Coast Guard Air Station Borinquen received a new commanding officer Friday during a change of command ceremony at the unit aircraft hangar in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico.
A military unit’s change of command ceremony is a time-honored tradition, which encompasses the transfer of total responsibility, authority and accountability from one individual to another.
Rear Adm. Peter J. Brown, Coast Guard Seventh District commander served as the presiding official for the ceremony in which Capt. Tina J. Peña relieved Capt. Keith Overstreet as the new Commanding Officer of Air Station Borinquen. For his exceptional performance during his three-year assignment in Puerto Rico, Capt. Overstreet was recognized and presented with the Meritorious Service Medal.
Capt. Peña assumes command of approximately 75 Coastguardsmen and civilians, who along with the unit’s four MH-65D Dolphin helicopters, conduct search and rescue, law enforcement, homeland security, marine environmental protection, alien migrant interdiction, and counterdrug missions throughout the Eastern Caribbean area of responsibility, including Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Peña arrives to Air Station Borinquen following a year at the prestigious Air War College and a previous successful tour as Commanding Officer of Air Station New Orleans.
“It is truly an honor to join the Air Station Borinquen team and to serve those whose hard work accomplishes the Coast Guard mission every day,” said Capt. Peña. “My husband Jim and I look forward to this opportunity to serve, to learn more about Puerto Rico’s rich culture and becoming part of la Isla del Encanto community.”
In his final address as commanding officer, Capt. Overstreet recalled the high operational tempo sustained by Air Station Borinquen crews flying rescue and relief missions in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands following the aftermath or Hurricanes Irma and María.
“It has been my honor to serve our nation and the amazing people Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands during a challenging period in their history,” said Capt. Ret. Keith Overstreet. “As we worked through our historic challenges together the resolve, character and resiliency of ‘todos los Boricuas’ and all U.S. Virgin Islanders was obvious to the world and permeated my heart.”
Following the Change of Command Ceremony, a retirement ceremony was held for Capt. Overstreet, who is leaving the Coast Guard after 27 years of honorable and faithful service to the nation.
“My long term plans have not solidified but I am excited about what the next stage of life will bring and forever grateful to be embarking on this adventure with my amazing wife Laura by my side.”