Nation’s 13th busiest port receives new Coast Guard commander

300-642894LAKE CHARLES, La. — The thirteenth busiest port by tonnage received a new commanding officer Thursday at Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Lake Charles.

Cmdr. Monica L. Rochester, previously the chief of prevention at Coast Guard Sector San Diego, relieved Cmdr. Will E. Watson during a change-of-command ceremony at the Lake Charles Civic Center.

“When I assumed command three years ago, I was so excited about the Coast Guard having chose me to bear this awesome responsibility. What I didn’t realize is what an absolute joy it was going to be to lead this great crew and to work in this tight knit port community,” said Watson. “I will never forget Lake Charles, Louisiana, the people, this great crew, my church, my new friends and loved ones.”

Watson will transfer to the office of the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, Washington, DC. to serve as aide to the Secretary.

Rochester said, “I’m very happy and excited to return to the Gulf States having worked in Texas, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi and now the great state of Louisiana. I’m incredibly honored and privileged to assume the responsibilities of this assignment.”

The MSU provides inspection and investigation, pollution response and waterways management services to a diverse group of southwest Louisiana waterway users.

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.

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