Coast Guard Cutter Hamilton holds change of command ceremony

Capt. Mark Gordon, right, transfers command of the Coast Guard Cutter Hamilton to Capt. Timothy Cronin, left, July 11, 2019, during the cutter’s change of command ceremony at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in North Charleston, South Carolina. Vice Adm. Scott A. Buschman, center, the Coast Guard Atlantic Area Commander, presided over the ceremony. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Ryan Dickinson)

Capt. Mark Gordon, right, transfers command of the Coast Guard Cutter Hamilton to Capt. Timothy Cronin, left, July 11, 2019, during the cutter’s change of command ceremony. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Ryan Dickinson)

CHARLESTON, S.C. — The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Hamilton held a change of command ceremony Thursday at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in North Charleston.

During the ceremony, Capt. Mark Gordon transferred command of the Coast Guard Cutter Hamilton to Capt. Timothy Cronin.

Gordon has served as the commanding officer of the cutter Hamilton since June 2017. During this period the Hamilton interdicted 48 suspected drug traffickers, seized over 12,000 kilograms of cocaine, and 3,000 pounds of marijuana worth over a combined $40 million. The Hamilton provided critical relief and responded to the aftermath of hurricanes Irma, in the Florida Keys, and Florence in North Carolina. The Hamilton’s efforts helped to speed the reopening the Cape Fear River, ensuring that it was safe for navigation and maritime commerce.

The change of command ceremony marks a transfer of total responsibility and authority from one individual to another. It is a time-honored tradition, conducted before the assembled crew, as well as honored guests and dignitaries to formally demonstrate the continuity of the authority within a command.

“It has been the pinnacle of my seagoing career to serve as the Commanding Officer of Coast Guard Cutter Hamilton,” said Gordon. “I have had the opportunity to work alongside some of the most dedicated and talented men and women that make up our fine service. Hamilton consistently placed herself on the leading edge of our most important missions and set a number of firsts for this class of ship, the most capable in the Coast Guard’s fleet. While I am looking forward to spending more time with my family, I will miss the people, the frontline mission, challenges, and amazing sights, sounds, and experiences of being out at sea. I know this crew will be well led and couldn’t have picked a better replacement than Capt. Tim Cronin.”

Gordon is transferring to Atlantic Area command where he will hold the position of Chief of Operations.

“I am excited to work alongside the impressive Hamilton crew,” said Cronin. “The cutter has an outstanding reputation and I am humbled to serve as her next Commanding Officer. I look forward to being part of the local Charleston community and working alongside our partners to execute the Coast Guard’s mission at home and at sea.”

Cronin comes to the Hamilton from the National War College where he earned a Master of Science in National Security Strategy. Cronin has previously served as Commanding Officer of Coast Guard Cutter Valiant in Mayport, Florida.

The Hamilton, a 418-foot National Security Cutter (NSC) is one of two NSC’s homeported in Charleston whose primary missions include counter drug, alien and migrant interdiction and search and rescue operations.

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