Coast Guard conducts change of command at Station Yaquina Bay, Ore.

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NEWPORT, Ore. — Chief Warrant Officer Ryan O’Meara relieved Lt. Robert Ornelas as commanding officer of Coast Guard Station Yaquina Bay in Newport during a ceremony held at the station, Thursday.

O’Meara is reporting aboard from the 14th Coast Guard District office in Honolulu, where he served as the operations training officer. Ornelas is departing for Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington, D.C., where he will be working in the Office of Maritime Security and Response Policy — Anti-Terrorism Division.

The history of Station Yaquina Bay goes back more than a century. In 1896, the first U.S. Lifesaving Service station was opened at South Beach. The U.S. Lifesaving Service station moved to the present site of the Yaquina Point Lighthouse in 1906. The present facilities were erected in 1944, after the first building was destroyed by fire. In the past year, Station Yaquina Bay crews completed more than 300 search and rescue sorties, involving 400 boaters and property valued at more than $10 million.

The change-of-command ceremony is a time-honored tradition aboard military ships and shore commands. It represents a total transfer of responsibility, authority and accountability from one individual to another. The core of this event is the formal passing of command in the presence of the entire crew, leaving no doubt as to who has assumed the mantle of authority.

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