Coast Guard Cutter Stratton holds change of command ceremony

Capt. Bob Little (left) and Capt. Stephen Adler (right) salute each other during the Coast Guard Cutter Stratton’s (WMSL 752) change of command ceremony held aboard Stratton while anchored in the San Francisco Bay, May 22, 2021. Vice Adm. Linda L. Fagan, commander, Coast Guard Pacific Area and Defense Forces West, presided over the at-sea ceremony which Adler relieved Little as Stratton’s commanding officer. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Elyse Coler.

Capt. Bob Little (left) and Capt. Stephen Adler (right) salute each other during the Coast Guard Cutter Stratton’s change of command ceremony held aboard Stratton while anchored in the San Francisco Bay, May 22, 2021.  U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Elyse Coler.

ALAMEDA, Calif. — A change of command ceremony was held aboard the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Stratton (WMSL 752), Saturday while anchored in the San Francisco Bay.

Capt. Stephen Adler relieved Capt. Bob Little as Stratton’s commanding officer during the at-sea ceremony. Vice Adm. Linda L. Fagan, commander, Coast Guard Pacific Area and Defense Forces West, presided over the ceremony.

Little served as Stratton’s commanding officer from May 2019 to May 2020. Under Little’s command, Stratton deployed throughout the Indo Pacific and Oceania in support of the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command. Stratton’s crew executed combined military operations, theater security cooperation, United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) enforcement, and Oceania Maritime Security Initiative (OMSI) missions with the navies and maritime law enforcement agencies of Fiji, Indonesia, Malaysia, India, Philippines, and Kiribati.

Stratton conducted operations in the South China, East China, and Yellow Seas while advancing international efforts to detect, deter, and disrupt the illicit and illegal transfer of petroleum and other goods into the Democratic Republic of North Korea (DPRK).

Stratton deployed three additional times under Little’s command conducting operations from the Arctic to the Equatorial waters of the Western Hemisphere, protecting the interests, security, and sovereignty of the United States. The crew combated illicit narcotics trafficking, conducted search and rescue missions, and safeguarded Alaska’s multi-billion dollar fishing industry.

“Serving as the commanding officer of Coast Guard Cutter Stratton has been the honor of a lifetime,” said Little. “The crew and I have sailed throughout the Pacific and Arctic supporting U.S. National strategic objectives, protecting U.S. sovereignty, disrupting narcotics trafficking and combating illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing. I will miss this great crew. They continue to place service before self despite the many hardships of long deployments, many in the midst of a pandemic.”

Adler reports to Stratton from Coast Guard Pacific Area where he served as the staff judge advocate to the pacific area commander. Stratton will be Adler’s seventh cutter and his third command. Adler’s tours ashore have been focused on practicing law, having served as a trial counsel and operation duty attorney at the MLCPAC and District 11 legal offices, and serving as the staff judge advocate for the superintendent of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. Adler is a 1996 graduate of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy and earned a Juris Doctorate from University of San Francisco School of Law in 2006.

“I’m honored to take command of Stratton from Captain Little and continue Stratton’s legacy for operational success across the Pacific” said Adler.

Little’s next assignment will be in Washington D.C. as the executive assistant to the vice commandant of the Coast Guard.

Stratton is one of four national security cutters homeported in Alameda, and the third of eleven planned national security cutters which are capable of extended, worldwide deployment in support of homeland security and national defense missions.

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