Cmdr. Neal Armstrong relieved Cmdr. Jeremy Hall as the commanding officer of Coast Guard Civil Engineering Unit Cleveland, during a formal change of command ceremony at the unit, Thursday.
Capt. Wade Gesele, commander of Coast Guard Shore Infrastructure Logistics Center, presided over the ceremony.
“Commanding this unit and working alongside the amazing group of professionals at CEU Cleveland has been one of the many highlights of my career,” said Hall. “The Coast Guard has more than 20,000 shore facilities such as boat and air stations and piers at over 2,700 locations. This team is vital to addressing the Service’s maintenance and significant renovation project backlogs. I could not be more proud of their efforts.”
Hall is now reporting to Coast Guard Base Portsmouth, Virginia, to serve as the base executive officer. Armstrong is taking command of CEU Cleveland after serving as the unit’s executive officer.
Of note, during his time at CEU, Hall oversaw $130 million in depot-level maintenance projects spanning 13 states, vastly improving the condition of aging U.S. Coast Guard shoreside facilities. His planning and vision provided a $32 million facility to house the U.S. Coast Guard rotary-wing Air Intercept Unit at Andrews Air Force Base. His leadership following the devastation of Hurricane Florence allowed for swift reconstitution of Mid-Atlantic operations restoring damaged facilities.
Furthering relationships with Department of Defense partners, specifically the U.S. Marine Corps, his leadership led to a cost savings of $2 million. The Marines provide interim facilities for the U.S. Coast Guard Special Missions Training Center as more permanent facilities build out.
In February 2019, GAO reported that the Coast Guard’s $18 billion portfolio of shore infrastructure was deteriorating, and almost half of it was past its service life as of 2018. Hall’s actions, and his successor, support the Tri-Service Maritime Strategy and seek to keep the U.S. Coast Guard well-positioned as a public servant to the nation and partner of choice globally.
CEU Cleveland serves all Coast Guard entities in the Great Lakes and Mid-Atlantic Regions, including over 132 facilities, 368 aid to navigation towers and lighthouses, 4,970 small aid to navigation structures, and over 8 million square feet of buildings valued at over $3.9 Billion.
CEU Cleveland consists of 80 civilian, military, and contract employees who support U.S. Coast Guard units throughout the Great Lakes and the Mid-Atlantic States with facility maintenance and engineering services. The CEU team also regularly partners with the Department of Defense, other federal, state, territorial, and local entities to deliver critical infrastructure repair work in our nation’s waterways and support facilities that enable frontline operations.
The change of command ceremony is a time-honored tradition deeply rooted in U.S. Coast Guard and Naval history, signifying the total transfer of responsibility, authority, and command of a military unit.