Coast Guard Port Security Unit 311 to hold change-of-command

SAN PEDRO, Calif. — Command of Coast Guard Port Security Unit 311 of Los Angeles-Long Beach will be transferred from Cmdr. Kenneth G. Stefanisin to Cmdr. Armin D. Cate during a ceremony to be held Sept. 19 at Reservation Point on Terminal Island in San Pedro, Calif.

Cate, is a native of Munich, Germany and enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1977. He went on to serve two years with the 101st Airborne Division Fort Campbell, Ky. In 1984, Cate graduated from the United States Coast Guard Academy and was assigned to the Coast Guard Cutter Ingham as a deck watch officer. During his active duty time Cate was also assigned to the U.S. Southern Command and worked with Gen. Manuel Noriega’s staff during Counter-Narcotics Interdiction operation. Cate transferred to the Coast Guard Reserve in 1990 where he has been activated twice in support of Iraqi Freedom/Neptune Shield and a third time to be the acting commanding officer of the Sector Miami Logistics Command. Cate’s civilian career includes seven years as a U.S. Customs Air Interdiction Officer and 11 years as a Special Agent at the U.S. Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE) Office of Investigations in Miami.

Stefanisin enlisted in the Coast Guard Reserve in 1987 where he served as a boat crewman on the Colorado River Patrol on Lake Havasu, Ariz. Upon his commissioning as an Ensign in 1991 he was assigned to Marine Safety Office San Diego. He transferred to Port Security Unit 311 in 1995 and completed tours as Unit Security Division, Boat Officer and Operations Officer. After completing a tour at Naval Coastal Warfare Group One, he returned to PSU 311 where he served as the executive officer before assuming command in 2006. During his tours with the PSU and NCWG-1. he has deployed to the Republic of Korea, Alaska, and two tours in Kuwait. In Stefanisin’s civilian career, he is a detective on the Phoenix Police Department with over 30 years in law enforcement. He is assigned to the Homeland Defense Bureau as a Terrorism Liaison Officer.

Port Security Unit (PSU) 311 provides security and protection for military and critical logistics material along with port facilities from terrorism, sabotage, espionage, subversion and attack. PSUs are commissioned units organized for sustained overseas port operations and security defense in response to wartime contingencies. PSUs operate fast, highly maneuverable, and armed transportable port security boats (TPSBs) using “defense-in-depth” tactics. PSU land based security forces complement waterborne operations, and protect unit personnel, equipment, and command and control facilities. Primary threats include high-speed waterborne craft, swimmer delivery vehicles and surface and subsurface swimmers. In July of 2009, PSU 311 returned from a six-month deployment to Kuwait with the Maritime Security Squadron One in support of Iraqi Freedom.

The change-of-command ceremony is a time-honored event preserved by the rich heritage of naval tradition. It is a formal custom that is designed to strengthen the respect of authority, which is vital to any military organization. The ceremony culminates when both officers read their orders, face one another and salute. This signifies to the command that the transfer of responsibility is officially complete.

The ceremony will begin at 10:00 a.m. at Reservation Point. Reservation Point is located at 1001 S. Seaside Ave., San Pedro, Calif., 90731.

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