Coast Guard Cutter Hamilton welcomes new commanding officer

SAN DIEGO – Capt. Matthew Gimple relieved Capt. Vincent DeLaurentis as commanding officer of Coast Guard Cutter Hamilton during a change of command ceremony conducted at Naval Base San Diego June 24, 2010.

During the ceremony, Gimple assumed command responsibilities from DeLaurentis as commanding officer of Hamilton, as Rear Adm. Manson Brown, commander of Coast Guard Pacific Area, presided over the ceremony.

Gimple reported to Hamilton from the Leadership Development Center in New London, Conn. While assigned there, he oversaw the training of prospective commanding officers, executive officers and others receiving orders to afloat units.

DeLaurentis will be reporting to Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington, D.C., where he will serve as the Executive Assistant to the Assistant Commandant for Human Resources, Rear Adm. Ronald T. Hewitt.

During DeLaurentis’ time as Hamilton’s commanding officer, Hamilton has seen some of the most historic years in its career. The cutter and crew traveled from the Arctic Ocean to the Caribbean Sea during multiple deployments, and traveled nearly 75,000 miles. In the summer of 2008, Hamilton became the first Coast Guard high endurance cutter to patrol the Arctic Ocean above Barrow, Alaska, the northernmost point in North America. During the winter of 2009, Hamilton interdicted a record six narcotic smuggling, go-fast vessels. In January 2010, Hamilton returned to Haiti for the first time in 13 years to assist with humanitarian efforts following a 7.0 magnitude earthquake there.

During his tenure, Hamilton’s crew saved 10 lives, rescued 166 Haitian migrants, prevented 11 tons of Cocaine and more than 400 pounds of marijuana from entering the United States, and detained nearly 30 suspected narcotics smugglers.

The change of command ceremony is a time-honored tradition, which formally restates that the continuity of command will be maintained. It is a formal ritual, conducted before the assembled company of the command. It conveys to the officers, enlisted personnel, civilian employees, and auxiliarists of the Coast Guard that although the authority of command is relinquished by one person and is assumed by another, it is still maintained without interruption.

Coast Guard Cutter Hamilton is the first secretary class high endurance cutter, and is homeported at Naval Station San Diego. It was commissioned in 1967 and the current crew joins a proud history of distinguished service to the United States.

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