Coast Guard cutter Gallatin commanding officer temporarily relieved of command

Portsmouth, Va. – The commanding officer of a Charleston, S.C.-based Coast Guard cutter was temporarily relieved of command Tuesday by Vice Adm. Robert J. Papp, Jr., commander of the Coast Guard’s Atlantic Area here.

Papp cited loss of confidence in the ability to provide appropriate and adequate leadership as the reason for the temporary relief of Capt. Mike B. Christian from the 378-foot high endurance cutter Gallatin.

Capt. Robert P. Wagner will serve as the acting commanding officer until the prospective commanding officer arrives later this spring.

“To have command of a Coast Guard cutter is one of the most demanding and crucial jobs with which an officer can be entrusted,” said Papp. “I take the responsibility of command very seriously and it is vital that I have complete confidence in the commanding officer’s ability to properly lead his crew.”

Christian will be temporarily reassigned to the Atlantic Area staff here in Portsmouth.

A decision will be made by Coast Guard Headquarters to determine whether or not the temporary relief will be made permanent.

The 40-year-old cutter Gallatin has been in Coast Guard service since Dec. 20, 1968, and is a multi-mission platform used to enforce federal and international fishing regulations, conduct illegal migration and drug interdiction patrols, conduct search and rescue and homeland security missions.

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