Coast Guard Cutter Healy to hold change-of-command ceremony

Pacific Northwest Coast Guard News
SEATTLE ─ A change-of-command ceremony is scheduled for the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Healy at the Coast Guard Base Seattle gymnasium, Thursday, at 10 a.m.

During the ceremony, Capt. John D. Reeves will assume the duties and responsibilities as commanding officer of Healy from Capt. Beverly A. Havlik. Vice Adm. Paul F. Zukunft, commander, Pacific Area, will preside over the ceremony.

Reeves is a 1992 graduate of the Coast Guard Academy, and a native of Fairbanks, Alaska. His previous assignments include five underway tours including two aboard Healy as the engineer officer and executive officer. Reeves reports to Healy from Naval Engineering Support Unit, Seattle, where he served as commanding officer and provided shoreside engineering support to the Coast Guard’s cutter fleet in the Seattle area.

Havlik, a native of Nashua, Iowa, and a 1987 graduate of Coast Guard Officer Candidate School, completes six afloat tours including two other commanding officer assignments. Havlik will report to Coast Guard Headquarters and assume the duties of deputy assistant commandant for capabilities.

During Havlik’s tenure aboard the cutter, Healy conducted two Arctic deployments that included many “first-ever” milestones, one of which was the first-ever Arctic winter deployment. Conducting ground-breaking research on the winter behavior of the Arctic eco-system, Healy supported scientific research at the edge of the advancing ice field in the Chukchi and Bering Seas. Healy also led a collaborative U.S.-Canadian effort to expand ocean mapping across vast areas of uncharted Arctic Ocean, adding more than 25,000 square nautical miles to the U.S. mapping inventory. Additionally, Healy completed the first-ever Arctic domestic icebreaking operation while escorting the Russian tanker vessel Rena through 800 nautical miles of Bering Sea pack ice to deliver 1.3 million gallons of fuel to Nome, Alaska.

Healy, commissioned in 2000, is the nation’s newest and largest U.S. polar icebreaker. The cutter is 420 feet long and has extensive scientific capabilities. Homeported in Seattle, the cutter has a permanent crew of 81. In addition, as a Coast Guard cutter, Healy is capable of other operations such as search and rescue, ship escort, environmental protection, and the enforcement of laws and treaties in the Polar Regions.

The change-of-command ceremony is a time-honored tradition which formally restates to the officers and crew of the command the continuity of the authority vested in the commanding officer. This unique military ritual represents a total transfer of responsibility, authority, and accountability from one leader to the next.

ARCTIC OCEAN - Coast Guard Cutter Healy breaks ice Aug. 20, 2009. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer Patrick Kelley)

Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer Patrick Kelley

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