Saturday, June 23, 2001

Navy, Coast Guard units
receive new commanders

Star-Bulletin staff

The commands of two major island military units changed hands yesterday.

At Kaneohe Bay, Rear Adm. Anthony Winns relieved Rear Adm. Michael Holmes as commander of the Patrol and Reconnaissance Force Pacific. The unit is responsible for all Navy aviation maritime patrol P-3 and reconnaissance EP-3 planes and personnel in the Pacific.

Included under Winns' command is the EP-3 crew stationed at Whidbey Island in the state of Washington and which was detained by the Chinese when its surveillance plane was hit by a Chinese jet fighter over the South China Sea, killing the Chinese pilot and forcing the 24 American crew members to make an emergency landing on Hainan island. The U.S. crew was then held there for 11 days.

The United States will dismantle the four-engine aircraft and ship it back on a barge or aboard a cargo plane.

At Sand Island, Rear Adm. Ralph Utley took command of the 14th Coast Guard District, relieving Rear Adm. Joseph McClelland, who retired after 35 years of service.

Utley, a 1970 Coast Guard Academy graduate, came to Hawaii after being the director of the Navy Command Center and Interagency Support Division in Washington, D.C.

He holds master's degrees from the University of Southern California and Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government.

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