Cmdr. Patrick Culver, who led the Astoria-based U.S. Coast Guard cutter Alert for the past two years, transferred command Friday to Cmdr. Tobias Reid.
Reid comes from Charleston, South Carolina, where he was executive officer aboard the cutter Hamilton for the past two years. Culver heads to Coast Guard headquarters in Washington, D.C., where he will be chief of drug and migrant interdiction.
Rear Adm. Pat DeQuattro, deputy commander of the Coast Guard’s Pacific Area that oversees the agency’s operations in the Pacific and Indian oceans, described Culver as a consummate professional who set an example for his crew by leading from the front. DeQuattro said the nearly 50-year-old Alert ran smoothly on all but two operational days during Culver’s command. Those two days were spent in port in San Diego during a large storm, DeQuattro said, during which Culver helped his crew keep nearby boats from coming loose from moorings and hitting the Alert.
The Alert patrols for drugs, illegal migration and fisheries laws along the West Coast. During Culver’s command, the Alert intercepted seven boats, more than 20 smugglers and more than 5,000 kilograms of cocaine. The crew also performed more than 1,200 hours of community service locally, a practice Culver called on to continue.
“The so-called burden of command, it didn’t feel like a burden,” Culver said, crediting his crew for making things easy.
Culver said a commander’s job is that of an educator, getting the next generation ready, and above all, making sure everyone gets home safe.
“Alert, your reputation precedes you,” Reid said of his new command. “Everywhere I turn for advice and information, after receiving orders, I learned very positive things about you and our ship.”
Reid said his lifelong goal has been being a sailor, going to sea and being a better mariner, which he asked of his crew as well.