PORTSMOUTH, Va. — Capt. Richard J. Wester assumed command of Coast Guard Sector Hampton Roads Wednesday during a change-of-command ceremony held at the Sector in Portsmouth.

Wester relieved Capt. Christopher S. Keane, who has served as the Sector Hampton Roads Commander since June 2014. Keane’s new assignment will be at Coast Guard Headquarters as Chief of the Office of Shore Forces.   

As commanding officer of Sector Hampton Roads, Wester will oversee operations in navigable waters from the Virginia/Maryland border to the Virginia/North Carolina border. His roles will also include Captain of the Port, Officer in Charge of Marine Inspection, Federal Maritime Security Coordinator, Search and Rescue Mission Coordinator, and Federal On-Scene Coordinator.

Wester assumed duties as commander of Sector Hampton Roads after having previously served as the Sector Deputy for two years. Prior to that assignment, Capt. Wester served as Press Assistant to the 24th Commandant, Adm. Robert J. Papp. Capt. Wester attended the Naval War College’s College of Naval Warfare and also served as action officer for the Joint Staff’s J5/Homeland Defense Division at the Pentagon.

“Today I am humbled by the opportunity to begin serving as Sector Commander,” said Wester.  “Keeping the port safe and secure is an immense responsibility, and one that I certainly won’t be doing alone.”

Rear Adm. Meredith L. Austin, Commander of the Coast Guard 5th District, presided over the ceremony.

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