Coast Guard Atlantic Area to hold change of command ceremony Friday morning

PORTSMOUTH, Va. – Vice Adm. Robert C. Parker will assume command of the Coast Guard Atlantic Area/Coast Guard Defense Force East during a change of command ceremony Friday, at 10 a.m., at the Base Support Unit here.

Parker will relieve Vice Adm. Robert J. Papp, Jr., who has been confirmed to assume the duties as the 24th Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard in an upcoming ceremony in Washington, D.C., on May 25. Papp assumed command of the Atlantic Area in July 2008.

As Commander, Atlantic Area/Defense Force East, Parker will be the operational commander for all U.S. Coast Guard forces east of the Rocky Mountains to the Arabian Gulf, from Canada to the Caribbean Sea, encompassing more than 14 million square miles of land, 42 states, and more than 4 million square miles of navigable water.

Vice Admiral Robert C. Parker

A 1979 graduate of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, Parker also holds a graduate degree in National Security and Strategic Studies from the U.S. Naval War College, and completed a one-year National Security Fellowship at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard in 1999.

Parker will be reporting from his recent assignment at U.S. Southern Command where he served as the command’s first Director of Security and Intelligence, directing U.S. military operations and intelligence efforts and coordinating interagency operations in the Southern Command’s theater of operations. He was the first U.S. Coast Guard officer to serve as director in any Department of Defense command.

Parker has more than 12 years of sea duty, including commanding the Coast Guard cutters Cape Hedge, Tahoma and Mellon. His assignments ashore have included operations center duty officer for the 12th Coast Guard District and Pacific Area; security assistance liaison officer in Monrovia, Liberia; professional development branch chief at the Coast Guard Academy; chief, Pacific Area operational forces branch; chief of operations, 11th Coast Guard District; chief of staff, 13th Coast Guard District; and assistant commandant for capabilities at Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington, D.C.

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