Coast Guard Cutter Hamilton holds first Change of Command

Captain Douglas Fears shakes hands with Captain Scott Clendenin at the conclusion of their change of command ceremony, April 10, 2015. The change of command ceremony is a time-honored tradition, which formally restates the continuity of command will be maintained and is a formal ritual conducted before the assembled company of command. It conveys to the officers, enlisted members, civilian employees and auxiliary members of the Coast Guard that although the authority of command is relinquished by a leader and is assumed by another, it is still maintained without interruption. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Stephen Lehmann.)

Captain Douglas Fears shakes hands with Captain Scott Clendenin at the conclusion of their change of command ceremony, April 10, 2015. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Stephen Lehmann.)

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. — Charleston’s first National Security Cutter held its first change of command ceremony Friday, at the Federal Law Training Enforcement Center in North Charleston.

Capt. Scott W. Clendenin took charge of the Coast Guard Cutter Hamilton from Capt. Doug Fears, the plankowner commanding officer who commissioned the cutter Dec. 6, 2014.

“I am very excited and humbled to be back in the fleet and entrusted to lead the crew of the first National Security Cutter based on the East Coast,” said Clendenin. “Even more so, I am very grateful to Capt. Fears for his extraordinary leadership and the hard work of the plankowners in the past two years that has paved our path for our mission success as we prepare for our homeland security missions in the Western Hemisphere.”

The change of command ceremony is a time-honored tradition which formally restates the continuity of command will be maintained and is a formal ritual conducted before the assembled company of command. It conveys to the officers, enlisted members, civilian employees and auxiliary members of the Coast Guard that although the authority of command is relinquished by a leader and is assumed by another, it is still maintained without interruption.

“Having known Capt. Clendenin for over 25 years, I am pleased to pass the mantle of command on to such a talented and passionate leader,” said Fears. “Commissioning Hamilton has been both very difficult and rewarding for the crew and our families. I wish Capt. Clendenin and the crew all the best for continued success—Godspeed.”

The Hamilton is the fourth NSC built out of eight planned for the Legend-class cutter fleet. It is the sixth cutter to be named after Alexander Hamilton, who cast a vision for the Revenue Marine Service in Federalist Paper #12, and then as the first Secretary of the Treasury prompted Congress to create the Revenue Marine Service, a precursor to the modern Coast Guard.

Legend-class NSC’s are the largest multipurpose cutters in the Coast Guard fleet and is replacing the 378-foot high endurance cutter, which has been in service since the 1960s. The NSC is 418-feet long and has a top speed of 28 knots and a range of 12,000 nautical miles. It is capable of patrolling in excess of 90 days.

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