Local Band Performs for Admiral’s Command Ceremony

Monday, June 18, 2012

Rear Admiral Fagan poses with some of the members of the Band who performed, following her Change of Command ceremony for which the Band performed. (L to R) Steve Dejuri (Immediate Past Flotilla Commander), Admiral Fagan, Joan Duboski, Bud Cooper, Dave Altemose, Jeff Kazzaz, Diane Colleran, Marie Failey (front), Christa Stevenson Simonetti (back), Gail Alberti, Frances Piazza, Danny Gibbons, Tricia Catalano (Band Leader) Tom Butterfield, John Sasso, Steve Alberti and James Martin (Vice Flotilla Commander) at Ft. Wadsworth. (missing are Albert Duboski, Dean Failey, Lee Itzler. Christine Mendiolaza, Michelle Mendiolaza. Photo courtesy USCG Auxiliary.

FT SALONGA, NY—The US Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 22-7 Band based out of Ft. Salonga, NY provided the live music accompaniment for the official Change-of-Command ceremony for the Captain of the Port of NY and NJ on Wednesday June 13, 2012 at the NYC Coast Guard Base, Ftort Wadsworth, Staten Island.  The Change-of-Command ceremony is a traditional, time honored protocol to transfer the responsibility and authority in front of assembled Coast Guard officers and enlisted personnel.  Rear Admiral Linda Fagan passed the command for the critical job of overseeing the Coast Guard activities in the Port of NY/NJ to Captain Gordon Loebl.

The ceremony was held outdoors under a tent at the Coast Guard Base with the Verrazano Bridge and NY Harbor as the backdrop. RDML Fagan’s twenty-seven year career has taken her to all seven continents.  She has served as Captain of the Port for the past two (2) years and was promoted from Captain to Rear Admiral during her tenure.  Her new assignment will be at Northern Command (NORTHCOM), a joint services command in Colorado.  During her remarks, Admiral Fagan reflected on her experiences protecting New York Harbor and previous assignments.  Admiral Fagan also thanked the Coast Guard Auxiliary, the all-volunteer component of the Coast Guard, in particular Flotilla 22-7 Band for performing at the ceremony, acknowledging that, as a volunteer organization, many had taken the day off from work to perform at the ceremony. “The Band reinforces the fellowship and teamwork between the Coast Guard and the CG Auxiliary,” said Admiral Fagan.

Article by Auxiliarist John Sasso.

The Band providing pre-ceremonial entertainment for the arriving guests at Fort Wadsworth, Staten Island. Photo courtesy of Charles Calderon, USCG Auxiliary.

“This music for this level of change of command is usually provided by the US Coast Guard Band out of New London,” cited Charles Rowe, director of Public Affairs, USCG Sector NY, “but they are traveling and it was a real comfort to have the Auxiliary Band from  Long Island as a backup.  When I asked if they could perform they did not hesitate to provide us with service, even if it was the middle of the week when many of the Auxiliary volunteers had work obligations. They have provided us with public affairs support numerous times in the Sector and are a welcome support function from the Auxiliary.”

The new Captain of the Port of NY & NJ, Captain Loebl, completed his Officer Candidate training in 1987 in Yorktown, VA.  Since then he has held various roles dealing with Marine Safety, Inspection and International Affairs, including assignments in Hawaii, the Pacific rim, CG Headquarters in Arlington, VA, Baltimore, MD and Sector San Francisco.  Captain Loebl’s personal awards include three Meritorious Service Medals, two Coast Guard Commendation Medals, and the Department of Transportation’s 9/11 Medal.  In addition to the Coast Guard troop that witnessed the ceremony, guests included family, friends, and representatives from NYC maritime agencies and rescue organizations that operate in the Sector Area of Responsibility along with approximately 50 members of the Coast Guard Auxiliary.

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  1. Robert s. williams 1150705 says:

    I am now a member of 11-10-08 in the Arizona Desert covering the Lakes in Arizona. I was the first (OIC) and then the first FC for 22-07. Then it was an uphill battle to convince members that a Band could be a veru good thing for the Auxiliary. Now the Band has proven it’s value time and time again. I am very proud to say I helped to get it started I only wish I was there to enjoy there success. If they need a Band on the West Coast I know how to get it done. The best thing to happen to the Auxilairy in the public eye. John Sasso deserves reconition for his hard work.

    • Michael Martin says:

      I am trying to start a band on the west coast. We have created a detachment for 5-13 and I am just trying to get the Commodore to say yes.

      Lets get it started.

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