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Press Release | May 16, 2024

US Coast Guard Atlantic Area holds change-of-command ceremony

PORTSMOUTH, Va. —  Vice Adm. Nathan Moore relieved Vice Adm. Kevin Lunday as the U.S. Coast Guard Atlantic Area commander, Thursday, during a change-of-command ceremony held on Coast Guard Training Center Yorktown. 

Adm. Linda Fagan, commandant of the Coast Guard, presided over the ceremony. 

Lunday will report for duty in Washington, D.C. as the Coast Guard’s vice commandant. He served as the U.S. Coast Guard Atlantic Area commander, director of Department of Homeland Security Joint Task Force East (JTF-E), and Defense Force East commander from May 2022 to May 2024. 

While leading complex security operations from the Rocky Mountains eastward to the Arabian Gulf, he led the efforts to address substantial national and international challenges. His deployment of assets to the Arctic, South Atlantic, Africa, Mediterranean Sea, and the Middle East directly supported the Tri-Service Maritime Strategy and greatly enhanced cooperation with the joint force, allies, and partners. 

Pre-positioning of Coast Guard personnel and equipment during hurricane seasons saved lives, mitigated environmental disasters, and led to the expeditious restoration of the maritime transportation system, which is critical to the U.S. economy. 

Additionally, Lunday orchestrated the Coast Guard’s surge response to historic maritime migration levels along the U.S. Southeast maritime border. His expertise and adjudication of competing demands fostered an increased readiness posture and led to the deployment of additional personnel and surface assets. These actions were key to saving lives and preventing a deadly mass migration. 

As Director of JTF-E, he advanced joint operations and cross-component collaboration while spearheading modernization efforts, promoting interoperability among interagency partners, and championing innovative approaches to information-sharing. His efforts forged a sustainable joint architecture and galvanized Departmental unity of effort in an increasingly complex maritime environment.  

Vice Adm. Moore is reporting from U.S. Coast Guard Atlantic Area in Portsmouth, Virginia, where he served as the deputy commander. He previously served as the U.S. Coast Guard Seventeenth District commander, responsible for operations throughout Alaska, the North Pacific Ocean, the Arctic Ocean, and the Bering Sea. Other assignments include the assistant commandant for Engineering and Logistics (CG-4), responsible for all naval, aeronautical, civil, and industrial engineering and logistics for the service, and various operational and engineering assignments, including command afloat.  

Moore graduated from the United States Coast Guard Academy with a bachelor’s degree in naval architecture and marine engineering. He went on to earn two master’s degrees from the University of Michigan, one in naval architecture and marine engineering and the other in business administration. Most recently, he earned a third master’s degree in national resource strategy from the Eisenhower School. 

U.S. Coast Guard's Atlantic Area command oversees all domestic Coast Guard operations east of the Rocky Mountains, including the Arctic, Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean, and out-of-hemisphere operations in Europe, Africa, and Southwest Asia. Atlantic Area encompasses five regional district commands, each tasked with running day-to-day operations within their areas of responsibility. Atlantic Area is responsible for coordinating and deploying cutters, aircraft, pollution response equipment, and thousands of personnel between districts when significant events occur. After major disasters, the area team assists districts by ensuring resources, equipment, and personnel surge to impacted areas for rescue and recovery efforts while also providing for other Coast Guard operations throughout the region.  

JTF-E coordinates and synchronizes DHS cross-component operations to target, dismantle, and disrupt illicit enterprises, prepare for and respond to mass maritime migration, and ready the DHS enterprise to respond to emerging threats along the Southeast maritime border. 

The change-of-command ceremony is a military tradition representing a formal transfer of authority and responsibility for a unit from one commanding or flag officer to another. The passing of colors, standards, or ensigns from an outgoing commander to an incoming one ensures that the unit and its members are never without official leadership, a continuation of trust.