Coast Guard Cutter Dauntless to hold Change of Command ceremony

HOUSTON — The Coast Guard Cutter Dauntless, homeported in Galveston, will be hosting a Change of Command ceremony June 26, 2009, at 2 p.m. The ceremony will take place in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Building located at 2000 Fort Point Rd., Galveston, Texas, 77550.

During the Change of Command ceremony Cmdr. James E. Andrews will assume the responsibility of commanding officer from Capt. Dwight T. Mathers. Mathers, who has been commanding officer since June 2007, will depart for the National War College in Washington D.C., where he will work toward a master’s degree in national security strategy.

Mathers, who is a 1987 graduate of the Coast Guard Academy, has spent 12 years of his Coast Guard career in hurricane zones. He was one of numerous Coast Guardsmen who felt the devastating aftermath of Hurricane Ike. When Hurricane Ike made landfall, he and the crew of the Dauntless were afloat south of Cuba preparing to pull into Guantanamo Bay. Once word reached Dauntless crewmembers regarding Hurricane Ike, Mathers made a decision for the welfare of the crew.

“We maintained our focus and three days after the hurricane hit we were released to St. Petersburg, Fla., where the crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Resolute relieved us. It was very difficult being away from our families for that time knowing we were safe and they were in harm’s way. The hardest part was not knowing what was going on,” said Mathers.

The crew of the Dauntless returned to Galveston to find wide-spread devastation, but they relied on one another to get through the ordeal.

“We recovered by helping one another,” said Mathers.

Andrews, who is the son of a retired Coast Guard lieutenant commander and a 1991 Coast Guard Academy graduate, is eagerly anticipating a fulfilling career on the Dauntless. He has weathered five hurricanes throughout his Coast Guard career and is prepared for the challenges ahead of him here in the Gulf Coast region.

“I think it is going to be a challenge and a lot of fun,” Andrews said.

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