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Largest Coast Guard command, based in Anne Arundel, welcomes new commander

Capt. Paul Stukus, left, last week relieved Capt. Chad Jacoby of his command of the Surface Forces Logistics Center, which is based in Anne Arundel in the Curtis Bay area and is the largest command in the Coast Guard. Stukus came from Coast Guard headquarters in Washington, D.C. - Original Credit:
Capt. Paul Stukus, left, last week relieved Capt. Chad Jacoby of his command of the Surface Forces Logistics Center, which is based in Anne Arundel in the Curtis Bay area and is the largest command in the Coast Guard. Stukus came from Coast Guard headquarters in Washington, D.C. - Original Credit: (Courtesy of Coast Guard / HANDOUT)

Capt. Paul Stukus turned and saluted the rear admiral standing to his right.

He requested permission to relieve the command of the Surface Forces Logistics Center from Commander Capt. Chad Jacoby. Rear Adm. Nathan Moore granted the request.

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With permission granted, Stukus turned to face Jacoby and relieved him of his command.

Due to COVID-19, there was limited attendance, with most watching a recorded version that was released last week instead of witnessing the ceremony in person.

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Stukus is excited and grateful to be taking over the command. He came from Coast Guard headquarters in Washington, D.C.

“Together, we’re going to do so much more than just fix boats and ships,” Stukus said during the ceremony. “Together, we’re going to continue to support Coast Guard operations around the globe. Together, we’re going to help to save, protect and defend.”

Now relieved of his command, Jacoby will be going to Coast Guard headquarters.

The mission of Surface Force Logistics Center, located in the Curtis Bay area, is universally understood as supporting the fleet, Jacoby said during the ceremony. It is the largest command in the Coast Guard, Moore said. The SFLC is known to fix problems.

Under Jacoby’s leadership, the SFLC completed 3,600 projects that required major overhauls or rebuilds and nearly 50,000 contract actions, Moore said.

“They had 11 major hurricanes, a government shutdown, severe flooding events, record setting ice seasons and not to mention the challenges of keeping up 40-50 years old ships in addition to COVID-19 most recently,” Moore said. “Despite all those challenges, Capt. Jacoby’s leading edge perspective enabled us to overcome all those things and make history in the process.”

While Jacoby led the SFLC, he also designed his own inventions, programmed a massive computer laser cutter, rebuilt sports cars and at night, taught systems engineering through the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Moore said.

“So it sorta sounds like a little Tony Stark complex going on there,” the rear admiral said.

Leaving the command is bittersweet, Jacoby said, adding that he will miss working with his team. He called his time leading the SFLC “amazing” due to the people.

“When an organization has the right people, an attitude of learning and a consistent improvement mentality and a clear, common focus on improving operations, there’s no hurricane or government shutdown, ship casualty or global pandemic we can’t handle,” Jacoby said.

The SFLC always looks for ways to better itself, with Jacoby implementing a feedback system that encourages improvement. He is certain this will only get better under Stukus’ command, he said.

The SLFC, like many other commands, must be ready to change when needed. And that sentiment was clear even in the ceremony, Stukus said.

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At first, he was nervous to do a filmed ceremony, saying he was told to he had a face for radio, but he said doing the ceremony differently was symbolic of that need to be able to adapt.

“At SFLC, as with the Coast Guard, a core competency is adapting to change,” Stukus said. “And SFLC will continue to adapt to changes, identify emerging threats and opportunities to ensure that we’re responsive to the demands of today and ready for the challenges of tomorrow.”

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