New Commander Takes Stratton’s Helm

Petty Officer 2nd Class Matthew Masaschi      Coast Guard Pacific Area Commander Vice Adm. Fred Midgette, Capt. Nathan Moore and Capt. Craig Wieschhorster (left to right) stand aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Stratton following a change of command ceremony last Thursday.


Capt. Craig Wieschhorster relieved Capt. Nathan Moore as commander of the Coast Guard Cutter Stratton, a 418-foot National Security Cutter homeported in Alameda in a change-of-command ceremony held last Thursday, June 8.

Cutters like Stratton routinely conduct operations from South America to the Bering Sea where their unmatched combination of range, speed and ability to operate in extreme weather provides the mission flexibility. These ships conduct counter-narcotics and homeland security operations at great distances from shore, keeping threats far from the U.S. mainland.

“Drug traffickers and the unforgiving Bering Sea don’t care about your proficiency of operations, but the American people care about it and I care about it,” said Vice Adm. Fred M. Midgette, Coast Guard Pacific Area Commander, who presided over the ceremony. 

Under Moore’s command, June 2015 to June 2017, Stratton’s crew: 

  • Sailed more than 60,000 nautical miles from locations ranging off the coast of Panama to above the Arctic Circle. 
  • Seized or disrupted the transit of 66,000 pounds of cocaine valued at $1 billion including the interdiction or disruption of 11 go-fast vessels and three self-propelled semisubmersibles and the apprehension of 50 suspected drug smugglers. 
  • Led the first deployment of a Small Unmanned Aerial System to aid in counterdrug enforcement for the Coast Guard. 
  • Participated in the 2016 Rim of the Pacific Naval Exercise, the world’s largest maritime exercise involving partner nations throughout the world.

The change of command ceremony is a time-honored tradition, which ensures that all hands know of the shift in authority and that a duly authorized officer is placed in charge. Moore’s next assignment is as Chief of Staff, U.S. Coast Guard Pacific Area.