New Captain to Take Command of Sector Anchorage

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (D17 Public Affairs) – Coast Guard Sector Anchorage is scheduled to hold a change of command ceremony Friday, July 11 at 1 p.m. at the National Guard Armory on Fort Richardson Army Base.

Coast Guard Capt. Mark DeVries, Sector Anchorage commanding officer, will be relinquishing command to Capt. Mark Hamilton during a time-honored military tradition that formally transfers command.

The ceremony has its roots in naval regulations that require all hands to muster at the time of turning over of command to observe the relief and reading of orders. The change of command itself is a transfer of total responsibility, authority, and accountability from one individual to another.

Hamilton reports to Sector Anchorage having completed an assignment as the deputy commander at Sector Los Angeles/Long Beach, Calif. Hamilton had over-sight of more the 440 personnel, five Coast Guard cutters, three small-boat stations and one air station.

His assignments have included units in Ohio, Louisiana, Wisconsin and Alaska. His previous assignment in Alaska was the executive officer of Marine Safety Office Anchorage.

He is a 1983 graduate of Williams Jennings Bryan College where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in biology and has since earned a master’s degree in environmental management from George Mason University; Fairfax, Va. Hamilton received his commission as an ensign after completing officer candidate school at the Coast Guard Academy in New London, Conn., in 1984.

He is married to the former Miss Toni L. Nelms of Atlanta, Georgia. They have three children, Mark, Alyssa, and Austin.

DeVries is retiring and remaining in Alaska with his wife and son.

The Gulf of Alaska and Bering Sea support some of the largest and most diverse fisheries in the world. Sector personnel are kept busy verifying the huge fleet of fishing vessels in Alaska operate in compliance with required Coast Guard safety standards. Thousands of tourists from around the world support a widespread fleet of sport fishing and tour boats, which are also inspected by Sector personnel.

The mineral and oil industry, the cornerstone of Alaska’s economy, continues a high pace of production and exploration. The waterfront facilities, tank ships, and barges moving this crucial economy are also inspected to the highest standards protecting both personnel and the environment. The Sector inspects and certificates vessels transporting freight and passengers between the lower 48 and Western Alaska. Sector Anchorage is home to North America’s only liquefied natural gas export facility.

Recent operations for Sector Anchorage and its predecessor, Marine Safety Office Anchorage, include response to the Selendang Ayu grounding and oil spill, the salvage of the car carrier Cougar Ace, and the grounding of the tank ship Seabulk Pride.

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