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Press Release | May 31, 2024

U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Munro holds a change of command ceremony

SAN DIEGO — The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Munro (WMSL 755) held a change of command ceremony Thursday in San Diego.

Vice Adm. Andrew J. Tiongson, Commander, U.S. Coast Guard Pacific Area, presided over the ceremony in which Capt. James O’Mara IV relieved Capt. Rula Deisher as Munro’s commanding officer.

Deisher served as Munro’s commanding officer from May 2022 to May 2024, sailing over 73,000 nautical miles to 17 ports, including eight foreign countries during patrols in the Bering Sea, Western Pacific, and Eastern Pacific.

Most recently, Munro and the crew were responsible for the interdiction and seizure of illegal narcotics worth an estimated $460 million in wholesale value and over $2 billion in street value while patrolling the Eastern Pacific Ocean in support of the Joint Interagency Task Force-South. Munro’s crew also supported Operation Southern Shield during their recent patrol by conducting 16 fisheries boardings in the Southern Pacific Regional Fisheries Management Organization convention area, upholding the maritime rules-based order.

During Munro’s Western Pacific patrol, the cutter and crew hosted multiple engagements with foreign partners, including a discussion about the SAPPHIRE agreement with Japanese Coast Guard officers, a subject matter expert exchange, an at-sea engagement with the Korea Coast Guard, and participated in CARAT Brunei, where Munro worked alongside the Royal Brunei Navy in professional subject matter expert exchanges, leadership conferences, and an at-sea engagement.

While patrolling the Bering Sea, Munro conducted 24 fisheries boardings and two search-and-rescue cases, including the medical evacuation of a critical patient from Dutch Harbor, Alaska, to Anchorage, Alaska.

“To the crew of Munro, thank you,” said Deisher. “I am so proud of your endless dedication and care toward each other and our mission. This crew is phenomenal, and it has been an honor and privilege to sail with them and learn from them.”

Deisher’s next assignment is to serve as the Seventeenth District’s Response Division chief.

O’Mara, the incoming commanding officer, brings a wealth of experience to Munro.

Reporting from the Coast Guard’s Eleventh District as the Enforcement Branch chief, O’Mara oversaw assets across 1,000 miles of shoreline from the California-Oregon state line to the Mexico border and 73 federal waterways. He also worked closely with the Department of Defense Joint Interagency Task Forces and the Department of Homeland Security Joint Task Force West to conduct effective drug and law enforcement interdiction efforts across the Eastern Pacific.

Munro will be O’Mara’s seventh ship and fourth command, following previous commands aboard the Coast Guard Cutters Active (WMEC 618), Farallon (WPB 1301), Monomoy (WPB 1326), and Narwhal (WPB 87335).

The change of command ceremony, a time-honored tradition, is a significant event conducted before the assembled company of a command. It confirms to the unit’s men and women that the authority of command is maintained. The ceremony symbolizes a transfer of total responsibility, authority, and accountability from one individual to another, marking a new chapter in the command’s history.

Commissioned in 2017, Munro is one of four Coast Guard Legend-class national security cutters homeported in Alameda. National security cutters, measuring 418 feet long and 54 feet wide, boast a top speed of over 28 knots, a range of 12,000 nautical miles, endurance of up to 90 days, and can hold a crew of up to 170. The advanced technologies of the national security cutter class ships support the national objective of maintaining the security of America’s maritime boundaries and providing long-range search and rescue capabilities.