the Virginia State University.

His personal awards include the Coast Guard Meritorious Service Medal, two Coast Guard Achievement Medals and the Commandant’s Letter of Commendation.

Grassino will be reporting to Scott Air Force Base, Ill., where he will be serving as the Executive Officer at Coast Guard Element US Transportation Command.

The change of command ceremony is a time-honored tradition that follows military protocol and is designed to strengthen respect for the continuity of command that is vital to any military organization. The culmination of the ceremony is reached when both officers read their orders, face one another, salute, and transfer total responsibility for the command. This provides the entire crew with the knowledge that an officer directed by proper authority is taking command and offers an opportunity to witness this transfer of responsibility.

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