Coast Guard Cutter Harriet Lane Welcomes New Commanding Officer

Cmdr. Benjamin Goff relieved Cmdr. Dorothy Hernaez as commanding officer of the USCGC Harriet Lane (WMEC 903) in a change of command ceremony at Coast Guard Base Portsmouth, Wednesday, April 21st.

Vice Admiral Steven Poulin, the Atlantic Area commander, presided over the event.

Goff reported to Harriet Lane from the Coast Guard’s Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Cyber, and Intelligence (C51) Service Center in Portsmouth, where he served as the Command, Control, and Navigation product line manager. A native of Massachusetts, he graduated from the Coast Guard Academy in 2002.

Goff’s previous tours afloat include executive officers on the USCGC Chandeluer (WPB 1319) and USCGC Bear (WMEC 901). He was the commanding officer of the USCGC Pea Island (WPB 1347) and USCGC Nantucket (WPB 1317). He has also served ashore as deputy chief for Eastern Pacific Intelligence Targeting at Joint Interagency Task Force South.

Hernaez will be reporting to her next assignment in Washington, D.C., where she will serve as the Coast Guard’s liaison to the House of Representatives. She took command of Harriet Lane in June 2019, after serving as the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command’s chief of operations law.


“It has been an honor to serve as the commanding officer of Harriet Lane these past two years,” said Hernaez. “The crew excelled at every mission we were tasked with. I could not be more proud of the impact they have had in carrying out our national homeland security objectives with utmost precision and professionalism. Even with the challenge of remaining operationally effective through the COVID-19 pandemic, this crew has answered the call and was always ready. I am thrilled to be relieved by Cmdr. Goff who is a Coast Guard Academy classmate of mine. I have known him for many years, and I know he will lead this talented crew to future success.”

Harriet Lane is a multi-mission 270-foot medium endurance cutter homeported at Base Portsmouth. The crew is responsible for various Coast Guard missions, including search and rescue, enforcement of laws and treaties; maritime defense; and marine environmental protection. The versatility of the Famous-class cutter makes it a cost-effective platform in carrying out national homeland security objectives.


Photo by Seaman Kate Kilroy 

U.S. Coast Guard Atlantic Area