A change of command ceremony was held aboard the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Munro (WMSL 755), Friday while the cutter was moored in Guam.
Capt. Rula Deisher relieved Capt. Blake Novak as Munro’s commanding officer during the ceremony presided over by Vice Adm. Michael F. McAllister, commander, Coast Guard Pacific Area and Defense Forces West.
Novak served as Munro’s commanding officer from May 2020 to May 2022.
Under Novak’s command, Munro deployed multiple times throughout the Pacific.
In April, Munro deployed to Oceania in support of the Coast Guard’s 14th District and Operation Blue Pacific. Munro’s crew enforced Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated (IUU) fishing and supported the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission. Munro partnered with Pacific Island countries and territories to support maritime governance and protect Exclusive Economic Zones of Kiribati, Fiji, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, and the Federal States of Micronesia. In addition, Munro conducted exercises with the French Navy including an interdiction exercise, formation steaming, passenger exchange, and interoperability helicopter flight operations.
Munro’s crew deployed to the Western Pacific in 2021 operating under the tactical control of the U.S. Navy 7th Fleet to promote a free and open Indo-Pacific during their 102-day, 22,000-nautical-mile patrol.
Munro deployed two additional times under Novak’s command conducting operations from the Arctic to the Equatorial waters of the Western Hemisphere, protecting the interests, security, and sovereignty of the United States. The crew combated illicit narcotics trafficking and safeguarded Alaska’s multi-billion-dollar fishing industry.
“Serving as the commanding officer of Coast Guard Cutter Munro has been the honor of a lifetime,” said Novak. “The crew and I have sailed throughout the Pacific supporting U.S. National strategic objectives, protecting U.S. sovereignty, disrupting narcotics trafficking and combating illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing. I will miss this great crew. They continue to place service before self despite the many hardships of long deployments, many in the midst of a pandemic.”
Deisher reports to Munro from Coast Guard Personnel Service Center where she served as chief of enlisted assignments. Munro will be Deisher’s fifth cutter and her second command. Deisher’s tours ashore have been focused on fisheries regulations, having served as commanding officer of the Coast Guard’s Northeast Regional Fisheries Training Center located on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Deisher is a 2000 graduate of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy and earned a Master of Marine Affairs from the University of Washington School of Marine and Environmental Affairs in June 2014.
“I’m honored to take command of Munro from Captain Novak and continue Munro’s legacy for operational success across the Pacific,” said Deisher.
Novak will serve as the 14th District chief of staff in Honolulu for his next assignment.
Munro is one of four national security cutters homeported in Alameda, California, and the sixth of eleven planned national security cutters which are capable of extended, worldwide deployment in support of homeland security and national defense missions.