NORFOLK, Va. – Coast Guard Cmdr. Ralph “Bob” Little took command of the medium-endurance Coast Guard Cutter Dependable during a ceremony Friday at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story in Norfolk.
Coast Guard Atlantic Area Deputy Commander, Rear Adm. Pat DeQuattro presided over the change of command ceremony when Little relieved Cmdr. John “Paul” Gregg of the duties and responsibilities as the 24th commanding officer of the Cutter Dependable.
“I leave you with my crew, the soul of the ship,” said Gregg to Little in his departing remarks. “Look out for them, they will look out for you.”
Gregg was awarded a Meritorious Service Medal recognizing his service and performance of duty.
During Cmdr. Gregg’s successful two-year command, Cutter Dependable’s crew achieved a number of operational successes. Highlights of this chapter in Dependable’s proud service included six patrols ranging from the North Atlantic Ocean to the Southern Caribbean. Collectively, all six of these patrols focused on executing the Coast Guard’s living marine resources, search and rescue and maritime law enforcement missions.
Gregg departs Dependable to attend the United States Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island.
Little arrives to Dependable from the Sloan Fellows Program in Global Leadership and Innovation at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Sloan School of Management. He previously served as executive officer for the St. Petersburg, Florida-based Cutter Nantucket, Atlantic Beach, North Carolina-based Elm, and served as commanding officer aboard the Honolulu-based Cutter Kukui.
“I am very happy to be here today and truly humbled to have the opportunity to lead this talented team of professionals,” Little said. “I take great comfort knowing that I’m surrounded by such highly dedicated Coast Guard men and women.”
“When we set sail next, we will leave our families behind, as we often do, and again ask for their boundless support as they shoulder the burden created by our extended abscences.”
The change of command is a time-honored tradition that ensures the continuity of command. It is a formal ceremony conducted before the entire crew. The ceremony marks the transfer of total responsibility, authority, and accountability for the cutter and the accomplishment of its assigned mission. It is conducted according to a formally prescribed ritual, to honor and maintain traditions of the service.
Cutter Dependable is a Reliance Class cutter built at the American Shipbuilding Company in Lorain, Ohio, and commissioned Nov. 22, 1968. Over the cutter’s lifetime, it moved to several homeports on the Atlantic seaboard. For 23 years, the Dependable’s homeport was in Panama City, Forida. She moved to Galveston, Texas, in January 1992, to Portsmouth, Virginia in August 1997 and to Cape May, New Jersey, August 2000. The cutter now calls Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story home since May 30, 2015.
Dependable and 26 other aging medium endurance cutters are slated for replacement by a new advanced fleet of Offshore Patrol Cutters that will operate more than 50 miles from land, carrying out the Coast Guard’s maritime security and safety activities in support of national interests. The OPC is designed to be an economical, multi-mission ship, providing pursuit boat and helicopter capabilities and interoperability with other military and federal partners. Equipped with modern sensors, the Offshore Patrol Cutter will provide the enhanced surveillance necessary to detect threats far from U.S. shores and meet the demands of the Coast Guard’s homeland security, search and rescue, law enforcement and other vital missions.