Coast Guard Training Center Cape May hosted the change of command ceremony for Coast Guard’s Force Readiness Command on Tuesday.
Vice Adm. Michael McAllister, the Deputy Commandant for Mission Support in Yorktown, Va., presided over the ceremony as Rear Adm. Brian Penoyer relieved Rear Adm. Keith Smith as Commander, Force Readiness Command.
Smith has been the Commander for the Coast Guard’s Force Readiness Command since 2017, where he was responsible for the readiness of the Coast Guard’s more than 50,000 current active duty and reserve service members.
Smith’s next duty assignment will be as the commander for District 5.
Prior to his assignment as the FORCECOM Commander, Rear Admiral Smith served as the Director, Joint Interagency Task Force West (JIATF West). As director, he executed Department of Defense counter-drug activities, defended the Homeland and stabilized the theater by hardening the environment against the growth of transnational crime and disrupting transnational criminal organizations that threatened U.S. interests.
Smith previously served as the Coast Guard Atlantic Area Chief of Staff from April 2013 to April 2015. He also served as the Fifth Coast Guard District’s Chief of Response and Chief of Incident Management from July 2011 to April 2013.
Smith has extensive operational experience with a specialty in tactical law enforcement and Port/Homeland Security Operations. During his 36-year career, he served as a Law Enforcement Detachment (LEDET) Office in Charge, Operations Officer of Group Woods Hole, Massachusetts, Commanding Officer of Tactical Law Enforcement Team (TACLET) North, Chief of the Tactical Intelligence Section at JIATF East, Deputy Group Commander in St. Petersburg, Florida and plank owner Commanding Officer for Maritime Safety and Security Team (MSST) Los Angeles/Long Beach. Rear Admiral Smith also served as Deputy Operations Officer for the Deployable Operations Group (DOG) and Commanding Officer of the Maritime Security Response Team (MSRT), the Coast Guard’s only counter terrorism unit.
Penoyer reports to the Force Readiness Command from the 14th Coast Guard District, where he served as the Commander. He previously served as the Chief of Staff, Fourteenth Coast Guard District, advising the District Commander on all Coast Guard missions conducted in the central and south Pacific. Prior to arriving to District 14, he served as Commander of Coast Guard Sector Houston-Galveston, at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and as the deputy chief of Coast Guard Congressional Affairs. He was the liaison in the office of the Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security during the Deepwater Horizon incident, deployed during Hurricane Katrina to Louisiana, and again during the Hurricane Sandy to New York. A specialist in coastal operations, he served at Coast Guard Sector Maryland/National Capitol Region and at Sector Jacksonville, Florida, where he formulated and led the Coast Guard’s regional response to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. In other operational assignments, he inspected foreign and U.S. merchant vessels, led oil spill response teams, and conducted investigations in Alaska during a period of multiple cruise ship groundings and significant, fatal commercial fishing vessel accidents. In his first assignment for the Coast Guard, he deployed throughout Europe and the Middle East during the 1991 Gulf War.