New commanding officer takes charge in advanced LNG port of Freeport, Texas,

Chief Warrant Officer Parker Daugherty salutes Chief Warrant Officer Robert Downs at a change-of-command ceremony held at the Lake Jackson, Texas Recreation Center, July 15, 2016. Downs handed over command of the station to Daugherty and then retired after 20 years of service. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Dustin R. Williams.

Chief Warrant Officer Parker Daugherty salutes Chief Warrant Officer Robert Downs at a change-of-command ceremony held at the Lake Jackson, Texas Recreation Center, July 15, 2016. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Dustin R. Williams.

HOUSTON — Coast Guard Chief Warrant Officer Parker R. Daugherty relieved Chief Warrant Officer Robert M. Downs as commanding officer of Coast Guard Station Freeport during a change-of-command ceremony Friday at Lake Jackson Recreational Center.

Daugherty assumed command of Station Freeport and will be leading its operations along the Gulf Coast area of responsibility, from San Luis Pass west to the Colorado River. The station supports mariners in distress, conducts counter drug and maritime law enforcement, along with ensuring that the security zones are kept to keep all commercial and recreational vessels away from potentially high risk areas in the Port of Freeport. The port is an advanced LNG port contributing to Texas being one of the largest natural gas markets in the world generating an economic impact of over $46 billion annually.

“My family and I are very excited to be back on the Gulf Coast and I am truly humbled by the opportunity to serve in command of Coast Guard Station Freeport,” said Daugherty.

Downs, who is retiring from the Coast Guard after 20 years of service, was responsible for many significant Coast Guard high-level operations critical to national security and global economic stability. Under his command the station conducted more than 200 industry vessel escorts, with an annual global economic impact of nearly $18 billion. As an active participant in the Energy Renaissance working group, he fostered a professional partnership with industries like the Port of Freeport, Freeport LNG, and the Army Corps of Engineers. Most recently, in the spring of this year, crew members of the station seized the largest recorded amount of recreational fish for the Gulf Coast, totaling approximately 1,900 pounds of red snapper.

Daugherty holds a Bachelor of Arts in Homeland Security and a captain’s license, The Master, 100 Ton Credential with an Assistance Towing endorsement. He previously served as the Coast Guard officer in charge of Coast Guard Station Duluth in Duluth, Minnesota.

The change-of-command ceremony is a time-honored tradition and deeply rooted in Coast Guard and Naval history. The event signifies a total transfer of responsibility, authority and accountability for the command.

After the change-of-command ceremony, a retirement ceremony was held for Downs.

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