PHILADELPHIA — Coast Guard Capt. Kate Higgins-Bloom relieved Capt. Johnathan Theel as commander of Coast Guard Sector Delaware Bay during a change-of-command ceremony Friday at Sector Delaware Bay in Philadelphia.
Rear Adm. Shannon Gilreath, commander of the Fifth Coast Guard District, presided over the ceremony.
Higgins-Bloom most recently served as deputy commander of Coast Guard Sector Delaware Bay. Her previous assignments include chief of the Office of Emergency Management and Disaster Response, Coast Guard’s Office of Emerging Policy, and White House fellow in the executive office of the president where she built national public-private partnerships to overcome veteran employment and mental health challenges.
Higgins-Bloom graduated from the Coast Guard Academy in 2000 with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering and a Master of Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
The sector’s area of responsibility encompasses much of Pennsylvania, Delaware, and New Jersey’s rivers, bays, inlets, and coastline out to 200 nautical miles offshore, and includes the Ports of Philadelphia, Camden, and Wilmington which combined form the largest freshwater port complex in the world and contributing over $88 billion annually to the U.S. economy.
Theel plans to retire from the Coast Guard after 27 years of honorable service following his time as commanding officer of Coast Guard Sector Delaware Bay.
The change-of-command ceremony is a time-honored military tradition that marks a transfer of total responsibility and authority from one individual to another. The ceremony is conducted to formally demonstrate the continuity of authority within a U.S. military command.