Coast Guard Cutter Vigorous to hold change of command ceremony Tuesday

CAPE MAY, N.J.- The Coast Guard Cutter Vigorous is scheduled to hold a change of command ceremony at Coast Guard Training Center Cape May in Cape May, N.J., Tuesday at 10 a.m.

Cmdr. Paul A. Flynn will turn over command of the cutter to Cmdr. Brendan C. McPherson.

Flynn has served as the Vigorous’ commanding officer since April 2007. During this deployment, he led a seven-month Mission Effectiveness Project at the Coast Guard Yard to enhance the cutter’s mission capabilities.

While the cutter was undergoing repairs and upgrades, the eighty-person crew served aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Reliance for one patrol in the Straits of Florida in which the crew interdicted 25 illegal migrants and oversaw the safe care and repatriation of 390 Cuban migrants. Upon returning to the Coast Guard Cutter Vigorous, the crew completed 142 boardings in support of Operations Atlantic Venture and Ocean Hunter, resulting in two voyage terminations and 65 fisheries or vessel safety violations. In addition, Vigorous participated in a joint operation with the Canadian Coast Guard along the US / Canadian border. In November and December 2008, Coast Guard Cutter Virgorous conducted a patrol of the waters between Florida and San Juan, completing four search and rescue cases, towing two vessels to safety and saving the lives of 16 people. Most recently, in June 2009, during a law enforcement patrol in the Caribbean Sea, Coast Guard Cutter Vigorous detected and boarded a foreign -flagged cargo boat. During this time, crewmembers from the Vigorous noted an apparently empty tank on the vessel. Upon opening the tank, more than 3,500 pounds of cocaine were discovered and seized.

Prior to taking command of the Coast Guard Cutter Vigorous, Flynn, a graduate of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, served as executive officer aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Steadfast in 2001. In April 2003 Flynn reported to the White House where he served as the U.S. Coast Guard Military Aide to Vice President Dick Cheney. In 2005 Flynn was assigned to the Coast Guard Personnel Command Enlisted Assignments Branch in Arlington, Va. where he served until March 2007. Flynn will report to the Leadership Development Center at the U.S. coast Guard Academy om August 2009 where he will assume the duties of School Chief for Officer Candidate School.

Cmdr. McPherson’s previous assignment was as Press Assistant to the Commandant of the Coast Guard at Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington, D.C. In his twenty years of service, McPherson has held operational command staff assignments at sea and ashore, conducting a wide range of missions to support maritime safety, security and enviornmental stewardship interests of the nation.

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