Coast Guard Cutter Blackfin to hold change of command

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – The Command of Coast Guard Cutter Blackfin will be transferred from Lieutenant Brian R. Whisler to Lieutenant Junior Grade Steven Baldovsky in a change-of-command ceremony being held at the Santa Barbara Yacht Club on Thursday, July 16, 2009 at 10:00 a.m.

Lt. j.g. Baldovsky, a native of Telford, Pennsylvania, graduated with high honors from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in May 2006 with a Bachelors of Science in Management. He was most recently deployed overseas in support of Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom where he served as the Executive Officer of Coast Guard Cutter Wrangell until May of 2009.

Lt. Whisler, who will be reporting to the Coast Guard Office of Congressional Affairs next month, became Commanding Officer of the Cutter Blackfin in July of 2007.

Capt. Roger R. Laferriere, Commander of Coast Guard Sector Los Angeles-Long Beach is scheduled to preside over the ceremony.

The change-of-command ceremony is a time-honored event preserved by the rich heritage of naval tradition. It is a formal custom that is designed to strengthen the respect of authority, which is vital to any military organization.

The ceremony culminates when both officers read their orders, face one another and salute. This signifies to the entire command that the transfer of responsibility has formally taken place.

Coast Guard Cutter Blackfin is an 87-foot Marine Protector Class patrol boat that is capable of responding to homeland security, search-and-rescue, and marine environmental protection missions.

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