Change of command ceremonies happen occasionally at the Coast Guard Training Center in Cape May. I’ve had the opportunity to attend the ceremony for the Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard MCPOCG. As well as the Ceremony for Captain Todd Prestige. The time honored traditions of the ceremony leave a lasting impression on you.
The crew of Coast Guard Station Cape May held a change-of-command ceremony, Friday, aboard the Coast Guard Training Center Cape May.
During the ceremony, Lt. Scott L. Farr transferred command to Lt. Michelle M. Foster.
Farr has served as the Commanding Officer of Station Cape May since June 2012 and has been responsible for numerous Coast Guard activities in the area such as the accumulation of more than 7,520 underway hours that completed 2,904 law enforcement boardings, conducted 195 Search and Rescue cases saving or assisting 238 lives and preserving $5 million in property.
Farr oversaw the station’s response to Hurricane Sandy in Oct. 2012 by being responsible for his crew’s post-storm aids-to-navigation verifications, as well as patrolling the waterways for pollution and waterway hazard assessments within the Delaware Bay, Atlantic Ocean and Intracoastal Waterways.
In 2013 following the Independence Day weekend, Farr’s unit contributed to a 200-percent increase from the previous year’s law enforcement boardings that accounted for 30-percent of the entire Coast Guard Fifth District’s boardings total. That year the unit completed over 1,500 recreational boardings to ensure the safety and security of the maritime public.
Farr’s dedication to the local community was realized through his unit’s proactive approach to community service such as Station Cape May’s crew helping build a new playground at Cape May Elementary School, participating in a two-month “Starry the Bear” Partnership in Education mentorship for third-graders, completing an Earth Day nature trail cleanup and school-beautification project, participating in several school safety-day presentations, volunteering more than 90 hours to help restore a Coast Guard 41-foot Utility Boat at the Wildwood Naval Air Station Museum, conducting 262 volunteer hours building two Habitat-for-Humanity homes, serving food to the homeless, participating as Science Fair judges, supporting “gold star” children and providing hundreds of static displays during marine events, festivals, parades as well as tree lighting ceremonies throughout the Cape May region.
Farr’s next assignment will be as at the Department of Homeland Security’s Joint Task Force-East (JTF-E) located in Portsmouth, Virginia.
Foster reported from Coast Guard Sector Humboldt Bay in northern California where she served as the unit’s Surface Operations Division Chief. She led the Sector’s surface fleet, comprised of two 87’ patrol boats, five 47’ Motor Life Boats, three Response Boat-Small and a 26’ TANB distributed amongst two surf stations, as well as an Aids-to-Navigation Team, and an Auxiliary SAR detachment.
Additionally, she served as the Command Center Chief, responsible for 19 operation specialists and held SAR mission coordinator duties. During her time at Sector Humboldt Bay, she coordinated 653 SAR cases over 250 miles of Northern Pacific coastline, using both surface and air assets to save or assist 1,100 lives and $8 million dollars in property.
Foster also served as the unit’s Living Marine Resources Officer, netting the highest number of safety boardings and violation terminations in Coast Guard District Eleven, including the prosecution of the illegal take of an endangered species.
Photo credit Chief Warrant Officer John Edwards