Coast Guard Cutter Waesche welcomes new commanding officer

Capt. James Passarelli relieves Capt. Robert Hendrickson as commanding officer of Coast Guard Cutter Waesche during a change of command ceremony July 22, 2016, held on Coast Guard Island in Alameda, California. Waesche is a 418-foot national security cutter with a top speed of 28 knots and a range of 12,000 nautical miles. The cutter is homeported in Alameda, California. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Cory J. Mendenhall.

Capt. James Passarelli relieves Capt. Robert Hendrickson as commanding officer of Coast Guard Cutter Waesche during a change of command ceremony July 22, 2016. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Cory J. Mendenhall.

ALAMEDA, Calif. —  A change of command ceremony welcomed Capt. James Passarelli as the new commanding officer of the Cutter Waesche today at Coast Guard Island.

Capt. Robert T. Hendrickson was relieved of his duties and responsibilities as commanding officer. Capt. Joseph F. Hester, III, acting Chief of Staff for Pacific Area Command, presided over the ceremony.

Passarelli reported from Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington, D.C., where he served as the Chief of the Office of Resource Management with oversight for funds control and personnel allowances throughout the Coast Guard.

Hendrickson served the Coast Guard for more than 35 years and accumulated approximately 15 years of sea time. Under his leadership, he led over 200 crewmembers safely through the Rim of the Pacific Exercise, the world’s largest international maritime warfare exercise, an Arctic Ocean patrol, and several counter-drug patrols in the Eastern Pacific. During his most recent and final patrol, he oversaw the seizure and interdiction of over 14,000 pounds of contraband, worth an estimated $217 million.

Hendrickson’s next assignment will be serving as Chief of Response for the Fourteenth Coast Guard District headquartered in Honolulu, Hawaii.

The Change of Command ceremony is a time-honored tradition which formally restates to the officers and crew of the command the continuity of authority vested in the commanding officer. The change of command of a military activity is a unique ritual representing a total transfer of responsibility, authority, and accountability from one leader to the next.

Cutter Waesche is the second of scheduled “newer” nine 418-foot Legend-Class cutters and has a crew complement of approximately 120. Commissioned in 2010, Waesche is named after Commandant Russell R. Waesche, the eighth Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard. NSCs are the most modern and technologically advanced in the Coast Guard fleet with primary missions in drug interdiction, migrant interdiction, and fisheries law enforcement.

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