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Coast Guard Cutter Resolute Holds Change of Command Ceremony

Cmdr. Ross is arriving from Manila, Philippines, where he served as the maritime advisor to the Defense Threat Reduction Agency.

Cmdr. Michael T. Ross relieved Cmdr. Justin O. Vanden Heuvel as commanding officer of U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Resolute (WMEC 620) during a change of command ceremony, Tuesday, at Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg, Florida.

The deputy commander of U. S. Coast Guard Atlantic Area, Rear Adm. Laura Dickey, presided over the ceremony.

“Today’s ceremony is steeped in naval tradition. It is about continuity of command and transfer of ultimate responsibility from one individual to another” said Dickey. “This ceremony is a stark reminder of the solemn obligation of commanding officers to be accountable for personnel safety and mission execution.”

Cmdr. Vanden Heuvel will report as the command and operations department head and school chief of the perspective Commanding Officer/Perspective Executive Officer course at the Coast Guard Leadership Development Center (LDC) in New London, Connecticut. During Vanden Heuvel’s command the last two years, the Resolute crewmembers earned the shipboard helicopter standardization excellence award, the Forrest O. Rednour Memorial Award for Excellence in Food Service, the commandant’s excellence in safety-afloat award, and the Capt. Hopley Yeaton outstanding cutter award.

“I cannot say enough about the resiliency of the women and men of Resolute,” said Vanden Heuvel. “Their willingness to tackle the toughest missions throughout an incomparable and uncertain pandemic crisis served as a true model of readiness and source of daily inspiration.”

Cmdr. Ross is arriving from Manila, Philippines, where he served as the maritime advisor to the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) and the State Department’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs. His previous assignments include three ashore assignments four afloat. He is from Fairmont, West Virginia, and earned his commission through the U.S. Coast Guard’s officer candidate program in 2004.

“It is both an honor and privilege to be here today and assume Command of Resolute,” said Ross. “Over the past week, all of my interactions cemented three facts: the crew is well trained, the crew is highly adaptive, and the Resolute excelled under the leadership of Cmdr. Justin Vanden Heuvel.”

Resolute is a 210-foot medium endurance cutter homeported in St. Petersburg with a crew of 71. The cutter’s primary missions are counter-drug operations, migrant interdiction, enforcing federal fishery laws, and search and rescue in support of U.S. Coast Guard operations throughout the Western Hemisphere.

Read more at USCG

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