ALAMEDA, Calif. – Vice Adm. Fred M. Midgette will assume command of Coast Guard Pacific Area during a change-of-command ceremony at Coast Guard Base Alameda Monday at 11 a.m.
Vice Adm. Midgette is relieving Vice Adm. Charles W. Ray who has served as the Pacific Area commander since April 2014.
Prior to assuming command of Pacific Area, Vice Adm. Midgette, a native of Virginia Beach, Virginia, served as the deputy commandant for operations at Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington. In this capacity, he was responsible for the development of operational strategy, policy, guidance, and resources that address national priorities. He has served at both afloat and ashore units and has commanded five Coast Guard units on both coasts and the Great Lakes. Vice Adm. Midgette is a 1982 graduate of the Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut.
Under the command of Vice Adm. Ray from Newport, Arkansas, the Coast Guard men and women of Pacific Area removed more than 319,000 pounds of cocaine in Fiscal Year 2015, which was one of the most successful years for the service. The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Healy also became the first U.S. ship to navigate unaccompanied to the North Pole in 2015, and the Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star rescued 27 fishermen beset in ice near Antarctica in 2014.
Vice Adm. Ray will assume the duties of deputy commandant for operations at Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington. Vice Adm. Ray previously served as commander of the Fourteenth Coast Guard District, director of the Iraq Training and Advisory Mission for the Ministry of Interior, and as the military advisor to the Secretary of the Department Homeland Security. Vice Adm. Ray is a 1981 graduate of the Coast Guard Academy and is a career Coast Guard helicopter pilot. He is a native of Newport, Arkansas.
Pacific Area is the Coast Guard’s regional command element and force provider for maritime safety, security and stewardship in the Pacific. The command’s area of responsibility encompasses six continents, 71 countries and more than 74 million square miles of ocean.
Adm. Paul F. Zukunft, U.S. Coast Guard commandant, is scheduled to preside over the ceremony. The change-of-command ceremony is a historic Coast Guard and Naval tradition. The event, which has remained unchanged for centuries, includes a reading of the command orders in the presence of all unit crew members to ensure continuity of command.