Rear Adm. Mary Landry, federal on-scene coordinator for the BP oil spill response, will rotate back to her role as commander of the Eighth Coast Guard District today to ensure continuity of leadership during the 2010 hurricane season, the Coast Guard announced.
Rear Adm. James Watson, who has been her deputy since April 23, will assume the role of federal on-scene coordinator. Rear Adm. Ray Nash will assume duties as deputy federal on-scene coordinator.
“The plan for Rear Adm. Landry to return to her command of the Eighth District at the beginning of the hurricane season has been the strategy since the beginning of this response," said Adm. Robert Papp, commandant, U.S. Coast Guard. “It is critically important that she make sure the Eighth Coast Guard District forces are ready for a potentially busy hurricane season in the midst of this environmental disaster.”
Landry has been the federal on-scene coordinator for the BP oil spill response since the oil rig exploded on April 20.
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“After my time as federal on-scene coordinator, I have a deep understanding of the impact this tragedy will have on the states in the Eighth District,” said Landry. “I commit to working closely with Rear Adm. Watson on our mutual goal of bringing the affected areas and communities through this disaster and seeing that they are made whole.”
Watson assumed duties as deputy commander of the Coast Guard Atlantic Area Command in April 2010. Prior to that, he served as Atlantic Area’s first Director of Operations, with operational assets that include 147 cutters, 97 aircraft and 1,106 boats in 26 Sectors east of the Rocky Mountains. He was promoted to flag rank in 2007.
“I commend Adm. Landry for her exceptional performance first in the rescue operation then as the Unified Commander for a massive four-state response effort resulting from the tragedy on the Deepwater Horizon rig,” said Adm. Thad Allen, National Incident Commander. “Adm. Watson will continue to aggressively direct the historic mobilization of local, state and federal resources as we continue to bring additional resources to bare to minimize the impact on the Gulf region’s environment and coastal communities.”
The Eighth Coast Guard District, headquartered in New Orleans, covers all or part of 26 states throughout the Gulf Coast and Heartland of America. It stretches from the Appalachian Mountains and Chattahoochee River in the east, to the Rocky Mountains in the west, and from the U.S./Mexico border and the Gulf of Mexico to the Canadian border in North Dakota.
Planning for the 2010 hurricane season has involved consideration of the effects that the BP oil spill could have on all response capabilities and recovery scenarios.
The hurricane season runs six months and begins June 1.