Ninth Coast Guard District to hold change of command

CLEVELAND – Rear Adm. Michael N. Parks will relieve Rear Adm. Peter V. Neffenger as Commander of the Ninth Coast Guard District in an official change-of-command ceremony, Monday, April 26, 2010, at 1 p.m.

The ceremony will be held at the Cleveland Marriott Downtown at Key Center, 127 Public Square, Cleveland, off of St. Clair Ave., on the second floor.

Rear Adm. Neffenger assumed command of the Ninth Coast Guard District in May 2008, and will depart the Ninth District to assume duties as Director, Enterprise Strategy, Management and Doctrine at Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington, D.C. As District Commander, Neffenger was in charge of more than 6,000 active duty, reserve duty, civilian and Auxiliary men and women; whom conducted more than 8,700 search-and-rescue missions, executed more than 25,400 law enforcement boardings and inspected more than 6,650 vessels.

Rear Adm. Parks is coming from Headquarters United States Northern Command, where he was the Deputy Director of Operations. He served as the principal adviser to the NORTHCOM Commander on all operational matters, providing strategic guidance to plan and execute NORTHCOM missions within the area of responsibility, including land, maritime, and Homeland Defense air operations as well as Defense Support to Civil Authorities. Prior to that assignment, he served as the Chief of Staff for the United States Coast Guard Atlantic Area, an area that encompasses the eastern half of the world from the Rocky Mountains to the Arabian Gulf.

Parks is a 1982 graduate of the United States Coast Guard Academy, where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Government. In 2004, Parks attended the National War College in Washington, D.C., where he received a Master of Science in National Security Strategy and Policy.

Vice Adm. Robert J. Papp, Jr., Commander, Coast Guard Atlantic Area, is scheduled to preside over the ceremony. Vice Adm. Papp is the prospective Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard.

The change of command 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. The ceremony is witnessed by all members so that they all know exactly when the transfer of leadership takes place.

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