Coast Guard Group/Air Station Humboldt Bay welcomes new commanding officer

11th Coast Guard District NewsMCKINLEYVILLE, Calif. — Coast Guard Group/Air Station Humboldt Bay welcomed its new commanding officer during a change of command ceremony held at Coast Guard Air Station Humboldt Bay, Friday, June 24, 2011.

Capt. Salvatore Palmeri relieved Capt. Christopher Martino, who has served at Humboldt Bay since July 2008. Palmeri is returning for his second tour of duty at Humboldt Bay.

A native of East Meadow, New York, Palmeri enlisted in the Coast Guard in 1975 and attended Basic Training in Cape May, N.J. Following boot camp, he reported to his first operational unit at Coast Guard Station Montauk Point, N.Y., where he served as a Boatswains Mate 2nd Class and coxswain on the 41-foot Utility Boat and 44-foot Motor Life Boat.

In late 1979 he reported to Aviation Structural Mechanic School in Elizabeth City, N.C. Upon graduation in 1980, he reported to his first aviation unit at Air Station Cape Cod, Mass., where he served as a flight mechanic on the HH-52A and HH-3F helicopters.

Upon completing Officer Candidate School in 1987, he reported directly to Naval Flight Training in Pensacola, Fla., for basic fixed-wing and rotary-wing flight training. He earned his aviation wings in 1988. After he earned his wings, Palmeri was assigned to flying duties at Air Station Brooklyn, N.Y., where he flew the HH-65A helicopter on search and rescue missions throughout the New York metropolitan area, New Jersey and Connecticut coastlines. His other assignments have included Group/Air Station Corpus Christi, Texas, Group/Air Station Humboldt Bay, Group/Air Station Atlantic City, N.J., and Aircraft Repair and Supply Center in Elizabeth City, N.C.

Palmeri previously served as commanding officer of Air Station Los Angeles from 2007-2009. His most recent assignment was as the Incident Management Branch Chief for the 13th Coast Guard District in Seattle.

Palmeri has accumulated over 6,000 hours in the H-65 aircraft and obtained his Airline Transport Pilot designation in June of 2003. His personal military awards include two Meritorious Service Medals, the Air Medal, and three Coast Guard Commendation Medals.

Martino and his family will be relocating to Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington, D.C. where he will assume the duties of Chief of Aviation for the Coast Guard.

The change of command ceremony is a time-honored tradition, which formally restates that the continuity of command will be maintained. It is a formal ritual, conducted before the assembled company of the command. It conveys to the officers, enlisted personnel, civilian employees, and auxiliary members of the Coast Guard that although the authority of command is relinquished by one person and is assumed by another, it is still maintained without interruption.

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