Guests were treated to a pristine summer day at Warwick Neck Lighthouse on Friday as the Civil Engineering Unit (CEU) of Providence conducted a Change of Command ceremony to pass the authority of commanding its operations from one commander to another.
Organized within the United States Coast Guard’s Shore Infrastructure Logistics Center (SILC), CEU Providence is one of six independent civil engineering commands, with other units located in Cleveland, Alaska, Florida, Hawaii and California. Each unit is responsible for providing civil engineering services to Coast Guard Districts, which includes implementing the Shore Maintenance Program to maintain, repair, improve or replace facilities and equipment utilized for Coast Guard operations.
Attending Coast Guard officers spoke about the hard work that was necessary in the wake of an unprecedented hurricane season that devastated Florida, Texas and Puerto Rico. CEU Providence assisted in the recovery and rebuilding efforts of SILC in those areas.
“It’s been a challenging year to say the least, but on every occasion we have persevered as a team and provided excellence in engineering in support of Coast Guard operations, mission support operations, Coast Guard families and the public,” said Commander Andy Brown, who would pass his duties on to Joshua Fant as new Commander of CEU Providence and receive a promotion to Captain. “Every Coast Guard mission begins and ends with a Coast Guard facility.”
Under Captain Brown, CEU Providence assisted in facilities work to restore essential utilities, maintain 182 miles of underground systems, inspect 49 water sites identified as high risk and successfully executed contracts to make crucial repairs to Coast Guard facilities in the wake of major hurricanes. He also oversaw work in an unprecedented area of engineering reconnaissance, which utilized drones to gather updated information on work necessary to maintain shore facilities.
“This truly is a diligent, hardworking team that continues to shine and make a difference,” said Captain T. Wade Gesele, Commander of the Shore Infrastructure Logistics Center for the Coast Guard. Gesele joked that nobody would pay much attention to his speech due to the beauty of the location, as boats sped by on the sun-sparkled water below.
Commander Joshua Fant received his orders to assume the command of CEU Providence, which he gratefully accepted.
“To love what you do and feel that it matters, what could be more fun?” Fant said in his address.
The ceremony was attended by members of the Coast Guard, friends and family of the officers and by Mayor Joseph Solomon.