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11th District Pacific Southwest Public Affairs
U.S. Coast Guard

News Release

June 20, 2012


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Coast Guard Cutter Boutwell to hold Change of Command

SAN DIEGO -- A change-of-command ceremony is scheduled to be held at Bainbridge Park on the Wet Side of Naval Base San Diego, Friday at 10:00 a.m.

Capt. Jim L. Munro will relieve Capt. Matthew J. Gimple as commanding officer of Coast Guard Cutter Boutwell. Vice. Adm. Paul F. Zukunft, Pacific Area commander, will be presiding over the ceremony.

Munro is reporting to Boutwell from the Coast Guard Cutter Dallas where he was Commanding Officer until Dallas was decommissioned and transferred to the Philippine navy.

Gimple will be reporting to Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Gimple assumed command of Boutwell in May 2011, cross-decking with the crew from the Coast Guard Cutter Hamilton after that cutter was decommissioned and transferred to the Philippine navy for service as their flagship.  He relocated Boutwell from her previous homeport of Alameda, Calif., to San Diego.

Since taking command, Gimple has overseen $2.5 million in maintenance work to reconstitute the 45-year-old cutter’s operational readiness and improve the ship’s reliability, habitability and longevity. 

These efforts demonstrated their worth last month when the crew of Boutwell completed their Tailored Ship Training Availability at Afloat Training Group San Diego, scoring higher than 90 percent in all five warfare areas and earning the first “clean sweep” by a high endurance cutter in three years.  Last fall, while patrolling in the Eastern Pacific Ocean, Boutwell’s crew seized or disrupted 3,400 pounds of cocaine bound for the United States valued at more than $40 million.

Boutwell's missions include search and rescue, maritime law enforcement, fisheries enforcement, and drug and migrant interdiction. The Boutwell is named after George Boutwell, the Secretary of the Treasury under President Ulysses S. Grant.

Boutwell has a rich history that includes two full circumnavigations and several notable operations.  In 1980 the crew of the Boutwell conducted the largest at-sea rescue in Coast Guard history, successfully rescuing more than 500 people from the burning cruise ship Prisendam in the Gulf of Alaska.

The crew of the Boutwell also played a key role in the defense of oil terminals off the coast of Iraq and Iran in 2003 and conducted counter-piracy operations of the coast of Somalia in 2009.

The change-of-command ceremony is a revered military tradition, which formally restates the continuity and authority of command.  It is a formal custom conducted before the assembled crew, and confirms to the men and women of the unit that the authority of command is maintained.  The ceremony is a transfer of total responsibility, authority and accountability from one individual to another.

Any media that would like to attend the ceremony should contact Ensign Jenn Proctor, Jennifer.C.Proctor@uscg.mil, by 5 p.m., Thursday, June 21.

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