NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Local News

June 25, 2013

Port's Coast Guard skipper to retire

Port's new Coast Guard chief arrives Friday

NEWBURYPORT — A formal change in command at the Coast Guard station is scheduled for Friday, when senior chief boatswain’s mate Jason Holm steps down as chief after almost four years here.

He will be replaced by Mark DiLenge, who holds the same (E-8) rank. DiLenge has been transferred from Honolulu.

Formal transition will take place at 10 a.m. at the Water Street facility.

“A lot has happened during my time in Newburyport,” said Holm, 38, a native of Mobile, Ala. “We’ve appreciated the support we get from the community, and I’ve enjoyed the people I’ve met.”

Holm will be retiring from the service after 20 years and will be taking the post of assistant harbormaster in Chatham.

The Coast Guard, which was founded here in 1791, has received increased visibility since Newburyport was named by the service as a Coast Guard City last summer.

Only about 15 communities in the country hold that honorary designation, and federal, state and local officials celebrated the moment with parties, formal observations and waterfront festivities. The title is meant to infer the local Coast Guard station and the community have a tight relationship.

Mayor Donna Holaday, who was a driving force in acquiring the designation, commented on Holm’s departure by saying: “I am proud that Newburyport became a Coast Guard City under his watch and that the Harbor Commission was able to recognize the chief with a special award.

“It has been a pleasure to work with him and all the men and women under his command assigned to Station Merrimack River. He will be missed, but we know where to visit him in his new position in Chatham.”

The Coast Guard operates under the banner of the Department of Homeland Security in times of peace. During war, the service is directed by the president and is managed through the Navy.

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