Coast Guard Cutter Pea Island holds change of command ceremony

KEY WEST, Fla. — Coast Guard Sector Key West conducted a change of command ceremony Friday at 10 a.m. for the Coast Guard Cutter Pea Island, homeported in Key West.

Lt. Emile Cochet relieved command of the Pea Island from Lt. Charles Banks during a time-honored, traditional change of command ceremony.

In his opening remarks, Cmdr. Jim Olive, acting commander, Coast Guard Sector Key West, said of Banks, “You’ve managed the stress of command, change for yourself and crew, and made it look effortless. You have led with grace and dignity.”

Receiving the Coast Guard Commendation Medal, Banks was honored for his service and his performance duty as Pea Island’s commanding officer.

During the ceremony Banks said of his crew, “I am greatly appreciative of your efforts to this unit and to the greatness of our country.”

Banks will be heading to the Office of Congressional and Governmental Affairs in Washington, D.C., where he will be serving as a Coast Guard fellow in a Senate office.

Under Bank’s superb leadership, Coast Guard Cutter Pea Island patrolled more than 4,000 hours, cared for and processed more than 950 migrants, and executed multiple search and rescue cases including the safe tow of the motor vessel Arcturus in 8- to 10-foot seas. The Arcturus is a 53-foot trawler that was disabled and in need of Coast Guard assistance 90 miles from shore.

Cochet is reporting from the Office of Congressional and Governmental Affairs in D.C

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