Cmdr. Brent Schmadeke relieved Cmdr. Joan Snaith as the commanding officer of Coast Guard Air Station Port Angeles during a change of command ceremony at the unit Thursday, June 30.
Rear Adm. Mel Bouboulis, commander, 13th Coast Guard District, presided over the event.
The actual event took place while both Schmadeke and Snaith flew separate aircraft in formation overhead of those in attendance. Once approval was gained from Bouboulis, Schmadeke maneuvered into the lead position of the formation flight thereby assuming command duties and responsibilities of the flight and unit.
Prior to reporting to Air Station Port Angeles, Schmadeke served as Deputy of Aviation Forces at Coast Guard Headquarters, where he was responsible for providing aviation resources, doctrine, oversight, and training programs.
This will be his third tour at the air station, as he was previously the operations officer from 2016 to 2019 and was a newly qualified aviator when he reported in 2005 for his first tour in Port Angeles.
Snaith, who served as the Air Station Port Angeles commanding officer since 2019, was also promoted to the rank of captain during the ceremony. She now heads to the Los Angeles area to serve as a RAND fellow, where she will assist senior leaders with the strategic thinking and planning needed to meet the challenges of present missions and to prepare the Coast Guard for the future.
The Air Station on Ediz Hook was commissioned in 1935, becoming the first permanent Coast Guard air station on the Pacific Coast. There are currently around 95 Coast Guard members and three MH-65E Dolphin helicopters located at the unit.
The crews conduct search and rescue, law enforcement, homeland security, and environmental protection missions throughout Puget Sound, the Strait of Juan de Fuca, the Washington Coast, and all points in between, often working with partner agencies in Canada.
The change of command ceremony is a time-honored military tradition that marks a transfer of total responsibility and authority from one individual to another. The ceremony is conducted to formally demonstrate the continuity of authority within a U.S. military command.