Coast Guard Cutter Stratton holds at-sea change-of-command ceremony

Coast Guard Capt. Craig J. Wieschhorster (left) salutes Capt. Bob Little during an at-sea change-of-command ceremony May 9, 2019, in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of San Diego. Little relieved Wieschhorster as the commanding officer of the Coast Guard Cutter Stratton during the ceremony.

U.S. Coast Guard Capt. Craig J. Wieschhorster (left) salutes Capt. Bob Little during an at-sea change-of-command ceremony May 9, 2019, in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of San Diego. 

PACIFIC OCEAN – The Coast Guard Cutter Stratton held a change-of-command ceremony May 9 while underway off the coast of San Diego.

Capt. Bob Little relieved Capt. Craig J. Wieschhorster as commanding officer during the ceremony, and Vice Adm. Linda L. Fagan, commander of Coast Guard Pacific Area and Defense Forces West, presided over the ceremony.

In addition to commanding the Stratton, Wieschhorster previously served as the commanding officer of the Coast Guard Cutters Mohawk and Matagorda.

Wieschhorster is a 1994 graduate of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, holds a Master of Business Administration from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Master of Public Administration from The George Washington University.

Wieschhorster’s other assignments include deputy budget officer for the Coast Guard; major cutter scheduler, patrol boat manager and counter-drug operations planner at the Coast Guard’s Seventh District; senior duty officer in the White House Situation Room; and deputy chief in the Office of Performance Management and Assessment.

Following the change of command, Wieschhorster retired after 25 years of service to his country.

Little reported to the Stratton from Coast Guard Pacific Area in Alameda, California, where he served as the chief of operational forces and was responsible for providing multi-mission ready cutters and aircraft to Coast Guard and Navy operational commanders and other government agencies to support national strategic priorities.

Little graduated from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in 1995 with a Bachelor of Science in Management. Additionally, he was awarded a Master of Business Administration by both the College of William and Mary and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Little is also a graduate of the Air Command and Staff College.

Little has more than 11 years of time at sea and served aboard five Coast Guard cutters, including two other assignments as a commanding officer aboard the cutters Dependable and Kukui.

Little’s other past assignments include serving as the special assistant to the 28th vice commandant of the Coast Guard; appropriations manager in the Office of Resource Management’s Budget Execution Division; and deputy comptroller at Coast Guard Training Center Yorktown, Virginia.

During his time as the Stratton’s commanding officer from June 2017 to May 2019, Wieschhorster conducted operations in support of both Joint Interagency Task Force-South and Coast Guard District Seventeen, earning the ship and the crew a Meritorious Unit Commendation. The Stratton crew interdicted 17 suspected smuggling vessels, including three low-profile go-fast boats and seizing 16,100 kilograms of cocaine and heroin valued at $500 million, and they apprehended 62 suspected narcotics traffickers. Under his leadership, Stratton provided maritime domain awareness above the Arctic Circle, conducting living marine resource boardings and conducting three search and rescue cases resulting in the rescue of three lives.

The Stratton, homeported in Alameda, is one of the Legend Class National Security Cutters, which are 418 feet long, 54 feet wide and have a 4,600 long-ton displacement. They have a top speed in excess of 28 knots, a range of 12,000 nautical miles, can be at sea for up to 90 days and can hold a crew of up to 150.

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