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January 5, 2015
Contact: Shelley Dawicki


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New Officer in Charge (OIC) of the R/V Gloria Michelle Lieutenant (Junior Grade) Douglas Pawlishen (center) salutes Captain Jack Moakley, NOAA Corps (ret) at the December 17 Change of Command ceremony. Photo Credit: Anne O’Brien, NEFSC/NOAA


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Change of Command of NOAA Research Vessel Follows Tradition

On December 17, Lieutenant (Junior Grade) Douglas Pawlishen assumed command of the NOAA research vessel Gloria Michelle, relieving Lieutenant Anna-Elizabeth Villard-Howe as Officer in Charge (OIC) during a traditional change of command ceremony.

The Gloria Michelle, a 72-foot fisheries research stern trawler, is used in conducting the spring and fall groundfish surveys for the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries and the summer Gulf of Maine northern shrimp survey. The vessel also is deployed in various research projects for both NOAA Fisheries Service and other scientific research organizations in the Northeast.

Pawlishen had been the Junior Officer in Charge (JOIC) since he reported for duty in February 2014 at the Northeast Fisheries Science Center (NEFSC)’s Woods Hole Laboratory. Prior to his Woods Hole assignment, he was detailed from the 209-foot NOAA Ship Pisces to the NEFSC’s Narragansett Laboratory, where he ran a small boat for the shark tagging project. The Pisces is homeported in Pascagoula, Mississippi.

Ensign Andrew Reynaga reported for duty as the Junior Officer in Charge (JOIC) of the Gloria Michelle. Reynaga was previously assigned to the 224-foot NOAA Ship Hi’ialakai, homeported at Ford Island in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. He arrived in Woods Hole on December 15, 2014.

Captain Jack Moakley, NOAA Corps (ret), presided at the ceremony, held in the Speck Auditorium at the Marine Biological Laboratory before a large crowd of laboratory staff, family, friends and special guests. Moakley served as the first NOAA Captain of the vessel; now Chief of Operations, Management and Information (OMI) for the NEFSC, he oversees the operation of the Gloria Michelle as part of his duties. Elizabeth Sweeney, administrative officer for OMI and a Lt. Col. U.S. Air Force (ret), served as Master of Ceremonies.

Captain Carl Newman, executive officer of NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service, performed the pinning-on ceremony as the senior active NOAA Corps Officer present. The new officer in change (OIC) is pinned prior to relieving the current OIC so that the vessel is never without a commanding officer.

Pawlishen assumed his new responsibilities as "Captain" immediately after receiving his command insignia.

Villard-Howe was presented a NOAA Corps Director’s Ribbon for the successful completion of a tour as OIC on the Gloria Michelle. She assumes her next post in early January as Assistant School Chief, NOAA Corps Officer Training Center at the US Coast Guard Academy in New London, CT.

To learn more about the Gloria Michelle and her crew, check out the related links, or visit the Gloria Michelle web site.

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