The Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Lake Charles held a change-of-command ceremony Wednesday to signify Cmdr. Darwin A. Jensen’s assuming of command from Cmdr. Daniel H. Cost.
The time-honored tradition signifies a total transfer of responsibility, authority and accountability for the command, which oversees the Port of Lake Charles — ranked the 11th busiest tonnage port in the nation.
Cost served as commander since 2016 and oversaw operations during Hurricane Harvey, the federal government’s extended shutdown and Southwest Louisiana’s historic economic growth. Capt. Jacqueline M. Twomey, commanding officer of Marine Safety Unit Port Arthur, said Cost “embodies devotion to duty more than anyone else I have ever met in the Coast Guard.”
During Hurricane Harvey, though Lake Charles was not impacted as severely as neighboring regions, Cost “sprung into action of his own initiatives,” Twomey said.
His leadership saved 103 lives during the natural disaster, she said.
Cost said it was his honor to serve the region through one his “hardest leadership challenges,” the federal shutdown.
The community came together with generous donations for the crew, creating the “even bigger leadership challenge of trying to figure out what to do with all the donations,” he said.
“I’ve never been so proud to be an American,” Cost said. “I’ve never been so humbled to be in a part of the country where you were willing to give us the shirt off your back if that’s what was going to help get us through the day.”
Cost said he was positive the crew would be left in capable hands.
Jensen said he’s confident in his training to lead the crew but honored their expertise saying, “I have a lot to learn about this area and will lean heavily on you as I gain familiarity with the region.”