New commander starts at Air Station Traverse City

A ceremony took place this morning to change command from Commander Joe Buzzella (left) to the new Commander Sean Cross (right)

The Coast Guard station in Traverse City has a new commander.

A change of command ceremony took place at the Air Station this morning. The ceremony marks the transfer of command from Commander Joseph Buzzella to Commander Sean Cross.

Hundreds of people packed the Air Station to thank Commander Buzzella for his service to the community and welcome Commander Sean Cross.

"It is a day that is exciting and it is a day that has come to pass and I know that I had to move on, and I know to me it's been a great honor to serve in Coast Guard City, Traverse City," said Commander Buzzella.

Commander Buzzella, a graduate of Harvard, is responsible for multi-mission MH-65C helicopter operations through Lakes Michigan, Superior and Lake Huron as well as areas in the Caribbean and the Red River. He has accumulated over 4000 flight hours and served at stations in Miami Beach, Cape Cod, Washington D.C. and San Francisco. He will now work in Washington D.C.

Commander Cross comes to Traverse City from Air Station Elizabeth City, in North Carolina. While in North Carolina, Commander Cross executed missions to Central America and the Arctic. His unit also responded to Hurricane Sandy and the HMS Bounty sinking. He brings his wife and two children to the Traverse City area.

" I'm most excited about bringing my kids here and letting them grow up for two years and to see this," said Commander Cross. "How a community embraces a service like the coastguard. It's very special."

Commander Buzzella will be taking his wife and three children with him to Washington D.C. where he will be a student at the National War College, studying National Security Strategy for one year.