SANTA RITA, Guam — Lt. Raymond Cerrato took command of USCGC Oliver Henry (WPC 1140) from Lt. Freddy Hofschneider in a change of command ceremony at Victor Pier in Apra Harbor, Guam, on Friday, May 19, 2023.
Capt. Nicholas Simmons, commander of U.S. Coast Guard Forces Micronesia Sector Guam, presided over the ceremony and was joined by many local officials and dignitaries, including Rear Adm. Benjamin Nicholson, commander of Joint Region Marianas and representatives of both the Guam and Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands legislatures.
A native of Tinian, CNMI, Hofschneider earned his commission from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in 2013.
His first assignment was as a deck watch officer aboard USCGC Assateague (WPB 1337), homeported in Guam, from 2013-2014. Subsequent afloat assignments include serving aboard USCGC James (WMSL 754), USCGC Vigilant (WMEC 617), and as the commanding officer aboard USCGC Maui (WPB 1304) in Bahrain.
His next role will be as a program reviewer at the Office of Budget and Programs (CG-821) at U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington, D.C.
A native of Melbourne, Florida, Lt. Cerrato earned his commission from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in 2019.
His first assignment was as a deck watch officer aboard USCGC Mohawk (WMEC 913), homeported in Key West, from 2019-2021. Subsequent afloat assignments include serving as the assistant operations officer aboard USCGC Stone (WMSL 758), homeported in North Charleston from 2021-2023, and temporarily aboard USS Frank E. Petersen Jr. (DDG 121), homeported in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, in 2022.
Under the command of Lt. Hofschneider, the Oliver Henry crew operated in a 1.9 million sq. mile area of responsibility, sailing over 23,000 nautical miles and visiting partner nations.
During this time, the Oliver Henry crew conducted the following:
* 13 Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission and bilateral boardings supporting Operation Rematau
* 28 recreational and commercial boating safety boardings
* Three search and rescue cases
* Two expeditionary patrols supporting the Forum Fisheries Agency Operations Island Chief and Rai Balang
* 22 port visits and six anchored visits - CNMI, the Federated States of Micronesia, Republic of Palau, Papua New Guinea, and Australia
Operation Rematau, nested under Operation Blue Pacific, is a U.S. Coast Guard operation that supports Pacific Island Nation and territories' sovereignty and protects vital migratory fish stocks from illegal, unregulated, and unreported fishing. As part of this effort, the crew delivered over 6,000 pounds of donations to communities in Yap State and participated in over 50 underway and shoreside engagements with local and international partners.
These initiatives aim to strengthen maritime governance and security in the Pacific Rim, a critical corridor for global commerce and geopolitical stability. They align with the long-term vision of Pacific Island Forum leaders and embody the U.S. commitment to advancing Pacific regionalism and ensuring security, safety, sovereignty, and prosperity.
The Oliver Henry is the 40th 154-foot Sentinel-class Fast Response Cutter named for Oliver T. Henry, Jr., an enlisted African American Coast Guard member first to break the color barrier of a then-segregated Service.
It homeports in Guam, working with U.S. Coast Guard Forces Micronesia/Sector Guam, which comprises nearly 300 personnel to provide a significant portion of the U.S. Coast Guard's enduring regional presence in Oceania.