Coast Guard Cutter Mustang to Hold Change of Command on Friday

ANCHORAGE, Alaska – Lt. Gregory M. Haas will relieve Lt. James D. Stoffer as the commanding officer of the 110-foot patrol boat Mustang at an 11 a.m. ceremony in Seward, Friday. The public and the media are invited to attend.

Stoffer is heading to Afloat Training Group Pacific Northwest in Everett, Wash.

Stoffer enlisted in the Coast Guard in 1980. He was assigned as a seaman aboard Coast Guard Storis in Kodiak following recruit training. From there he attended Quartermaster “A” school in Orlando.

While working his way up through the ranks to Chief Quartermaster, Stoffer served at the following units: Coast Guard Cutter Walnut in Long Beach, Calif.; Coast Guard Cutter Fir in Seattle; Aids to Navigation Team, Oregon Inlet in Rodanthe, N.C.; Coast Guard Cutter Nantucket in Puerto Rico; Operations Center Coast Guard Pacific Area in Alameda, Calif.; Coast Guard Cutter Sherman also in Alameda; Coast Guard Cutter Washington in Honolulu; Coast Guard Cutter Assateague also in Honolulu and Operations Center Supervisor Coast Guard Group Honolulu.

After receiving his commission as chief warrant officer in June 1999, he completed tours as first lieutenant aboard the Chase in San Diego and as commanding officer of the Cuttyhunk in Port Angeles, Wash.

In May 2005, he was promoted to lieutenant and assumed the duties of operations officer for Patrol Boat Forces Southwest Asia and liaison naval officer to commander Destroyer Squadron Fifty in Bahrain.

Stoffer has earned an Associate of Arts Degree in psychology and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in political science from Columbia College.

Stoffer’s awards include the Coast Guard Meritorious Service Medal with operational device; the Coast Guard Commendation Medal with operational device; five Coast Guard Achievement Medals with operational device; Commandant’s Letter of Commendation with operational device; five Coast Guard Good Conduct medals and three Humanitarian Medals.

He and his wife Diana have one daughter, Sarah.

Haas is a 2001 graduate of the United States Coast Guard Academy where he earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering.

His first assignment was to the cutter Diligence in Wilmington, N.C., serving as deck watch officer. In 2003, he was assigned as the operations officer aboard the cutter Hickory in Homer. In 2004, he assumed the duties of executive officer onboard the Hickory for two years. From 2006 to the present, Haas has served as the Pacific Area Commander’s Aide in Alameda, Calif.

Haas’ awards include the Coast Guard Achievement Medal, the Commandant’s Letter of Commendation, and the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal.

Haas is married to the former Janice Schwartz of Louisville, Kent. They have one daughter, Madeleine.

The Coast Guard cutter Mustang was built by Bollinger Machine Shop and Shipyard in Lockport, LA and launched in September 1986. It is the tenth 110-foot Island Class Patrol Boat built and the first to serve in the Pacific Ocean. In November of 1986, Mustang relieved the Coast Guard cutter Cape Jellison as the Coast Guard’s northernmost patrol boat stationed in Seward. Mustang spends roughly 150 days a year at sea conducting homeland security, federal fisheries law enforcement and search and rescue missions.

Over the past two years Mustang has traveled over 12,000 miles ranging from Dixon Entrance in Southeast Alaska to Kodiak Island southwest of the Kenai Peninsula. Mustang is billeted for 16 enlisted crewmembers and two officers.

The 110-foot Island Class Coast Guard cutters are built upon a British patrol boat design created by Vosper-Thornycraft. The vessels replaced the Coast Guard’s 95-foot Cape Class patrol boat fleet in the late 1980s.

The cutter Mustang is named for Mustang Island located 25 miles east of Corpus Christi, Texas the Gulf of Mexico. Mustang Island received its name from the Spaniards who first brought wild horses or “Mestenos” to the island in the 1800’s.

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