Change of command takes place for Coast Guard in Lake Charles

Marine Safety Unit Lake Charles being inspected at the change of command ceremony.
Marine Safety Unit Lake Charles being inspected at the change of command ceremony.
New commanding officer- Cmdr. Will Watson, USCG
New commanding officer- Cmdr. Will Watson, USCG

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - The United States Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Lake Charles is now functioning under a new commander.

A change of command ceremony took place to allow Commander Will Watson to take over for Lieutenant Commander Robert Compher.

Lieutenant Commander Compher is following new orders to the Naval War College in Rhode Island after three years here.

"Me and my family have loved living in Lake Charles," said Lt. Cmdr. Compher. "You're not going to find a friendlier more welcoming community, hard working community, than you have here. We have just enjoyed every minute of our time here."

Lieutenant Cmdr. Compher says he will miss the people, the food and the atmosphere of southwest Louisiana.

"I'm going to miss the community, it's sad but excitement at the same time," said Lt. Cmdr. Compher. "I know Commander Watson is very excited to take over and he's going to do a great job for the coast guard here and for the community."

The unit will now be led by Commander Will Watson. Commander Watson comes from a similar unit in Texas City, Texas.

"The area of responsibility here is great," said Cmdr. Watson. "I mean this is the 11th largest port in the nation. I was more than happy to come here, especially having been in south Louisiana before, when I was over in New Orleans. So it was just a logical fit."  

Commander Watson says he's ready to follow his new orders and lead his 62 active member team.

"As far as executing the mission, the coast guard mission, it just gives me an opportunity as a commanding officer to have greater control over getting things done for the people of south Louisiana," said Cmdr. Watson. "We're excited about keeping our ports and waterways safe and secure."

After finishing his year at the Naval War College, Lieutenant Commander Compher plans to continue working with the United States Navy, hopefully at the Pentagon.

The change of command won't happen in Lake Charles for another three years.

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