Coast Guard Cutter Tampa holds change of command ceremony in Portsmouth

Coast Guard Cutter Tampa file photo by by PA1 Dana Warr.

Coast Guard Cutter Tampa file photo by by PA1 Dana Warr.

PORTSMOUTH, Va. — The crew of Coast Guard Cutter Tampa welcomed a new commanding officer during a change of command ceremony at Coast Guard Base Portsmouth, Wednesday.

During the ceremony presided over by Vice Adm. Scott Buschman, Coast Guard Atlantic Area commander, Cmdr. Michael Cilenti assumed command of the Coast Guard Cutter Tampa from Cmdr. Nicholas Simmons.

The change of command ceremony is a historic military tradition. The event has remained unchanged for centuries, and includes a reading of the command’s orders in the presence of all unit crewmembers to ensure continuity of command.


Cilenti previously served as the Program Review Division chief at the Office of Budget and Programs at Coast Guard Headquarters.

Simmons is scheduled to report to the Program Review Division at the Office of Budget and Programs at Coast Guard Headquarters.

The Tampa’s crew returned from a 54-day patrol less than a week before the change of command ceremony. During the patrol, the crew worked with the Seventh Coast Guard District and Joint Interagency Task Force South to disrupt a drug-trafficking event and prevent an estimated $11 million in cocaine from entering the United States. The crew of the Tampa also conducted combined operations with the Royal Bahamian Defense Force to deter human and drug trafficking into the U.S. and Bahamas.

Coast Guard Cutter Tampa is a 270-foot Medium Endurance Cutter homeported in Portsmouth. The crew’s missions include homeland security, search and rescue, marine environmental response, recreational boating safety, port safety and security, and law enforcement missions.


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