Air Station Miami to Receive New Commanding Officer

OPA LOCKA, Fla. – A change of command ceremony is scheduled for the commanding officer of Coast Guard Air Station Miami in Opa Locka, Fla., Friday at 10 a.m.

During the change of command ceremony, Capt. Richard M. Kenin, previously the Executive Assistant to the Coast Guard Assistant Commandant for Operations at Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington, D.C., will assume the responsibilities from Capt. Stephen E. Mehling as the commanding officer of Air Station Miami.

Mehling, commanding officer since April 2006, will transfer to the Fourteenth Coast Guard District in Honolulu, Hawaii, and assume the role of chief of staff.

The change of command ceremony is a time-honored event preserved by the rich heritage of naval tradition. It is a custom that is formal, and following military protocol, is designed to strengthen the respect for the continuity of command that is vital to any military organization. The culmination of the ceremony is reached when both officers read their orders, face one another, salute, and transfer responsibility of command. This provides the entire command with the knowledge that the officer directed by proper authority is taking command and an opportunity to witness this transfer of responsibility.

Air Station Miami, located at the Opa Locka Airport, with its five HH-65C Dolphin helicopters and six HU-25D Falcon jets, provides air coverage for a 1.8 million square mile area of responsibility that encompasses the Southeastern United States and the Caribbean Basin.

Air Station Miami is the busiest air rescue unit in the world. In 2007, the unit responded to more than 1,000 search-and-rescue and law enforcement missions including 72 lives saved, 329 lives assisted, 52 medical evacuations and 2,263 migrants interdicted.

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