PUBLISHED: 4:46 PM on Wednesday, July 9, 2008
Air Station Sitka welcomes new commanding officer
SITKA - Coast Guard Air Station Sitka held a change of command ceremony inside the Coast Guard Hangar on July 3.

Commander David A. Walker relieved Commander John G. Turner as the Air Station Sitka commanding officer.

Turner's next assignment will be in Colorado where he will serve as future maritime operations chief. Walker is reporting to Air Station Sitka after serving as operations officer and executive officer for Air Station Miami.

Photo courtesy of the United States Coast Guard
  From left: Outgoing Cmdr. John G. Turner, Admiral Arthur E. Brooks and incoming Cmdr. David A. Walker during a Change of Command ceremony held at Air Station Sitka on July 3.
Walker graduated from Mississippi State University in 1982 and holds a Bachelor of Science Degree. He received a 2nd Lt. commission in the United States Army and attended the Infantry Officer Basic Course, Parachutist School and Aviation Flight Training.

His first assignment was as a UH-1H Platoon Leader, Assistant Operations Officer and Battalion/S-3 Air Operations Officer in Germany. In 1989 he received a Direct Commission as a Coast Guard Aviator.

Walker has over 6,500 accident free military flight hours and his military awards include an Arctic Service Medal, Antarctic Service Medal, three Humanitarian Service Medals, three Coast Guard Commendation Medals and an Army Commendation Medal.

Walker is married to Bonnie Lynn Dahl of Fort Walton Beach, Fla. They have one son, David Jr.

Air Station Sitka's area of responsibility includes 169,000 square miles of Southeast Alaska encompassing 12,000 miles of coastline. Since June 2006 Air Station Sitka has responded to 248 search and rescue cases, saved 149 lives and rendered assistance to another 401 people in one of the Coast Guards most challenging area's of responsibility. Additionally, Air Station Sitka has successfully completed 102 medical evacuations while Turner was commanding officer, more than any other Coast Guard unit. Air Station Sitka follows the Coast Guard motto "Semper Paratus" and maintains their reputation as a multi-mission Air Station under the new commanding officer.