Coast Guard Cutter Munro holds change of command in Alameda

Honor Guard members of the Coast Guard Cutter Munro crew begin the change-of-command ceremony in Alameda, California, May 24, 2018. The change-of-command ceremony is a time-honored tradition which formally restates the continuity of command will be maintained and is a formal ritual conducted before the assembled company of command. (Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Paul Krug)

Honor Guard members of the Coast Guard Cutter Munro crew begin the change-of-command ceremony in Alameda, California, May 24, 2018.  (Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Paul Krug)

ALAMEDA, Calif. — Capt. James Estramonte relieved Capt. Thomas King as commanding officer of the Coast Guard Cutter Munro (WMSL 755) in a change-of-command ceremony at Coast Guard Base Alameda Thursday.

As inaugural commanding officer, King took command in January 2016 when Munro was still in the ship yard in Pascagoula, Mississippi. He led the cutter on its maiden voyage through the Panama Canal to the Pacific Ocean for duty on the West Coast. During that voyage, the cutter was diverted from its planned transit to operational status which led to the processing and transfer of 11 Cuban migrants and rescue operations of three mariners that subsequently led to the seizure of $5 million worth of contraband. Since then, Munro crews have completed numerous missions, including search and rescue operations and law enforcement boardings off the coast of Southern California. King’s next assignment will be to serve as the chief of staff for the 14th Coast Guard district in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Prior to becoming Munro’s new commanding officer, Estramonte was stationed at Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington, D.C., where he served as the Office of Resource Management chief, overseeing the execution of the Coast Guard’s budget. Munro is Estramonte’s second at-sea command. He previously served as the commanding officer of the Coast Guard Cutter Vigilant, a medium-endurance cutter homeported in Cape Canaveral, Florida.

Munro was commissioned as part of the Coast Guard fleet at a ceremony in Seattle, Washington April 1, 2017, near the home and final resting place of the ship’s namesake, WWII hero and Medal of Honor recipient Coast Guard Signalman First Class Douglas Munro. The Munro is the sixth legend-class National Security Cutter built and is the third Coast Guard cutter to be named after Douglas Munro. Munro saved the lives of over 500 Marines during the Battle of Guadalcanal. While the Marines were trapped on the island under heavy fire from Japanese forces, Munro and his squadron of landing craft provided cover fire for the Marines so that they could safely evacuate the island. Munro selflessly gave his life so others could live.

National Security Cutters are the second largest cutters in the Coast Guard fleet. They are 418-feet long, have a top speed of 28 knots and a range of 12,000 nautical miles and are replacing the Coast Guard’s fleet of Vietnam War era 378-foot high endurance cutters.

The change of command ceremony is a time-honored tradition which formally restates the continuity of command will be maintained and is a formal ritual conducted before the assembled company of command. It conveys to the officers, enlisted members, civilian employees and auxiliary members of the Coast Guard that although the authority of command is relinquished by a leader and is assumed by another, it is still maintained without interruption.

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