POSTED: Friday, July 8, 2011 - 6:23am
UPDATED: Friday, July 8, 2011 - 6:27am
U.S COAST GUARD — Capt. William M. Drelling relieved Capt. Michael S. Gardiner as commanding officer of Coast Guard Sector Lower Mississippi River in an official change-of-command ceremony, Friday.
Capt. Gardiner assumed command of Sector Lower Mississippi River in June 2008, and will become the Chief of the Prevention divsion at the Thirteenth Coast Guard District in Seattle.
As sector commander, Gardiner served as Captain of the Port, Federal Maritime Security Coordinator, Officer in Charge of Marine Inspection and Search and Rescue Mission Coordinator. He was responsible for all Coast Guard missions conducted by 225 active duty and reserve members.
Capt. Drelling is coming from Coast Guard Sector Mobile, Ala., where he was the Deputy Commander since June 2009. He served as Deputy Director of the Coast Guard Force Readiness Command Implementation Team from August 2008 through June 2009. Drelling oversaw the facility and container inspection programs and led the responses to numerous oil spills and other pollution events.
Drelling, who is a native of California, earned his commission as a Coast Guard officer when he graduated from Officer Candidate School in December 1987. Drelling holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of California, Irvine. He was awarded a master's degree in public policy and administration by California State University in 2001.
The change-of-command ceremony is a time-honored tradition and deeply rooted in Coast Guard and Naval history. The event signifies a total transfer of responsibility, authority and accountability for the command.