Change of command set Thursday aboard Coast Guard cutter Polar Star in Seattle

Peninsula Daily News

SEATTLE — The Coast Guard cutter Polar Star is scheduled to hold a private change of command ceremony Thursday at 10 a.m. aboard the cutter at Coast Guard Base Seattle.

Vice Adm. Charles W. Ray, Coast Guard Pacific Area commander, will preside over the ceremony where Capt. Matthew R. Walker will assume the duties and responsibilities as commanding officer of Polar Star from Capt. George E. Pellissier, according to a news release.

Walker is reporting from the Afloat Training Group San Diego where he served as the Coast Guard
liaison officer.

He has served onboard 10 cutters, including a buoy tender in Guam and a patrol boat in Miami.

Walker also has been an exchange officer in a U.S. Navy frigate and the executive officer aboard a high-endurance cutter.

He is a qualified surface warfare officer and a permanent cutterman, the news release added.

Walker first served aboard Polar Star as operations officer from 2002 to 2004.

Pellissier, a Monson, Mass., native, is retiring from the Coast Guard after 27 years of service.

Commissioned in 1976, Polar Star is currently the only heavy ice breaker in service in the United States.

The ship was built by Lockheed Shipbuilding and Construction Co. of Seattle, along with sister ship, Polar Sea.

The cutter's missions include close ice escort and logistics support of high latitude outposts.

Polar Star also conducts search and rescue and supports scientific research in the Antarctic and Arctic.

Last modified: July 14. 2014 8:37PM
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