Coast Guard Cutter Paul Clark hosts change-of-command

Coast Guard Lt. Lloyd Belcher and Capt. Austin Gould pose for a picture during the Coast Guard Cutter Paul Clark change of command ceremony in Miami, July 17, 2015. Belcher was awarded the Coast Guard Commendation Medal after his service as the commanding officer aboard the Paul Clark. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Mark Barney)

Coast Guard Lt. Lloyd Belcher and Capt. Austin Gould during the Coast Guard Cutter Paul Clark change of command ceremony in Miami, July 17, 2015.  (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Mark Barney)

MIAMI – Coast Guard Lt. Joe Herd took command of the Coast Guard Cutter Paul Clark during a change-of-command ceremony in Miami Friday.

Coast Guard Sector Miami Commander, Capt. Austin Gould, presided over the change of command ceremony where Herd assumed the duties and responsibilities as the commanding officer of the Cutter Paul Clark from Lt. Lloyd Belcher.

Belcher departs the Paul Clark to assume the responsibilities as the governmental affairs officer for the Coast Guard Pacific Area command.

Herd, a native of Colorado Springs, Colorado, received his commission in 2007 after graduating from the United States Merchant Marine Academy with a Bachelor of Science in Logistics and Intermodal Transportation and attending Direct Commission Officer school.

Herd arrives from Patrol Forces Southwest Asia located in Bahrain.

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.

The Sentinel-class fast response cutter is a new Coast Guard patrol boat that is capable of deploying independently to conduct missions that include port, waterways and coastal security; fishery patrols; search and rescue; and national defense.

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