Coast Guard Station Channel Islands to hold Change of Command

CHANNEL ISLANDS, Calif. – The command of Coast Guard Station Channel Islands Harbor will be transferred on May 15 from Lt. Marcus Gherardi to LT. William McGee in a change of command ceremony being held at the station at 10 a.m.

Lt. McGhee, a native of Warsaw, Missouri, enlisted in the Coast Guard in May of 1991. After graduating from Basic Training in Cape May, New Jersey, he was assigned to Aids to Navigation Station Sault Ste Marie, Michigan. He later attended Aviation Survival Technician “A” School in Elizabeth City, North Carolina where he graduated with honors. Lt. McGhee received his commission in 2003 after graduating from Officer Candidate School.

Lt. McGhee has served as an air-crewmember aboard the HC-130 Hercules fixed-wing aircraft and as a rescue swimmer aboard the HH-60J Jayhawk and HH-65 Dolphin helicopters. While a rescuer swimmer he was awarded the Air Medal from the Secretary of Transportation after rescuing two survivors from a mountainside plane crash in the Aleutian Islands.

Lt. McGhee is married to the former Tanya Camp of Ukiah, California. They have two children, Zachary and Marin.

Lt. Gherardi became Commanding Officer of Coast Guard Station Channel Islands Harbor in July of 2006. During this tour Lt. Gherardi directed over 426 search and rescue missions that saved 118 lives and over $13 million in property. LT Gherardi and crew also conducted over 1,100 Maritime Law Enforcement and Homeland Security boardings. Lt. Gherardi will be attending Boise State University to pursue a Masters degree in Human Performance Technology.

Capt. John Caplis, Deputy Commander of Coast Guard Sector Los Angeles-Long Beach is scheduled to preside over the ceremony.

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 entire command that the transfer of responsibility has formally taken place.

Coast Guard Station Channel Island is a Small Boat Station, with operational assets consisting of one 47-foot Motor Life Boat (MLB), one 41-foot Utility Boat, and two 25-foot Response Boat-Small (RB-S) and a crew compliment of 27 Active Duty, 10 Reserve, and 89 Active Auxiliary Members.

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