Crew of Coast Guard Cutter Bluebell welcomes new commanding officer

Chief Warrant Officer Christopher Boss salutes Chief Warrant Officer Joel "Brandon" Henderson as he transfers command of the Coast Guard Cutter Bluebell to Henderson as Rear Adm. David Throop, commander Coast Guard 13th District presides during the ceremony held at Marine Safety Unit Portland, July 12, 2018. Henderson is returning to the cutter Bluebell as commanding officer after previously serving aboard the cutter as executive petty officer. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Levi Read.

Chief Warrant Officer Christopher Boss salutes Chief Warrant Officer Joel “Brandon” Henderson as he transfers command of the Coast Guard Cutter Bluebell to Henderson as Rear Adm. David Throop at Marine Safety Unit Portland, July 12, 2018. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Levi Read.

PORTLAND, Ore. – The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Bluebell received a new commanding officer during a change of command ceremony being held at Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Portland Thursday morning.

Chief Warrant Officer Christopher Boss transferred command to Chief Warrant Officer Joel “Brandon” Henderson during the ceremony with Rear Adm. David Throop, commander, Coast Guard 13th District, as the presiding official.

Henderson is returning to the cutter Bluebell after serving as officer in charge of the Coast Guard Cutter Hammer, homeported in Jacksonville, Florida. Henderson served as executive petty officer aboard the Bluebell between 2012 and 2015. During these tours and many others, Henderson has deployed all over the United States along with two tours in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, and was among the first personnel to respond to the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in August 2005 as a member of Maritime Safety and Security Team 91112, which operated out of New Orleans.

During Boss’ tenure aboard the cutter Bluebell, he led his crew through a 10-month disabling casualty that required the cutter to be repowered. While the cutter was in dry dock critical repairs and part replacements were made to vital operating systems including $75,000 worth of upgrades to crew bathroom and shower spaces. These repairs added years of service-life to the cutter.

After the change of command ceremony, Boss was presented with a Master Cutterman Certificate and pin, which signifies reaching the milestone of 20 years of sea time aboard a Coast Guard cutter. Boss is transferring to Ketchikan, Alaska to serve as the commanding officer aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Anthony Petit, a 175-foot Coastal Buoy Tender.

The Coast Guard’s Master Cutterman program was created in April 2007, to formally recognize those members who have distinguished themselves throughout their careers with more than 20 years of sea service.

The cutter Bluebell is an inland buoy tender built by the Birchfield Boiler Co. in Tacoma, Washington, and was commissioned April 4, 1945. The crew services more than 420 aids covering 500 river miles on the Columbia, Willamette and Snake Rivers. The crew of the Bluebell is responsible for 23-percent of the entire 13th District’s aids and buoys.

The cutter Bluebell has been servicing U.S. waterways for 73 years and is the oldest operational cutter located in the Pacific Northwest and is the 2nd oldest operational cutter in the entire Coast Guard fleet.

If you have any problems viewing this article, please report it here.

Related Posts

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.