Just a week after the cutter Kukui changed hands, Air Station Sitka has a new commanding officer. The station held a change of command ceremony on Friday (7-8-22) morning at the hangar. An audience of Coast Guard officers, community members, friends and family recognized outgoing air station leader, Captain Brian McLaughlin, and incoming Commander Vincent Jansen. 

McLaughlin has served as Air Station Sitka’s commander since July of 2020. Before stepping down, he said his goodbyes in a thoughtful speech, peppered with jokes, and even a couple of spelling lessons. McLaughlin will be transferring to the Coast Guard 17th District in Juneau as the new chief of incident management. 

Listen to our 2020 interview with McLaughlin, amid his first days on the job.

Known for his sense of humor, Captain Brian McLaughlin’s outgoing words to Air Station Sitka included a lesson on the difference between “hanger” and “hangar” and “moral” and “morale.”

Incoming Commander Jansen previously served as operations and executive officer of the coast guard air station in Astoria, and as a commanding officer in Warrenton, Oregon. It’s Jansen’s third assignment in District 17. Earlier in his career, he flew helicopters for the Coast Guard in San Diego and at Air Station Kodiak. 

A change of command ceremony marks a transfer of authority from one person to another- a longstanding tradition, Jansen assumes his role as Air Station Sitka’s 24th commander.

Outgoing Captain Brian McLaughlin shakes hands with incoming Air Station Sitka Commander Vincent Jansen (KCAW/Rose)