Sector North Carolina, Station Fort Macon and Cutter Smilax crews change commands

Coast Guard Cutter Smilax, moored at its homeport of Coast Guard Station Fort Macon. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class David R. Marin.

Coast Guard Cutter Smilax, moored at its homeport of Coast Guard Station Fort Macon. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class David R. Marin.

Wilmington, N.C. — The crews of Coast Guard Sector North Carolina, Coast Guard Station Fort Macon and the Coast Guard Cutter Smilax all changed commands during ceremonies in Atlantic Beach Friday.

Capt. Jerry Barnes passed leadership of Sector North Carolina to Capt. Bion Stewart, Master Chief Petty Officer Jeremy McConnell passed leadership of Station Fort Macon to Senior Chief Petty Officer Carter Seigh, and Chief Warrant Officer Joseph Edge passed leadership of Cutter Smilax to Chief Warrant Officer Jacob Carawan.

McConnell and Edge both retired from the Coast Guard in separate ceremonies following their changes of command. Barnes will assume responsibility of the 5th Coast Guard District’s prevention division in Portsmouth, Virginia.

Sector North Carolina has oversight of operational Coast Guard missions throughout the entire State of North Carolina. Sector’s primary missions include search and rescue, marine safety, ports and waterways, coastal security, marine environmental protection, aids to navigation, maritime law enforcement and recreational boating safety.

The sector’s new commander, Capt. Bion Stewart, hails from Irvine, California. He began his military career in the Navy but transferred to the Coast Guard and received his commission after completing Officer Candidate School. He brings to the sector leadership experience from serving on multiple Coast Guard cutters in various positions from dive officer to commanding officer.

Captain Stewart’s previous assignment was as the chief of staff of the DHS Executive Order Implementation Task Force where he oversaw component and DHS Headquarters implementation of the President’s direction related to immigration enforcement, border and trade security.

Station Fort Macon’s new officer in charge, Senior Chief Petty Officer Carter Seigh, is a native of Staatsburg, New York. His previous assignment was as executive officer of Station Rockland, Maine.

Cutter Smilax’s new commanding officer, Chief Warrant Officer Jacob Carawan, is from Swan Quarter, North Carolina. He most recently served aboard Cutter Aspen, a seagoing buoy tender out of San Francisco, California, focused on aids to navigation missions.

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