Coast Guard Cutter Bertholf to hold Change of Command Ceremony

Pacific Southwest Coast Guard News
ALAMEDA, Calif. – A Change of Command Ceremony is scheduled aboard U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Bertholf at Coast Guard Island, Friday, March 15, 2013 at 10:30 a.m.

During the ceremony Capt. Mark A. Frankford will assume the duties and responsibilities as commanding officer of Bertholf from Capt. Thomas E. Crabbs. Vice Adm. Paul F. Zukunft, Commander, Pacific Area will preside over the ceremony.

Capt. Frankford is a Coast Guard Academy graduate, class of 1988. His previous assignments include seven underway tours, the service’s oldest cutter, U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Acushnet, where he served as the last commanding officer until its decommissioning in 2011. Frankford reports to Bertholf from the Pentagon, where he served as Coast Guard Liaison Officer and Chief of the Homeland Defense and Theater Security Division (J-34) on the Joint Staff.

Capt. Crabbs, a 1987 graduate of Coast Guard Officer Candidate School, completes seven afloat tours, including three commanding officer assignments. During his tenure aboard Bertholf the cutter seized 2,300 kilograms of contraband during their Joint Interagency Task Force (JIATF) patrol in 2011; participated in the world’s largest naval exercise, Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2012, as commander of a six-ship Surface Action Group in RIMPAC 2012. Bertholf was also the first National Security Cutter to deploy above the Arctic Circle in the summer of 2012 in support of Operation Arctic Shield.

Bertholf, homeported in Alameda, Calif., is the Coast Guard’s first National Security Cutter the Coast Guard has incorporated into its fleet to replace its more than 40-plus-year-old fleet of high endurance cutters as they are decommissioned from service. Cutters like Bertholf routinely conduct operations from South America to the Bering Sea where their unmatched combination of range, speed, and ability to operate in extreme weather provides the mission flexibility necessary to conduct counter-narcotics, homeland security, and alien migrant interdiction operations, domestic fisheries protection, search and rescue, and other Coast Guard missions at great distances from shore keeping threats far from the U.S. mainland.

The Change of Command Ceremony is a time-honored tradition which formally restates to the officers and crew of the command the continuity of the authority vested in the commanding officer. This unique military ritual represents a total transfer of responsibility, authority, and accountability from one leader to the next.

Coast Guard Cutter Bertholf file photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Timothy Tamargo

Coast Guard Cutter Bertholf file photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Timothy Tamargo

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