Coast Guard Cutter Alex Haley conducts change of command ceremony in Dutch Harbor

The Coast Guard Cutter Alex Haley before a Bering Sea patrol with a Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak MH-66 Dolphin helicopter embarked on the stern of the cutter. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

Coast Guard Cutter Alex Haley file photo.

KODIAK, Alaska — The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Alex Haley conducted a change of command ceremony May 19 in Dutch Harbor, Alaska.

Capt. Benjamin Golightly transferred command of the Alex Haley, a 282-foot medium endurance cutter, to Cmdr. Brian Whisler. Rear Adm. Peter Gautier, the deputy commander of Coast Guard Pacific Area, presided over the ceremony.

Golightly’s new assignment will be chief of response for the Coast Guard 7th District in Miami, where he will oversee all response operations for the district.

Whistler, who will serve as Alex Haley’s 14th commanding officer, is responsible for the cutter’s operations throughout the Gulf of Alaska and Bering Sea, which includes protection of life and property, enforcement of federal fisheries regulations, preservation of living marine resources, and promotion of national security in the high latitude region.

Whisler reported to Alex Haley from the RAND Corporation, where he served as the Coast Guard fellow from July 2020 to May 2021. During that time, Whisler worked with the corporation’s research staff to study and understand current organizational policies, practices and harness understanding to promote awareness of the corporation’s research across the Homeland Security enterprise.

Prior to his fellowship, Whistler served as executive officer for Coast Guard Cutter Douglas Munro, homeported in Kodiak, from May 2018 to July 2020. As executive officer, he managed the daily administrative and operational requirements of 170 crewmembers while executing the Coast Guard’s missions in the Gulf of Alaska, Bering Sea, and Arctic.

Change of command ceremonies are a time-honored tradition that marks a transfer of total responsibility and authority from one individual to another.

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