Coast Guard MSU Pittsburgh holds change-of-command ceremony

Coast Guard MSU Pittsburgh holds chang-of-command cermony

Cmdr Eric Velez, oncoming commanding officer at Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Pittsburgh, and Capt. Aaron Demo, off-going commanding officer at Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Pittsburgh, shake hands at Pittsburgh Botanical Garden in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, July 1, 2021.  (U.S. Coast Guard courtesy photo)

NEW ORLEANS — Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Pittsburgh held a change-of-command ceremony Thursday at the Pittsburgh Botanical Garden in Pittsburgh.

Capt. Aaron Demo transferred command of MSU Pittsburgh to Cmdr. Eric Velez.

As the commanding officer of MSU Pittsburgh, Velez will assume the responsibilities of captain of the port, officer in charge of marine inspection, federal maritime security coordinator and federal on-scene coordinator for an area covering Western Pennsylvania, Eastern Ohio and Northern West Virginia.

“I am truly honored by the opportunity to serve as commanding officer of Marine Safety Unit Pittsburgh,” said Velez. “I look forward to working with our partner government agencies and port partners to ensure the safety and security of our port and this great city.”

Velez previously served as the chief of inspections division at Coast Guard Sector Honolulu.

Demo originally took command of MSU Pittsburgh in 2018 and will report to the Coast Guard Traveling Inspectors Office in Washington, D.C.

A change-of-command ceremony marks a transfer of total responsibility and authority from one individual to another. It is a time-honored tradition conducted before the assembled crew, as well as honored guests and dignitaries to formally demonstrate the continuity of the authority within a command.

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