Coast Guard Maritime Safety and Security Team San Francisco transfers command

Lt. Cmdr. Lawrence F. Ahlin (right), new commanding officer of Maritime Safety and Security Team San Francisco, salutes Lt. Cmdr. Christopher A. White (left), as Capt. Joseph F. Hester III, chief of operations for Pacific Area observes during a change of command ceremony on Coast Guard Island, Thursday July 21, 2016. The salute finalizes the transfer of command of the MSST from White to Ahlin. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Adam Stanton.

Lt. Cmdr. Lawrence F. Ahlin (right), new commanding officer of Maritime Safety and Security Team San Francisco, salutes Lt. Cmdr. Christopher A. White (left) during a change of command ceremony Thursday July 21, 2016. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Adam Stanton.

ALAMEDA, Calif. — Lt. Cmdr. Lawrence F. Ahlin relieved Lt. Cmdr. Christopher A. White as commanding officer of the Coast Guard Maritime Safety and Security Team San Francisco during a change of command ceremony on Coast Guard Island, Thursday.

Ahlin previously served at Coast Guard Training Center Yorktown in Yorktown, Virginia where his team was responsible for 160 boat forces standardization inspections each year and working on boat forces policy and doctrine.

White will become the chief of maritime security and law enforcement for the Coast Guard’s Pacific Area in Alameda.

During White’s time as the commanding officer of MSST San Francisco, the unit’s personnel achieved more than 8,807 operational underway hours, 287 operational K-9 explosive detection team missions and 203 port, waterways and coastal security missions. These efforts helped to ensure the safety and security of the San Francisco Bay Area, the second largest port on the west coast.

White was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal, which is a military award presented to members of the United States Armed Forces who distinguished themselves by outstanding meritorious achievement or service to the United States.

MSST San Francisco was commissioned on Dec. 18, 2003, as an active-duty Coast Guard unit assigned to the U.S. Deployable Operations Group. Unit personnel are trained in anti-terrorism, force protection and maritime law enforcement policies and practices. This enables the unit to augment Coast Guard units during national special security events, major marine events, contingencies, and other Coast Guard law enforcement operations primarily in ports, harbors, internal waterways and coastal regions.

The change-of-command ceremony is a time-honored tradition and formal ritual conducted before the assembled company of a command to confirm to the men and women of the unit that the authority of command is maintained. The ceremony is a transfer of total responsibility, authority and accountability from one individual to another.

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