NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Coast Guard Commandant Thad Allen will continue to manage the government's response to the oil spill after stepping down from his post later this month as the Coast Guard's leader.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said Thursday that Allen has agreed to stay on as the national incident commander. She said he will "ensure that every available resource is leveraged efficiently and effectively to mitigate the spill's impacts."

Adm. Robert J. Papp Jr. is set to relieve Allen as commandant later this month. Allen said that the changes would allow him to "focus solely on this critical response, and Admiral Papp on the vital work of the Coast Guard."