OP Iraqi Freedom Vet Ready to Take Helm at Station New York

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. – Lt. Cmdr. Richard Burke, returning stateside following an assignment as second in command of Coast Guard forces in Bahrain, will relieve Lt. Justin Peters as commanding officer of Coast Guard Station New York.

Burke is coming to Staten Island from his assignment in Manama, Bahrain, as Executive Officer of the U.S. Coast Guard Patrol Forces Southwest Asia (PATFORSWA). As many as 300 Coast Guardsmen work aboard patrol boats, on force protection teams, in maintenance detachments and in administrative support patrolling the Northern Arabian and Persian Gulfs, protecting Iraq’s oil platforms, and ensuring safe sea-based commercial flow of necessary goods into Iraq.

The change of command ceremony will be officiated by Captain Robert O’Brien, commander of Coast Guard Sector New York, will officiate during the ceremony.

Burke enlisted in the Coast Guard on Oct. 11, 1976. He served aboard the Coast Guard Cutters Sherman, Point Turner, Jarvis, Matinicus, Aquidneck and Block Island. He served tours at Station Sandy Hook, Station Manasquan Inlet, the Coast Guard Tactical Law Enforcement Team, Station Hatteras Inlet, Station Ocracoke, Station Juneau, Station Cape Disappointment and Coast Guard Patrol Forces Southwest Asia. Burke has been married for 23 years to Mrs. Patti Burke, they have two children, Jessica and Richard.

Peters enlisted in the Coast Guard in 1991 and served aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Durable as a deck seaman, boarding team member and boat crewman. He was accepted into the Coast Guard Academy in 1992, and graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Marine and Environmental Science. He has since served aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Dependable, where he acted as the Communications Divisions Officer, Support Department Head and the Law Enforcement Officer.

He then served as an instructor at the Officer Candidate School in New London, Conn. where he helped to prepare over 500 new officers to serve in the fleet. Peters was then detailed as the Assistant Operations Officer for Coast Guard Group Woods Hole, Mass., where he was responsible for the safe and efficient operation of nine small boat stations, two aides to navigation teams, and three patrol boats. Peters took command of Station New York in January of 2005.

Peters’ personal awards include the Coast Guard Commendation Medal with “O” device (2), the Coast Guard Achievement Medal with “O” device, and the Expert Rifle and Pistol Medals.

Peters is married to Kelly from Manhattan, N.Y. After the change of command, he will move on to take the position of Operations Ashore Assignment Officer at the Office of Personnel Management at Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington, D.C.

“It has been an honor to work alongside the men and women of Coast Guard Station New York, and our local law enforcement and first response partners” said Peters. “New Yorkers should be proud of their extraordinary dedication to saving lives and to protecting our homeland. I know I will miss them as much as I will miss the busy tempo of operations here in the nation’s #1 city in one of the nation’s busiest commercial maritime ports.”

Coast Guard Station New York’s crews save lives, assist mariners in distress, enforce the nation’s fisheries, narcotics and migration laws, and conducts homeland security patrols in the Port of New York and New Jersey.

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