The U.S. Coast Guard Pacific Area Command hosted a change-of-command ceremony Friday on Coast Guard Base Alameda.
Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Linda L. Fagan presided over the ceremony, where Vice Adm. Andrew J. Tiongson relieved Vice Adm. Michael F. McAllister as the Pacific Area commander.
Tiongson most recently served as the United States Southern Command director of operations from June 2020 to June 2022 in Doral, Florida. There he oversaw and was responsible for the planning, synchronization, and execution of all current and future operations, activities, and investments within U.S. Southern Command’s area of responsibility encapsulating 27 of 31 democratic nations in Central and South America.
“Today is a special day where we applaud Vice Adm. McAllister on his service to the nation, especially this last year as he inspired and led the men and women of the Pacific Area command,” said Tiongson, Coast Guard Pacific Area commander. “I am committed to the members of the Pacific Area team and am excited to execute Coast Guard missions throughout the region, along with our partner agencies, while adhering to the principles of strategic leadership, proficiency and teamwork.”
Tiongson is a 1989 graduate of the United States Coast Guard Academy where he earned a Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering. He holds two master’s degrees from The George Washington University in mechanical engineering and environmental and energy management.
Tiongson is a career cutterman whose time at sea spans five Coast Guard cutters and one U.S. Navy ship. He has also served in a variety of key staff positions, serving two different tours in the Office of Budget and Programs as a Budget Coordinator and Program Reviewer and the Office Chief.
McAllister assumed command of Coast Guard Pacific Area in Alameda on June 30, 2021. McAllister led the 13,000 men and women of Coast Guard Pacific Area through the global deployment of personnel and cutters to the Arctic, the Antarctic, from the Eastern Pacific to the Western Pacific and throughout Oceania conducting Coast Guard statutory missions including combatting illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing, counter narcotics and partner nation capacity building.
“I am honored to have had the opportunity to lead such a phenomenal workforce who demonstrated commitment to our nation on a daily basis,” said McAllister. “Our Coast Guard members have fostered international partnerships that bolstered security in the Indo-Pacific region, enhanced law enforcement in the maritime environment, deterred illicit drug trafficking into the United States and protected the ports and waterways that are critical to our economy. It has been a privilege to serve in the world’s best Coast Guard for more than 36 years. I challenge young people today looking to impact their community and their nation to see what the Coast Guard is all about.”
McAllister retired after 36 years of service during a separate ceremony following the change of command. McAllister is a 1986 graduate of the United States Coast Guard Academy where he earned a Bachelor of Science in civil engineering. He holds two master’s degrees, a civil engineering degree from the University of Illinois and a business administration degree from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He served as the Operations Division Chief at Coast Guard Activities New York from 2000 to 2003, where he led the maritime response and security operations following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 in New York City.
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.