Coast Guard Sector Upper Mississippi River transfers command

Coast Guard 8th District NewsST. LOUIS – Capt. Byron Black relieved Capt. Steve Hudson as commander of Coast Guard Sector Upper Mississippi River in an official change-of-command ceremony, Thursday.

Hudson assumed command of Sector Upper Mississippi River in July 2008, and will assume the role of Chief of Prevention in the Operations Branch for Coast Guard Atlantic Area in Norfolk, Va. As commander, Hudson was in charge of the largest sector in the lower 48 states, covering Wyoming, Colorado, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas and Iowa, including parts of Missouri, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Illinois. It encompasses more than 2,000 miles of navigable rivers and 1,800 miles of tributary waterways as well as the Missouri, Illinois and Upper Mississippi rivers.

The sector’s area of responsibility includes 33 locks and dams, 238 bridges and seven major population centers. It also has more than 266 active, reserve and civilian personnel, five cutters and three marine safety detachments.

Black is coming from the position of Senior Maritime Safety and Security Advisor to the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation, Ray LaHood, where he advised him on a wide variety of maritime matters and led the departments multimodal efforts during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and Haitian earthquake response operations. He also represented the DOT on the National Ocean Council Deputy Secretaries’ Committee, the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Task Force and the Chesapeake Bay Federal Leadership Committee.

Black is a 1987 graduate of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. He holds a Master of Science in Operations Management from the University of Arkansas. He is also a graduate of the Asia Pacific Center for Security Studies Executive Course and Treasury Executive Institute’s 2010 Executive Forum.

The change-of-command ceremony is a time-honored tradition and deeply rooted in Coast Guard and history. The event signifies a total transfer of responsibility, authority and accountability for the command.

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