Commerce Secretary to participate in NOAA ship change of command in Norfolk

Media availability to follow ceremony
July 18, 2016
NOAA Ship Ferdinand R Hassler

On Thu., July 21, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker will attend the change-of-command ceremony for NOAA Ship Ferdinand R. Hassler, a state-of-the-art seafloor mapping ship that provides vital nautical data in support of safe navigation and commerce.

The NOAA ship is commanded by the NOAA Commissioned Corps, one of the seven uniformed services in the United States. At the Department of Commerce, the NOAA Commissioned Corps plays a pivotal role in our mission to ensure that communities and businesses have the information they need to prosper in a changing environment.

Lt. Cmdr. Matthew Jaskoski will assume command from Lt. Cmdr. Briana Welton, who served as the Hassler’s third commanding officer and will become the chief of the Atlantic Hydrographic Branch. Lt. Cmdr. Jaskoski has previously served as second-in-command for NOAA Ship Fairweather. Currently, 321 NOAA Commissioned Corps officers advance scientific exploration of our country’s coastlines and collect environmental data that promote more resilient communities.

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker will deliver remarks highlighting the Hassler’s contributions since its commissioning just over four years ago, including its completion of 46 hydrographic surveys that provide important information about our coasts. She will also acknowledge the many accomplishments of both Lt. Cmdr. Jaskoski and Lt. Cmdr. Welton.

Sec. Pritzker will host her first-ever Instameet with a number of her Instagram followers. The Instagrammers in attendance will document the change-of-command ceremony and their time with Sec. Pritzker using #HasslerInstameet.


NOAA Ship Ferdinand R. Hassler change-of-command ceremony

Thu., July 21; ship tour, 12:45 p.m., ceremony, 1:45 p.m.; media availability with Sec. Pritzker and other officials, 2:30 p.m.


  • U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker

  • Rear Adm. David A. Score, director, NOAA Office of Marine and Aviation Operations (OMAO) and NOAA Commissioned Officer Corps

  • Rear Adm. (Lower Half) Anita L. Lopez, OMAO deputy director for operations and NOAA Corps deputy director

  • Capt. Scott Sirois, commanding officer, NOAA Marine Operations Center - Atlantic

  • Capt. Eric Berkowitz, chief, Hydrographic Surveys Division, NOAA Coast Survey

  • Lt. Cmdr. Briana Welton, outgoing commanding officer, NOAA Ship Ferdinand R. Hassler

  • Lt. Cmdr. Matthew Jaskoski, incoming commanding officer, NOAA Ship Ferdinand R. Hassler

NOAA Marine Operations Center - Atlantic
439 West York Street
Norfolk, Virginia 23510-1114

Media must RSVP by July 20 to David Hall at 301-713-7671 or

David Hall,, 301-713-7671