Station Honolulu receives new officer-in-charge

HONOLULU — A change of command ceremony was held for the officer-in-charge of U.S. Coast Guard Station Honolulu at Coast Guard Base Support Unit Sand Island Thursday.

During the change of command ceremony, Chief Petty Officer Robert M. Downs, previously the executive petty officer of Station Honolulu, assumed the responsibilities from Chief Petty Officer Bruce E. Helterbridle as officer-in-charge of Station Honolulu.

Downs’ career has centered on training and operation of Coast Guard small boats. In 2005 he achieved the Surfmen Qualification, the Coast Guard’s most prestigious level of certified coxswains.

Last year, under Helterbridle’s direction, Station Honolulu responded to more than 175 search and rescue cases, which accounted for more than $15 million in property saved. Station Honolulu crewmembers also conducted 328 vessel boardings and consistently exceeded the required number of domestic military protection missions by more than 200 percent per month.

Helterbridle fostered interagency cooperation by conducting training with the Pearl Harbor Naval Security Forces, enabling them to capably protect high value assets transiting to and from Naval Station Pearl Harbor. Station Honolulu conducted more than 475 escorts of naval vessels critical to national defense.

Helterbridle devoted 4,675 hours underway and certified 15 coxswains, enabling Station Honolulu to operate during extended periods of high-tempo operations.

Helterbridle, who served as Station Honolulu officer-in-charge since June 2007, is accepting the position as officer-in-charge of Coast Guard Station Lake Tahoe.

Station Honolulu covers a 2,000 square-mile area of responsibility with a workforce of 22 personnel.

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