Coast Guard FORCECOM to hold change of command

Coast Guard Rear Admiral Stephen E. Mehling

Rear Admiral Stephen E. Mehling

ALAMEDA, Calif. – A change of command ceremony is scheduled for the Commander of Force Readiness Command (FORCECOM) at Coast Guard Sector San Francisco, Friday, April 1, at 10 a.m.

During the Change of Command Ceremony, Rear Adm. Stephen E. Mehling, previously the Director of Operations at Coast Guard Atlantic Area, in Portsmouth, Va., will assume the responsibilities from Rear Adm. Timothy S. Sullivan, as the Commander of FORCECOM, in addition to the position of Deputy Commander of Coast Guard Pacific Area.

During Mehling’s role as Director of Operations of Coast Guard Atlantic Area, he oversaw Coast Guard missions from the Rocky Mountains to the Arabian Gulf, with operational assets that included 179 cutters, 87 aircraft and 1,106 boats located in 26 Sectors.

Prior to this assignment, Mehling served as the Commander of the Fourteenth Coast Guard District in Honolulu.

Mehling is a career aviator with 17 years of operational flying experience at air stations on the East Coast, West Coast, and Gulf Coast. He had air station command tours in Houston and Miami where he directed fixed and rotary wing aircraft operations throughout the Southeastern United States and the Caribbean, including oversight of the Coast Guard’s support detachment in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Between aviation assignments, he served 9 years in program oversight and personnel management duties in Washington, D.C., including service as the Chief of Officer Personnel Management, Deputy Chief of Aviation Forces, and Shipboard-Helicopter Platform Manager.

Mehling received his commission in 1980. His first assignment was as a Deck Watch Officer and Operations Officer aboard Coast Guard Cutter Sweetgum. Following this tour afloat, he attended flight training in Pensacola, Fla., in 1982 and was designated a Coast Guard aviator in 1983. Mehling holds a Bachelor of Science degree with high honors in Mathematics from the Coast Guard Academy and a Master of Science degree in Management from the University of Maryland. He has attended the Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies in Honolulu and was a member of the U.S. delegation to the Pacific Islands Forum in Cairns, Australia.

Mehling’s personal awards include the Legion of Merit, four Meritorious Service Medals with Operational Device, two Air Medals, two Coast Guard Commendation Medals with Operational Device, the 9-11 Medal and numerous other team, unit, and individual awards.

Mehling is married to Terri Mehling of Millersville, Md. They have two children and one granddaughter. Joshua Mehling, 29, a Robotics Engineer at the NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston, Tiffany Mehling, 28, a Mental Health Manager at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Dallas and granddaughter Reagan, 6 months.

The 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 responsibility.

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