Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg to hold change of command

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – A change-of-command ceremony is scheduled for the commander of Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg, at 10 a.m. Friday, July 2 at Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg.

Coast Guard Capt. Timothy M. Close, Sector St. Petersburg Commander, will relinquish command to Capt. Sheryl L. Dickinson during a time-honored military tradition that formally transfers command.

A military unit’s change of command is a transfer of total responsibility, authority and accountability from one individual to another.

Prior to this assignment, Dickinson served as the senior legal advisor from 2007 to 2009 for Joint Interagency Task Force South in Key West, a Department of Defense command conducting counternarcotics operations. From 2004 to 2007, Dickinson served as Prevention Department Head and Director of the Passenger Vessel Control Verification School at Sector Miami, where she directed over 200 members in maritime safety, security and environmental protection missions for 165 miles of coastline and five commercial ports, including the world’s two largest cruise ship ports.

Dickinson, a native of Smithtown, New York and graduate of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, holds a J.D. from Loyola University School of Law, an M.P.A., and L.L.M from George Washington University, and a master’s in strategic studies from the Marine Corps War College. Dickinson’s military awards include the Joint Meritorious Service Medal, three Meritorious Service Medals, two Coast Guard Commendation Medals, and two Coast Guard Achievement Medals.

She will assume the responsibilities and authorities of Captain of the Port, Search-and-Rescue Mission Coordinator, Federal Maritime Security Coordinator, Officer in Charge of Marine Inspection and Federal On-Scene Coordinator.

Close, who has been in command since July 2008, will report to his next assignment as Chief of Staff for the 14th Coast Guard District in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg personnel are responsible for all aspects of safety, security and stewardship of the marine environment along the west coast of Florida.

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