Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Houma holds change of command ceremony

Capt. Blake E. Welborn passes on his duties as the commanding officer of Marine Safety Unit Houma to Capt. Jerrel “Wade” Russell during a change of command ceremony in Houma, Louisiana, June 27, 2019. Capt. Welborn’s next tour will be at the Eighth Coast Guard District in New Orleans where he will serve as the Director, Western Rivers. (U.S. Coast Guard courtesy photo/Released)

Capt. Blake E. Welborn passes on his duties as the commanding officer of Marine Safety Unit Houma to Capt. Jerrel “Wade” Russell during a change of command ceremony in Houma, Louisiana, June 27, 2019.   (U.S. Coast Guard courtesy photo)

HOUMA, La. — Capt. Blake E. Welborn passed on his duties as the commanding officer of Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Houma, Louisiana, to Capt. Jerrel “Wade” Russell during a change of command ceremony in Houma Thursday.

Russell was the marine safety training branch chief at Coast Guard Training Center Yorktown, Virginia, from July 2015 to June 2019. He oversaw marine inspections and investigations, port operations, contingency preparedness and response management, Marine Science Technician “A” School, the Container Inspection Training and Assist Team, and the National Strike Force Center of Expertise.

Welborn assumed command of MSU Houma in June 2017, serving as the captain of the port, federal maritime security coordinator, federal on-scene coordinator, officer-in-charge of marine inspections, marine investigations, and port safety and security for the Houma area of responsibility.

Welborn’s next tour will be at the Eighth Coast Guard District in New Orleans where he will serve as director, western rivers.

“I would like to thank the maritime community and our sister agencies of south-central Louisiana for their support during my tenure here,” said Welborn. “You have been tremendous partners and friends of the Coast Guard. I would also like to wish Capt. Russell the very best as he assumes command.”

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

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