The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter John McCormick conducts a patrol in Disenchantment Bay, Alaska, near Hubbard Glacier, June 13, 2017. The cutter and crew are homeported in Ketchikan, Alaska, and conduct Coast Guard operations throughout Southeast Alaska. (Coast Guard photo | Petty Officer 1st Class Matt Miller)

The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter John McCormick conducts a patrol in Disenchantment Bay, Alaska, near Hubbard Glacier, June 13, 2017. The cutter and crew are homeported in Ketchikan, Alaska, and conduct Coast Guard operations throughout Southeast Alaska. (Coast Guard photo | Petty Officer 1st Class Matt Miller)

Ketchikan-based Coast Guard cutter welcomes new commanding officer

The John McCormick has a new CO.

The Coast Guard Cutter John McCormick, homeported in Ketchikan, has a new commanding officer as of Thursday.

Lt. Joseph Sullivan-Springhetti relieved Lt. Cmdr. Timothy Ozimek as the commanding officer of the vessel. Capt. Stephen White, commanding officer of Coast Guard Sector Juneau, presided over the change of command, according to a Coast Guard news release.

Ozimek, in command of the McCormick since 2018, is headed to the Joint Interagency Task Force-South in Florida. The JIATF is a counter-narcotics unit. Sullivan-Springhetti is returning to Alaska after a tour in Washington, D.C. Sullivan-Springhetti previously served as the executive officer of the Coast Guard Cutter Liberty, stationed in Auke Bay, according to the release.

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The John McCormick is a fast response cutter, commissioned in 2017. The FRCs are designed for an at-sea endurance of five days, with a maximum speed of nearly 30 knots. With a crew of more than 20, the ship’s mission profile includes search and rescue, marine resource enforcement, national defense, and port, waterways, and coastal security, according to the press release.

The McCormick is named after Boatswain John McCormick, who saved a fellow crewman who was thrown overboard in rough seas off of Point Adams, Oregon in 1938. All of the FRCs are named after enlisted men who distinguished themselves for their heroism.

• Contact reporter Michael S. Lockett at 757.621.1197 or lockett@juneauempire.com.

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