Coast Guard Patrol Forces Southwest Asia holds change of command

Vice Adm. Steven Poulin, commander, U.S. Coast Guard Atlantic, gives remarks during a change of command ceremony for Patrol Forces Southwest Asia (PATFORSWA) onboard Naval Support Activity Bahrain, June 16. PATFORSWA is the Coast Guard's largest unit outside of the U.S. playing a key role in supporting Navy security cooperation, maritime security, and maritime infrastructure protection operations in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Matthew Riggs)

Vice Adm. Steven Poulin, commander, U.S. Coast Guard Atlantic, gives remarks during a change of command ceremony for Patrol Forces Southwest Asia (PATFORSWA) onboard Naval Support Activity Bahrain, June 16, 2021. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Matthew Riggs)

MANAMA, Bahrain — Capt. Benjamin D. Berg relieved Capt. Willie Carmichael as commander of Coast Guard Patrol Forces Southwest Asia aboard Naval Support Activity Bahrain, Wednesday.

During his 13-month tenure as the senior U.S. Coast Guard representative in the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility, Carmichael led PATFORSWA to support maritime security operations in the north, central, and south Arabian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman.

Vice Adm. Steven Poulin, commander of U.S. Coast Guard Atlantic Area, presided over the ceremony and commended Carmichael for his leadership and performance.

“Through your personal sacrifice and your dedication, PATFORSWA cutters spent more than 7,000 hours deployed throughout the entire year providing 365 days of continued support for U.S. Naval Forces Central Command strategic objectives,” said Poulin.

Carmichael will report to the Legend-class USCGC Midgett (WMSL 757) in Alameda, California, as the prospective commanding officer.

“I cannot thank you enough for supporting one another, the mission, and adding to the legacy of PATFORSWA,” said Carmichael. “It has been an honor to serve as your commodore.”

Berg is reporting from the Coast Guard Thirteenth District in Seattle, where he served as chief of planning for contingency preparedness and force readiness.

“It truly is an honor to be officially joining this outstanding team today,” said Berg.

PATFORSWA, attached to CTF 55, comprises six patrol vessels, shoreside mission support personnel, and the Maritime Engagement Team. They play a crucial role in maritime security, maritime infrastructure protection, and theater security cooperation in the region. The unit also supports other U.S. Coast Guard deployable specialized forces operating throughout the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility.


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