Sector Southeastern New England to hold change of command and retirement ceremony Friday

NEWPORT, RI – A change of command followed by a retirement ceremony for the commander of Coast Guard Sector Southeastern New England will take place at Fort Adams in Newport, R.I., Friday at 10 a.m.

First Coast Guard District Commander Rear Adm. Daniel Neptun will be the keynote speaker.

During the change of command ceremony, Captain Verne B. Gifford, previously the chief of prevention for Coast Guard District Eight in New Orleans, La., will assume the responsibilities as commander of Coast Guard Sector Southeastern New England from Captain Raymond J. Perry. Perry, commander of Sector Southeastern New England since December 2007, will hand over his command and retire from the Coast Guard after serving 33 years.

The change of command ceremony is a time-honored event preserved by the rich heritage of naval tradition. It is a formal custom, and following military protocol, designed to strengthen the respect for the continuity of command which is vital to any military organization. The culmination of the ceremony is reached when both officers read their orders, face one another, salute and transfer responsibility for the command. This provides the entire command an opportunity to witness this transfer of responsibility and know that the officer directed to take command is doing so under the proper authority.

Coast Guard Sector Southeastern New England, headquartered in Woods Hole, Mass., encompasses the areas of southeastern Massachusetts and all of Rhode Island, including more than 600 miles of coastline. The nearly 650 active duty, reserve and civilian, as well as over 1600 auxiliary men and women of Coast Guard Sector Southeastern New England perform marine safety and security, search and rescue, and law enforcement missions from Manomet Point in Plymouth, Mass., to Watch Hill, R.I., including the islands of Nantucket, Martha’s Vineyard and Block Island.

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