Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Valdez to hold change of command ceremony

17th Coast Guard District News
ALDEZ, Alaska – Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Valdez will hold a formal change of command ceremony at the Valdez Convention and Civic Center where Cmdr. Benjamin J. Hawkins will relieve Cmdr. Darryl P. Verfaillie as commanding officer Tuesday at 10 a.m.

Capt. Jason A. Fosdick, Sector Anchorage commander and Captain of the Port for Western Alaska, will preside at the ceremony.

Cmdr. Verfaillie will be promoted to Capt. and report to Cleveland, to assume the duties as the Chief of Prevention for the 9th Coast Guard District.

Hawkins, a native of Hastings Mich., graduated from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in 1992 with a Bachelor’s of Science Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering. In 1996, he earned a Master’s of Science in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering from the University of Michigan and was assigned to the Marine Safety Center in Washington, D.C., where he served as a staff naval architect and a member of the Salvage Engineering Response Team.

Hawkins’ previous tours of duty include assignment to Coast Guard Cutter Reliance where he served in a variety of roles including damage control assistant and assistant engineering officer, as well as serving in positions at Marine Safety Office Paducah, Ky., and Coast Guard Sector New York as chief of the Inspection Department, senior investigating officer, and executive officer.

Hawkins most recently served as the Coast Guard’s chief of the Human Element and Ship Design Division in the Office of Design and Engineering Standards at Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington D.C.

Hawkins’ military decorations include the Coast Guard’s Meritorious Service, Commendation and Achievement Medals. He also holds the Marine Safety Professional Insignia.

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