The U.S. Coast Guard Pacific Area Command hosted a change of command ceremony Wednesday at Coast Guard Base Alameda.
Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Karl L. Schultz presided over the ceremony, where Rear Adm. Peter W. Gautier relieved Vice Adm. Linda L. Fagan as the acting Pacific Area commander.
Since 2020, Gautier served as the deputy commander for Coast Guard Pacific Area. Gautier was previously the commander for Coast Guard District Eleven from June 2018 to July 2020 where he oversaw Coast Guard operations from the California-Oregon border to Peru including Arizona, Utah, and Nevada.
Fagan was nominated by President Joe Biden April 19 to serve as the Coast Guard’s vice commandant. If confirmed, Fagan would become the first woman in the Coast Guard to be promoted to the rank of Admiral.
Fagan led the 13,000 men and women of Coast Guard Pacific Area through the COVID-19 Pandemic and implemented policies to protect the health of the workforce ensured the Coast Guard met its maritime safety and security missions. Under Fagan’s command, Coast Guard Pacific Area interdicted and detained more than 1,400 illegal narco-terrorists, removing more than 802,000 pounds of cocaine and 103,000 pounds of marijuana from the maritime approaches of Central and North America. Additionally, she deployed the Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star and Healy, the nation’s only ice-breakers, to assert U.S. sovereignty and execute national scientific research in Antarctica and the Arctic.
Fagan supported national security objectives in the Indo Pacific by providing three national security cutter deployments to the region. These deployments, within the Navy’s 7th Fleet area of operations, supported U.S. national objectives to promote global maritime governance and strengthen international partnerships.
Pacific Area Command is the Coast Guard’s regional command element and force provider for maritime safety, security and stewardship throughout the Pacific. The command’s area of responsibility encompasses six continents, 71 countries and more than 74 million square miles of ocean.
The change-of-command ceremony is a historic military tradition. The event, which has remained unchanged for centuries, includes a reading of the command orders in the presence of all unit crew members to ensure continuity of command.