Coast Guard cutter change-of-command ceremony July 20 at Kvelstad Pavilion

POULSBO – Lt. j.g. William J. Birch will relieve Lt. Victor J. Galgano of command of the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Sea Devil during a change-of-command ceremony July 20, 10 a.m. at Kvelstad Pavilion in Poulsbo's Muriel Iverson Williams Waterfront Park.

Galgano assumed command of the Sea Devil in July 2009 and will leave to attend graduate school at Florida State University, where he will study for a master of science degree in instructional systems.

Birch’s previous assignment was as a deck watch officer on the USCGC Campbell, a 270-foot cutter based in Portsmouth, N.H. He performed additional duties of the first lieutenant, law enforcement officer and weapons officer.

Birch is a 2009 graduate of the Coast Guard Academy, earning a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering. His personal awards include a Coast Guard Achievement Medal, three Meritorious Team Commendations, and the Expert Rifle Medal.

Cmdr. Thomas Sullivan, commanding officer of Coast Guard Maritime Force Protection Unit – Bangor (MFPU Bangor), will preside over the ceremony.

Sea Devil is an 87-foot Coastal Patrol Boat assigned to Maritime Force Protection Unit – Bangor, and one of two Coast Guard cutters homeported at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor. The cutter’s primary mission is the enforcement of federally regulated security zones and navigation areas surrounding Navy submarines operating within U.S. territorial waters.

The change of command is a time-honored tradition and deeply rooted in Coast Guard and Navy history. The event signifies a total transfer of responsibility, authority and accountability for the command. The ceremony is witnessed by all members so that they all know exactly when the transfer of leadership takes place.

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