Coast Guard Air Station Savannah conducts change of command ceremony

Capt. Marshall Branch transfers command of Coast Guard Air Station Savannah to Cmdr. Brian Erickson, June 22, 2018. The change of command ceremony marks a transfer of total responsibility and authority from one individual to another. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Luke Clayton.

Capt. Marshall Branch transfers command of Coast Guard Air Station Savannah to Cmdr. Brian Erickson, June 22, 2018. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Luke Clayton.

SAVANNAH, Ga. — The crew of Coast Guard Air Station Savannah conducted a change of command ceremony Friday at Hunter Army Airfield.

During the ceremony, Capt. Marshall Branch transferred command of Coast Guard Air Station Savannah to Cmdr. Brian Erickson.

Branch served as the commanding officer of Air Station Savannah since July 2016 and oversaw 4,400 missions including 322 search and rescue cases that saved 305 lives and 1.1 million dollars in property. Under his command, the air station orchestrated critical support for five major hurricane responses that saved or assisted more than 150 people. Branch led the unit to achieve unparalleled community outreach in Savannah – ultimately designating Savannah as an official Coast Guard Community.

The change of command ceremony marks a transfer of total responsibility and authority from one individual to another. It is a time-honored tradition, conducted before the assembled crew, as well as honored guests and dignitaries to formally demonstrate the continuity of the authority within a command.

“Leading the amazing, talented crew of Coast Guard Air Station Savannah has been the most fulfilling opportunity of my career,” said Branch. “The Low Country should know that the Coast Guard has seen fit to send the very finest pilots, aircrew, and support staff to protect lives at sea and to protect the homeland. It’s a privilege to serve here and I am thankful to have been blessed with that opportunity.

Branch is transferring to Norfolk, Virginia where we will hold the position as the Coast Guard’s Liaison Officer to the United States Navy at U.S. Fleet Forces Command.

“I am excited to be back in Savannah and I am very honored to take the responsibility of commanding officer for Air Station Savannah,” said Erickson. “Air Station Savannah will continue to provide the finest support to the Low Country community.”

Erickson comes to Savannah from Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington, D.C., where he held the position of Program Reviewer in the Office of Budget and Programs.

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