Coast Guard Cutter Kankakee transfers command, Ancient Mariner watch

Coast Guard 8th District NewsMILLINGTON, Tenn. — Chief Warrant Officer Nick Frascella relieved Master Chief Petty Officer Steven Hearn as commanding officer of the Coast Guard Cutter Kankakee in an official change-of-command ceremony, Friday.

Master Chief Hearn assumed command of the Kankakee in August 2008 , and will retire as an active duty member after 30 years of Coast Guard service. Hearn is also the 10th Coast Guard Silver Ancient Mariner, which is an award honored to those who have served a minimum of 10 years cumulative sea time. Hearn commanded the 75-foot river buoy tender, which is one of two Kankakee-Class cutters in the U.S. Coast Guard.

The Kankakee services an area of responsibility on the Lower Mississippi River from mile marker 683 to mile marker 813. Its crew of 19 maintains 400-500 river buoys and shoreside aids to navigations on the Mississippi River system, which is one one of the largest in the world.

Frascella arrives from the Coast Guard Cutter Hudson, where he was commanding officer of the 160-foot inland construction tender homeported in Miami Beach, Fla.

Frascella, who is a native of Akron, Ohio, served aboard the cutters Point Chico, Amberjack, Kankakee and Hudson, and his ashore tours include Coast Guard Station Belle Isle, Detroit; Coast Guard Station Lorain, Ohio; Coast Guard Station Hatteras Inlet, N.C.; and Coast Guard Sector Ohio Valley, Ky. Frascella’s decorations include three Coast Guard Commendation Medals, two Coast Guard Achievement Medal and four Commandants Letter of Commendation, to name a few.

The change-of-command ceremony is a time-honored tradition and deeply rooted in Coast Guard and Naval history. The event signifies a total transfer of responsibility, authority and accountability for the command.

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