Coast Guard Station Umpqua River holds change-of-command ceremony

Rear Adm. Richard Gromlich, commander of the Coast Guard 13th District, looks on as Master Chief Petty Officer James Clemens (left), outgoing officer in charge of Coast Guard Station Umpqua River, shakes hands with Senior Chief Petty Officer David Pierias, incoming officer in charge of Coast Guard Station Umpqua River, during the station’s change of command ceremony, in Winchester Bay, Ore., July 10, 2015. Station Umpqua River personnel have performed search and rescue operations along the Oregon coast since 1891. (U.S Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class George Degener)

Rear Adm. Richard Gromlich, commander of the Coast Guard 13th District, looks on as Master Chief Petty Officer James Clemens (left),, shakes hands with Senior Chief Petty Officer David Pierias(U.S Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class George Degener)

WINCHESTER BAY, Ore – Senior Chief Petty Officer David Pierias relieved Master Chief Petty Officer James Clemens as officer-in-charge of Coast Guard Station Umpqua River, Friday.

Pierias’ previous assignment was as officer-in-charge of Coast Guard Station Depoe Bay.

“Master Chief Clemens certainly left some big shoes to fill,” said Pierias. “I’m looking forward to building on the excellent relationship between the station and the local community, and maintaining the standard of excellence with our operations.”

Clemens’ retirement ceremony followed the change-of-command ceremony, celebrating 30 years of Coast Guard service. Clemens also relinquished the title of Ancient Keeper, which is presented to an active duty Coast Guardsman in recognition of their longevity in command of a boat force unit and outstanding performance in boat operations.

“The sum of my career can be seen in the people who I’ve had an influence on,” said Clemens. “I believe Station Umpqua River is one of the finest units with one of the best crews in the entire Coast Guard.”

Station Umpqua River began operations in 1891. In 1939, a new station was built near the Umpqua River Lighthouse with a boathouse and pier in Winchester Bay. In 1964 the present station was constructed to modernize and consolidate operations at one site.

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