Sector Maryland National-Capital Region holds change of command

Capt. David O’Connell salutes Rear Adm. Laura Dickey, commander of the Coast Guard Fifth District, as he relieves Capt. Joseph Loring as the commanding officer of Coast Guard Sector Maryland-National Capital Region during change-of-command ceremony at Sector Maryland-National Capital Region, in Baltimore, April 30, 2021. A change-of-command ceremony is a time-honored tradition conducted before the assembled crew, as well as honored guests and dignitaries to formally demonstrate the continuity of the authority within a command. (U.S. Coast Guard Photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Kimberly Reaves/Released)

Capt. David O’Connell salutes Rear Adm. Laura Dickey, commander of the Coast Guard Fifth District, as he relieves Capt. Joseph Loring as the commanding officer of Coast Guard Sector Maryland-National Capital Region during change-of-command ceremony at Sector Maryland-National Capital Region, in Baltimore, April 30, 2021.  (U.S. Coast Guard Photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Kimberly Reaves)

BALTIMORE — Coast Guard Capt. David O’Connell relieved Capt. Joseph Loring as commander of Coast Guard Sector Maryland-National Capital Region in an official change of command ceremony held at the Coast Guard Yard in Curtis Bay, Friday.

Rear Adm. Laura Dickey, commander of the Fifth Coast Guard District, presided over the ceremony. Loring is retiring from the Coast Guard after 27 years of service.

O’Connell most recently served as Chief of Prevention for the Coast Guard Fifth District in Portsmouth, Virginia, where he oversaw maritime safety, security, inspections, investigations, recreational boating safety, aids to navigation, ice breaking and bridge management for the Mid-Atlantic region, spanning from the North and South Carolina border and throughout much of New Jersey. His previous assignments include Executive Officer of the Leadership Development Center, Chief of Prevention at Coast Guard Sector Boston. O’Connell served in a two-year detail to the Department of Justice, Environmental Crimes Section, where he prosecuted numerous vessel pollution cases.

O’Connell graduated with honors from the University of Florida Levin’s College of Law in May of 1998 and received a direct commission into the Coast Guard Legal program in 1999. His personal awards include four Meritorious Service Medals, the Coast Guard Commendation Medal and two Coast Guard Achievement Medals.

Coast Guard Sector Maryland-NCR is comprised of more than 400 active, 150 reserve and 13 civilian members, as well as 1,400 auxiliary members. The Sector contains eight multi-mission small boat stations, three aids to navigation teams, and one Coast Guard cutter.

The area of responsibility for Sector Maryland-NCR spans the Potomac River, Chesapeake Bay north of the Virginia and Maryland line and its tributaries, as well as Ocean City. The sector and its sub-units conduct a wide variety missions such as marine environmental protection, living marine resources, aids to navigation, law enforcement, search and rescue, marine safety, security, and more.

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