Coast Guard Marine Safety Center Holds Change of Command

WASHINGTON (HQ Public Affairs) – U.S. Coast Guard Capt. Patrick E. Little will assume command of the Coast Guard Marine Safety Center (MSC) during a change of command ceremony scheduled for Friday, 1:30 p.m., in the MSC gymnasium at 7323 Telegraph Rd., Alexandria, Va.

Little, a native of Timmins, Ontario, Canada, will relieve Capt. Bruce D. Branham and in doing so takes the helm of the Coast Guard’s primary resource for the review and approval of plans for the design, construction, alteration and repair of U.S. and foreign flag commercial vessels subject to U.S. laws, regulations and international standards.

The change of command ceremony is a time-honored tradition that formally symbolizes the continuity of authority as command is passed from one individual to another. It is a formal ceremony, conducted before the assembled company of the command. The change of command represents the transfer of total responsibility, authority and accountability from one individual to another.

The 60-person MSC staff provides technical engineering expertise to Coast Guard Sectors and Marine Safety Units and works closely with domestic and international naval architects, marine engineers, vessel classification societies, the shipbuilding industry and other maritime industry stakeholders. The MSC also supports Coast Guard field commanders by providing emergency salvage engineering assistance and post-casualty forensic engineering analysis. The MSC’s Salvage Engineering Response Team is at the ready 24 hours-a-day to rapidly evaluate a vessel’s stability and structural integrity following a grounding, collision or similar accident.

Capt. Little comes to the MSC from Coast Guard Headquarters where he served as Chief of the Office of Design and Engineering Standards and was responsible for the development and deployment of marine safety and environmental protection standards in the engineering disciplines of structures, mechanical, electrical, stability, fire protection and lifesaving. Little held numerous engineering and operational positions during his 22-year career, including executive officer of Marine Safety Office Providence, R.I.

Capt. Little relieves Capt. Bruce D. Branham of Elizabeth City, N.C. Branham led the MSC for the past three years, propelling it into a larger role in the Coast Guard’s Marine Safety, Security and Environmental Protection programs. Capt. Branham is retiring from active duty after 29 years of service.

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