Coast Guard Air Station Borinquen holds change of command

Capt. Lawrence Gaillard (right) shakes hands with Capt. Tina Peña (left), and Rear Adm. Brendan C. McPherson (center), during Air Station Borinquen's Change of Command in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico June 17, 2022. During the ceremony, Capt. Gaillard relieved Capt. Peña as the new commanding officer of Air Station Borinquen. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Ricardo Castrodad)

Capt. Lawrence Gaillard (right) shakes hands with Capt. Tina Peña (left), and Rear Adm. Brendan C. McPherson (center), during Air Station Borinquen’s Change of Command in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico June 17, 2022.  (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Ricardo Castrodad)

AGUADILLA, Puerto Rico — Coast Guard Air Station Borinquen welcomed a new commanding officer Friday during the unit’s change of command ceremony celebrated at the base aircraft hangar in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico.

During the ceremony, Capt. Lawrence Gaillard relieved Capt. Tina Peña as the Commanding Officer of Air Station Borinquen.

Rear Adm. Brendan C. McPherson, Coast Guard Seventh District commander, presided over the ceremony and recognized Capt. Peña with the Meritorious Service Medal (Gold Star in Lieu of a Fourth) for her achievements during her three-year tour in Puerto Rico.

“I am humbled and grateful for the opportunity that I have had to serve as the Commanding Officer of Air Station Borinquen and to serve our fellow U.S. citizens in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands,” said Capt. Tina Peña. “Our mission is extremely rewarding and it has truly been a privilege. I am grateful for the incredible experience that ‘La Isla del Encanto’ has been for me and my husband and we are thrilled to welcome back Capt. Gaillard and his family. I know they will be an outstanding addition to our Borinquen community.”

Capt. Gaillard last served at Air Station Borinquen from 2014 to 2017 as the unit’s operations officer, when he was responsible for directing all air operations including MH65D, MH60T and HC144 aircraft within the Sector San Juan area of responsibility which includes Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the British Virgin Islands, and the Mona Passage.

Gaillard now returns to Air Station Borinquen to lead the unit following his latest assignment as the Future Forces Division Chief in the office of Human Resources Strategy and Implementation within the Human Capital Management Enterprise.

Capt. Peña is now headed to Miami, where she will serve as the Coast Guard Seventh District Chief of Staff.

The change of command ceremony is a time-honored event preserved by the rich heritage of naval tradition. This formal military protocol provides the entire command with the knowledge and opportunity to witness the peaceful transition of command that is vital to any military organization. The culmination of the ceremony takes place when both officers read their orders, face one another, salute, and transfer responsibility of command.

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