Coast Guard Air Station Sitka holds change of command

Rear Adm. Dan Abel, Cmdr. Mark Vislay, Cmdr. William "Chip" Lewin, Father Andrew Sensenig and Master Chief Petty Officer Alan Fowler render honors during the national anthem at a change of command ceremony at Coast Guard Air Station Sitka, June 10, 2016. The ceremony was presided over by Rear Adm. Dan Abel, Coast Guard 17th District commander. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

Rear Adm. Dan Abel, Cmdr. Mark Vislay, Cmdr. William “Chip” Lewin, Father Andrew Sensenig and Master Chief Petty Officer Alan Fowler render honors during the national anthem at a change of command ceremony at Coast Guard Air Station Sitka, June 10, 2016.  U.S. Coast Guard photo.

JUNEAU, Alaska — Coast Guard Cmdr. Mark Vislay transferred command of Air Station Sitka to Cmdr. William “Chip” Lewin during a change of command ceremony at Air Station Sitka Friday.

The ceremony was presided over by Rear Adm. Dan Abel, Coast Guard 17th District commander.

Lewin takes command in Sitka after serving as executive officer at Air Station Sitka.  He is a qualified MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter pilot and an aeronautical engineer. He led personnel and policy while serving as executive officer at Air Station Sitka. Lewin assumes command of one of the Coast Guard’s largest geographical areas of responsibility, a region comprised of numerous high-risk and isolated locations.

“Air Station Sitka, what an impressive group of great Americans and true professionals,” said Lewin. “You always put service before self, and provide a great place to work. I am proud and excited to get the opportunity to lead and work with you for another two years. You make this the best air station in the Coast Guard.”

During his time in Sitka, Vislay was responsible for the execution of Coast Guard missions throughout Southeast Alaska including responses to the 2015 fishing vessel Kupreanof rescue. His efforts strengthened relationships with federal, local and tribal stakeholders crucial to managing search and rescue and medevac response in Southeast Alaska.

“My entire purpose for standing up here in front of you is just to tell this wonderful, dedicated crew, with all sincerity, thank you and not for what you did for me, but what you did for this community, the Coast Guard, and you shipmates,” said Vislay. “Your efforts were truly remarkable and you should be very proud.”

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