ALAMEDA, Calif. — Coast Guard Cutter Bertholf, based in Alameda, will receive a new commanding officer during a change of command ceremony Friday at 10 a.m.
The change of command ceremony on board Bertholf at Coast Guard Base Alameda is intended to recognize Capt. Mark Frankford, who has served as the cutter’s captain for over two years. Capt. Laura Collins will officially take command of the ship Friday during the ceremony from Frankford, who will serve as director of law enforcement, maritime security and defense operations policy at Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington, D.C.
“It is hard to leave such great shipmates, but I am happy to have the opportunity to celebrate our achievements together over the past two years,” said Frankford. “I will miss Bertholf, but most especially I will miss the outstanding crew who make her such a valuable asset for the Coast Guard and the nation.”
Frankford took command of Bertholf in March 2013. Since that time, the cutter has completed three major deployments in the Eastern Pacific, performing counternarcotics interdictions for several months at a time. Under his leadership, the cutter’s crew seized over 26,000 pounds of illegal narcotics with an estimated street value of over $394 million wholesale. The crew also detained 49 suspected narcotraffickers during these three deployments.
“As I look back over the past two years, I’m tremendously proud of Capt. Frankford and the crew of Coast Guard Cutter Bertholf,” said Vice Adm. Charles Ray, commander of Coast Guard Pacific Area and the presiding official for the ceremony. “Their success has directly contributed to the safety and security of the American people by combining modern resources with great leadership and the highest caliber of Coast Guard men and women.”
Frankford has served for more than 27 years in the Coast Guard including seven previous seagoing assignments before his current assignment as captain of the Bertholf.
Cutter Bertholf will be Collins’ sixth sea-going assignment. She has also served in a variety of ashore assignments including as a work Life supervisor, as the military aide to the deputy secretary of Homeland Security, and as a strategic analyst in the office of the Commandant and the Strategic Management Directorate.