Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Lake Charles holds change-of-command ceremony

Published 5:49 pm Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Lake Charles personnel recently held a change-of-command ceremony in Lake Charles.

During the ceremony, Capt. Nicole Rodriguez transferred command of MSU Lake Charles to Cmdr. Elizabeth Newton.

Rodriguez served as the commanding officer of MSU Lake Charles since June 2021 and acted as field commander, representing Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Port Arthur in execution of Captain of the Port, Officer in Charge of Marine Inspection, Federal On-Scene Coordinator, and Federal Maritime Security Coordinator authorities. Rodriguez oversaw maritime operations over an 8,400 square mile area of responsibility in Southwest Louisiana, including Cameron Parish Port, the Port of the Lake Charles Harbor & Terminal District, and West Calcasieu Port. Her next assignment is at Coast Guard Sector Houston-Galveston as the deputy sector commander.

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“It’s been an honor to serve here over the past two years,” said Rodriguez. “I am proud of and thankful for all the great work of our local partners here in Southwest Louisiana, state agencies and officials, and our federal agency partners, as well as those across the maritime industry. I have spent a good portion of my career in Louisiana and will truly miss the food, culture, and generosity of spirit of the people here. It will always hold a special place in my heart.”

Newton previously served at the Coast Guard Marine Safety Center, where she held the position of Tank Vessel and Offshore Division Chief.

“I am truly honored to assume the duties and responsibilities as commanding officer of MSU Lake Charles,” Newton said. “I’m excited to return to Louisiana and look forward to working with such an amazing unit and maritime community.”

The change-of-command ceremony marks a transfer of total responsibility and authority from one individual to another. It is a time-honored tradition, conducted before the assembled crew, as well as honored guests and dignitaries to formally demonstrate the continuity of the authority within a command.