Coast Guard Chief Gunners Mate Set to Retire

Port Angeles, WA – The service of a Coast Guard Gunners Mate who led many initiatives with enormous impacts on Coast Guard Group Port Angeles’ security doctrine and the Coast Guard’s future weapons integration plans will be recognized at a retirement ceremony in the Coast Guard Group Port Angeles hangar at 11:00 a.m. Friday December 1, 2006.

Chief Gunners Mate Howard A. Blair, a native of Wausau, Wis., has been the Group Port Angeles Assistant Command Security Officer since 2002.

Chief Blair will be relieved by Chief Gunners Mate Robert E. Brewster, who comes from the Maritime Safety and Security Team in San Francisco where he served as the Maritime Law Enforcement/Force Protection Team Chief.

Blair spearheaded the implementation of many new security initiatives at the Group designed to deal with the heightened Threat Condition Levels seen after 9/11. He oversaw the Group’s transition to and implementation of many new small arms weapons systems. As the Group’s Master at Arms and Lead Small Arms Instructor, Blair is recognized for training over 1600 personnel in small arms, law enforcement, and security doctrine.

Blair began his military career with the Marine Corps in 1981. He participated in a 1982 multi-national peacekeeping force in Beirut, Lebanon. Blair began his Coast Guard career in 1990. He served honorably in Desert Shield and Desert Storm 1990-1991. Since then he has served with the Port Security Unit in Green Bay, Wis., served aboard USCG Cutter Sorrel at Governor’s Island, NY; USCG Cutter Roanoke Island, Homer, Alaska; USCG Armory, Kodiak, Alaska; USCG Cutter Active, Port Angeles, Wash.; and finally his current position as the Group Port Angeles Gunners Mate. Howard has been married for 17 years. They have four children.

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