NOAA Ship Ferdinand R. Hassler Has New Command, but Continues Important Mission


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U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker Tours the NOAA Ship Ferdinand R. Hassler
U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker Tours the NOAA Ship Ferdinand R. Hassler

On Thursday, July 21, exactly 209 years to the day that President Thomas Jefferson approved Ferdinand Rudolph Hassler’s plan to conduct a survey of our new nation’s coastlines, Secretary Pritzker became the first sitting Secretary of Commerce to attend a NOAA change-of-command ceremony for Ferdinand’s namesake ship in Norfolk, Virginia. During the ceremony she thanked Lt. Cmdr. Welton for her work as the NOAA ship Ferdinand R. Hassler’s commanding officer and congratulated her on becoming the Chief of the Atlantic Hydrographic Branch. She also praised the work of Lt. Cmdr. Jaskoski and shared how the Hassler’s legacy of exploration and scientific discovery will continue under his capable leadership.

In her remarks, Secretary Pritzker highlighted the pivotal role that the NOAA Commissioned Corps and the Hassler play in the Department of Commerce’s mission to ensure that communities and businesses have the information they need to prosper in a changing environment. Secretary Pritzker also reflected upon the Hassler’s achievements since it was commissioned in 2012, including its completion of 46 hydrographic surveys and its role in locating navigational hazards caused by Hurricane Sandy. In the wake of that devastation and destruction, the Hassler swiftly deployed. The crew searched for dangers to navigation routes in the ports of Hampton Roads and Baltimore. Using innovative side scan and multi-beam sonar technologies, the Hassler’s emergency surveys located navigational hazards caused by the hurricane that threatened nearby ships.

As a result of the expertise of the NOAA Corps officers and crew and the capability of their equipment, ports reopened more quickly, and commercial, military, and recreational traffic resumed. The Northeast began to rebuild much faster because of this vital work. This is just one of several success stories made possible by the Hassler. These contributions are a testament to the officers and crew who work daily to make it easier for Americans to navigate our waters.

After the ceremony, Secretary Pritzker also hosted the first-ever Commerce Department Instameet with seven of her Instagram followers. The Instagrammers in attendance document the change-of-command ceremony and their time with Secretary Pritzker using the #HasslerInstameet hashtag.

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Last updated: 2016-07-22 13:25

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