Coast Guard Cutter Healy Change of Command

ARCTIC OCEAN - Coast Guard Cutter Healy breaks ice Aug. 20, 2009. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer Patrick Kelley)

Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer Patrick Kelley

SAN FRANCISCO – A change of command ceremony is scheduled for the Commander of U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Healy, April 29, 2011 at 10:30 a.m., at Pier 27, in San Francisco.

Healy, the 420-foot, technologically advanced polar icebreaker, is the Coast Guard’s largest cutter. Healy conducts a wide range of research activities, providing more than 4,200 feet of scientific laboratory space, numerous electronic sensor systems, oceanographic winches, and accommodations for up to 50 scientists. Healy breaks almost five feet of ice continuously at three miles, and can “back and ram” through pressure ridges significantly higher. At a time when scientific interest in the Arctic Ocean basin is intensifying, Healy substantially enhances the United States Arctic research capability by providing access to the ice covered waters in the Arctic Ocean.

Healy is also a capable platform for supporting other potential missions in the polar regions, including logistics, search and rescue, ship escort, environmental protection, and enforcement of laws and treaties.

During the change of command ceremony, Capt. Beverly A. Havlik, District Five, Chief of Planning and Force Readiness Division, in Portsmouth, Va., will assume the responsibilities from Capt. William J. Rall, as the commanding officer of Healy. Vice. Adm. Manson K. Brown, commander, Pacific Area, will be presiding over the ceremony.

During Rall’s time aboard, the crew of the Healy completed several missions to support Arctic research during the Arctic West Summer 2010 deployment. The first mission was conducted in support of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration ‘Impacts of Climate change on the Eco-Systems and Chemistry of the Arctic Pacific Environment’, or ICESCAPE study. The second and third missions were all in the Arctic, with science parties staging out of Dutch Harbor and Barrow, Alaska. It was the third year of a joint operation with the Canadian Coast Guard to collect data in support of delineation of the U.S. and Canadian Extended Continental shelves. The Healy crew created an ice free channel for the Canadian vessel, Louis S. St. Laurent, to follow while using their multi channel seismic equipment.

The Healy crew also successfully completed an overhaul of its main diesel engine number two, an evaporator overhaul, an overhaul of the fuel and lube oil purifiers, cleaning and inspection of all ships sewage system piping and tanks total, preservation of nearly 9,500 square feet of weather decks, inspection and repair of five cranes, two A-frames, two windlass’, two Miranda davit systems, and one capstan.

Healy’s crew contributed significantly to the aviation readiness of the Coast Guard by conducting training evolutions with Coast Guard Air Station Astoria, Ore., Air Station Barbers Point, Hawaii, Air Station Port Angeles, Wash., and Air Station Kodiak, Alaska. While conducting training with Air Station Kodiak, a Coast Guard rescue helicopter required an emergency landing, 90 miles southwest of Kodiak. Preparedness and a quick response by the aircrew and the cutter’s crew ensured the safety of all personnel and the airframe.

Havlik has served on five Coast Guard cutters, including the Coast Guard Cutter Polar Sea, as the Executive Officer, Coast Guard Cutter Sundew as the Commanding Officer, Coast Guard Cutter Pea Island as the Commanding Officer, Coast Guard Cutter Gentian as the Executive Officer, and Operations Officer of the Coast Guard Cutter Mariposa.

Her assignments ashore include assistant chief of the administration division at Training Center Petaluma, Calif., assistant contracting officer for construction of the 225-foot Juniper and 175-foot Keeper Class buoy tenders at the project resident office in Marinette, Wis., and chief of the aids to navigation and waterways management branch at the fourteenth Coast Guard District in Honolulu.

Havlik is a native of Nashua, Iowa, and a 1987 graduate of Officer Candidate School in Yorktown, Va. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Management – Human Resources Development, from the University of Northern Iowa. Her military decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal, four Coast Guard Commendation Medals, the Department of Transportation 9-11 Medal, three Coast Guard Achievement Medals, and the Commandant’s Letter of Commendation. She is a lifetime member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

A Change of Command Ceremony is a time-honored event preserved by the rich heritage of naval tradition. It is a custom that is formal and following military protocol and designed to strengthen the respect for the continuity of command that is vital to any military organization. The culmination of the ceremony is reached when both officers read their orders, face one another, salute, and transfer responsibility for the command. This provides the entire command with the knowledge that the officer directed by proper authority is taking command and an opportunity to witness this transfer of responsibilities.

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