Coast Guard to hold change-of-command ceremony for Cutter Alder

DULUTH, Minn. — U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Alder is scheduled to hold a change-of-command ceremony at Coast Guard Station Duluth, Friday at 10 a.m.

Cmdr. Mary Ellen J. Durley will transfer the duties and responsibilities of commanding officer to Lt. Cmdr. Anthony J. Maffia during the ceremony, in which Rear Adm. Michael Parks, commander of the 9th Coast Guard District will serve as presiding officer.

“It has been a highlight of my career, serving with such a dedicated and hardworking crew,” said Durley.

“We have sailed together literally to the top of the world and back to Duluth,” she said, referencing the Alder’s two-month deployment to the Canadian Arctic in support of Excercise NATSIQ 2010.

Upon relief of command, Durley will report to Coast Guard Headquarters, where she will serve as chief, aids to navigation and icebreaker capabilities division.

Maffia takes command of Alder after serving in the visual navigation division at Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Commissioned in 2004, Alder is the newest addition to the Coast Guard’s fleet of 225-foot Seagoing Buoy Tenders. The crew’s missions include aids to navigation, domestic ice breaking, homeland security and law enforcement. Alder is one of the most advanced vessels afloat, integrating the latest technological developments in computers, navigation, environmental protection, and remote monitoring systems. The Integrated Ship Control System coordinates radar, satellite navigation, and computer-generated charts with the ship’s controllable pitch propeller, rudder and thrusters.

The change-of-command ceremony is a time-honored naval tradition which formally acknowledges the transfer of responsibility, authority and accountability from one individual to another.

The Coast Guard is a multi-mission, maritime, military service and is part of the Department of Homeland Security. It is unique among federal agencies in that it is at all times an armed service, while also a humanitarian, regulatory, law enforcement, environmental and emergency management agency.

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