NOVATO, Calif. — Cmdr. David J. Reinhard relieved Cmdr. Keith M. Donohue as commanding officer of the Coast Guard Pacific Strike Team during a change of command ceremony at the strike team’s Hangar No.2 in Novato Friday.
Reinhard previously served as a joint maritime operational planner in the Operations Directorate (J3) of U.S. Northern Command in Colorado Springs, Colorado. In this position, he developed contingency plans for Homeland Defense and Defense Support to Civil Authorities to address natural and man-made threats to the Homeland.
Donohue’s new assignment will be in Curacao as the U.S. Coast Guard consultant to the International Maritime Organization’s Regional Activity Center/Regional Marine Pollution Emergency Information and Training Center for the Wider Caribbean.
During Donahue’s time as the commanding officer, he oversaw deployments to oil spills, hazardous material releases, floods, typhoons, vessel casualties and chemical, biological and radiological exercises and threats throughout the U.S. and abroad. He also served as a Deputy Incident Command and Federal On-Scene Coordinator Representative for the Refugio oil spill in Santa Barbara, including the Texas Y oil spill in Matagorda, Texas.
The PST is one of three Special Teams that make up the National Strike Force, which is a vital national asset comprised of a unique, highly-trained cadre of Coast Guard professionals who maintain and rapidly deploy with specialized equipment and incident management skills any time to any place or hazard. The PST is recognized worldwide as an expert authority in the preparation for and response to the effects resulting from oil discharges, hazardous substance releases, weapons of mass destruction events and other emergencies.
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.