USCG Captain Darwin A. Jensen, USCG Commander, 17th District, Rear Admiral Nathan A. Moore, and USCG Sector Juneau Commander, outgoing Captain Stephen R. White, during the change of command on Wednesday. (Klas Stolpe / KINY)
Juneau, Alaska (KINY) – In a ritual older than the United States Coast Guard itself, the departing Juneau sector commander, Captain Stephen R. White, officially transferred authority to Captain Darwin R. Jensen at a change of command ceremony on the Juneau pier, Wednesday.
White has been the Juneau Sector Commander since May 2018. White was also honored in a retirement ceremony immediately following the transfer of command authority.
District Commander 17 Rear Adm. Nathan A. Moore spoke about Captain White’s tenure in the Juneau sector which included 500 lives, responded to more than 550 search and rescue cases, completed 1,000 fishing boardings, 2,500 safety boardings, 2,600 safety inspections. vessels and facilities; and 1,500 commercial vessel reviews in a command zone that encompasses 2,000 islands and 10,000 miles of shoreline.
Moore said: âTo command in this environment, it takes incredible courage, foresight and a dynamic attitudeâ¦â
When Captain White stepped on the podium he spoke of âthe people in blueâ.
âI’m so honored to wear blue most of the time, as I’m wearing white today,â White said. âI admire our leadership. I appreciate our leadership and the advice we get and all of that. But what inspires me to, honestly, come to work every day and want to come to work, and that I love coming to work, is for the people who actually do these missions.
White also noted partner agencies, volunteer search and rescue organizations, Canadians and his command team, calling these partnerships critical to the accomplishment of the Coast Guard’s mission.
âWe cannot do it alone,â he said. âThere are far too many countries and far too many risks for us to do it alone. “
Captain White also welcomed Captain Jensen to Juneau.
âWelcome to Alaska,â he said. “I would fight you well for the job, but I don’t think I would win.”
When Captain Jensen spoke from the podium, he also spoke about the backbone of the Coast Guard.
âTo the crew,â he said. âI am really looking forward to working with you. I am a happy retreader in Southeast Alaska. I couldn’t do this job without you. I will lean heavily on you when I gain a foothold.
As Area Commander, Captain Jensen will be the Harbor Master, the Officer Responsible for Maritime Inspection, the Federal On-Site Coordinator, the Search and Rescue Mission Coordinator and the Federal Maritime Safety Coordinator. for all of Southeast Alaska.
Jensen previously served as the Marine Security Unit Commander in Lake Charles, Louisiana. His other notable assignments include the Chief of Prevention at the Puget Sound Sector and an assignment in the Cargo and Facility Security Division at Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington DC Jensen enlisted in the Coast Guard in 1998 and has was selected for the Officer Candidate School in 1999.
White retires after 31 years of service, including US Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut (1990-94); Officer on the Deck, USCGC FIREBUSH, Kodiak, AK (1994-96); Chief of Operations and Training, CG Buoy Tender Project Resident Office, Marinette, Wisconsin (1996-99); USCGC ACUSHNET Operations Officer, Ketchikan, AK (1999-2001); Commander USCGC ANCAPA, Petersburg, AK (2001-03); Executive Director PATFORSWA, Manama, Bahrain (2003-04); EO MSO Valdez, AK (2004-07); EO USCGC RELIANCE Kittery, Maine (2007-09); Graduate student Naval War College, Newport, Rhode Island (2009-10); GC Liaison Officer JFMCC-N, Norfolk, Virginia (2010-11); Manager, International Planning LANTAREA, Portsmouth, VA (2011-13); CO USCGC ALEX HALEY, Kodiak, AK (2013-15); Senior Service School RAND Executive Scholarship, Santa Monica, CA (2015-16); Chief, 17th District Enforcement, Juneau, AK (2016-18); CO Sector Juneau, JNU, AK (2018-present).
Among White’s many personal awards are four Meritorious Service Medals, four Coast Guard Commendation Medals, Navy and Marine Corps Medal of Honor, two Coast Guard Medals of Honor, Medal of September 11, the Volunteer Service Medal, the Commandant’s Letter of Recommendation and various other personal, campaign and unit awards.
White will move to a private sector job in Juneau with the Marine Exchange of Alaska.