Coast Guard Sector New York to hold change of command

NEW YORK — U.S. Coast Guard Captain Linda Fagan will relieve Captain Robert O’Brien as commander of Coast Guard Sector New York and Captain of the Port of New York and New Jersey during a time-honored military ceremony on Staten Island, Thursday, June 24, 2010.

Fagan will become the first female Captain of the Port of New York and New Jersey in U.S. Coast Guard history.

The change of command ceremony is a naval tradition that recognizes the legal transfer of authority and responsibility from one commander to another, while preserving the continuity of command vital to any military organization. Rear Adm. Daniel A. Neptun, commander of the Coast Guard’s First District, located in Boston, will officiate the ceremony.

Fagan reports to New York from Washington, D.C., where she served as the executive assistant to the Commandant of the Coast Guard, Admiral Thad Allen. Fagan’s 25-year career has taken her to all seven continents; from Ross Island, Antarctica to Africa, from Tokyo to Geneva, and many points in between.

Fagan has a Bachelor of Science in Marine Science from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, a Master’s in Marine Affairs from the University of Washington, and a Master’s in National Security Strategy from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces. Her personal awards include the Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal, three Coast Guard Commendation medals, and the Arctic and Antarctic Service medals.

Sector New York is the largest operational field command in the Coast Guard. With more than 1,000 active duty personnel and 300 reservists, the Sector is charged with maritime safety, security and stewardship for the port of New York and New Jersey.

O’Brien is closing out a career of service to his nation that has spanned more than 40 years. He served as an enlisted man for more than 10 years, advancing from Seaman to Chief Boatswain’s Mate, before being commissioned in 1980. Throughout his career, O’Brien has served ashore and afloat with assignments in North Carolina, Virginia, Georgia, New York, Maryland, Texas, Ohio, Michigan, Tennessee, and Washington, D.C. He has commanded Sector New York since 2006. As such, the expected distinguished guests will include Commissioner Raymond Kelly of the NYPD; Brig. Gen. Patrick Murphy, the Adjutant General of New York, and Rear Adm. Timothy Sullivan, commander, Force Readiness Command and deputy commander Coast Guard Pacific Area.

Immediately following the change of command ceremony, outgoing Captain of the Port O’Brien will retire in a separate ceremony.

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