USCGC Elderberry undergoes change of command
Two weeks following the change of command ceremony for the USCGC Anacapa, another change of command on Friday, welcomed a new skipper to the Elderberry.
The ceremony, held at the Sons of Norway Hall, recognized outgoing Chief Warrant Officer Daniel T. Burke and welcomed Senior Chief Boatswain’s Mate Randall L. Burr.
Captain Scott W. Bornemann, Commander for Coast Guard Sector Juneau officiated. Commanding officer Lt. Kathryn Cyr and the crew of the the Anacapa were in attendance as well as several crew member wives and Borough officials.
“Cutters have a uniquely diverse history in Alaska,” said Bornemann. “Cutters were the first to tour Alaska in 1867 as the duty of transporting officials. Cutters began continuously patrolling Alaska to protect fur seals from illegal killing, which was threatening their population, and were a source of revenue for the United States. Service also included search and rescue for ill-fated whale ships and secured and protected our natural resources against foreign nations.
“They were the first, and for a long time the only, Federal Law enforcement agency in this region. Their duties far surpassed national interest. They provided isolated villages with medical supplies. They performed civil functions such as marriage ceremonies and church services; they still do some of these things today,” Bornemann said.
In the past three years the Elderberry has maintained a high level of service, Bornemann said, even despite a lengthy yard period and an inoperable crane.
CWO Burke, who is headed for California with his wife Sandra Lee and their two sons, served on the Elderberry since 2009. Burke’s next assignment will be on the Cutter Aspen in San Francisco.
Burke enlisted in April 1991. Burke was praised for seeing the Elderberry through necessary service and repairs and for the “catch all services” to the community. Also during this time, the Elderberry has serviced more than 500 aids to navigation in Southeast waters.
Burke’s awards have included the Coast Guard Commendation Medal, four Coast Guard achievement medals, the Commandant’s Letter of Commendation and the Permanent Cutterman’s Insignia. He also garnered the MCPO Angela McShan Inspirational Leadership Award in 2009.
Following Bornemann’s words, Burke read his orders for his new assignment and Burr was installed as the new commanding officer.
Burke said that after serving here for three years, he asked for an extra year. “I was obviously impressed with Petersburg.” he said.
Burr has also had an impressive career. His personal awards include the Coast Guard Commendation Medal, Coast Guard Achievement Award, four Coast Guard Letters of Commendation and eight Good Conduct Awards.
Burr’s previous assignments have included a tour aboard the USCGC Hudson, where they rebuilt more than 80 aids to navigation on the Mississippi River and gulf outlet. This was done as part of Hurricane Katrina recovery operations near New Orleans.
“I’m really excited to be here in Petersburg. I’m looking forward to Alaska,” Burr said.
The Elderberry has moored in Petersburg since 1954. The cutter tends buoys along the Inside Passage from Auke Bay near Juneau to Thorne Bay on Prince of Wales Island.