Lt. Cmdr. Justin Kimura (Coast Guard via AP)
PORT HURON, Mich. — Justin Kimura was born in Hawaii, but he's familiar with Michigan.
And that familiarity will help him once he takes over command of the Coast Guard cutter Hollyhock in Port Huron on June 14.
"We were excited," Lt. Cmdr. Kimura said of learning of his assignment aboard the Hollyhock. "This was our No. 1 pick."
Kimura said his wife has already started looking for their new home. A native of Grand Rapids, she's excited to be coming home.
"I personally love it up there as well," Kimura, 36, told the http://www.thetimesherald.com">Times Herald of Port Huron.
The Coast Guard rotates assignments depending on the position. The Hollyhock commander is assigned to the ship for three-year stints. Cmdr. Tim Brown will leave the Hollyhock to become the Coast Guard Academy planning officer in New London, Conn.
Kimura is the director of law enforcement, maritime security and defense operations executive assistant at Coast Guard headquarters in Washington, D.C.
A 1998 graduate of the academy, he's previously been stationed in Honolulu and Astoria, Oregon. Kimura also spent two years on cutter Mackinaw in Cheboygan as the executive officer.
The Hollyhock is a 225-foot cutter responsible for tending buoys and other Coast Guard missions. The ship also is capable of breaking ice in the waterways.
The $29 million ship was launched in 2003.
After Kimura takes command, the ship and crew will head south. The ship will spend the summer in dry dock in Maryland for planned repairs and maintenance.
Kimura, who has a 15-month-old daughter with his wife, said his family enjoys being outdoors and looks forward to taking up cross country skiing again.