Captain Joseph P. Kelly assumed command of Air Station Elizabeth City, North Carolina, in July 2011. As one of the oldest air units in the Coast Guard, Air Station Elizabeth City has proudly served the nation and the citizens of North Carolina since 1940. Under Captain Kelly's leadership, the Air Station operates a fleet of four MH-60 helicopters and five HC-130J fixed-wing aircraft executing Homeland Security and Maritime Safety missions throughout the eastern Atlantic region.
Prior to this assignment, he has served on the Atlantic Area staff since 2006. His staff assignments were Asset Scheduling and Prioritization Branch Chief and Aviation Forces Section Chief. His primary responsibility included; scheduling and allocation of aviation resources, primary aviation subject matter expert to the Area Commander, and operational link to Coast Guard Headquarters Office of Aviation Capabilities. He has served as the coordinator for integrating expeditionary use of force assets for Counter Drug Interdiction and integrating Coast Guard air assets in protection of the National Capital Region. As a member of the Atlantic Area Response Division, he balanced ongoing mission demands with coordinated government aviation support to such recent events as the Gulf Coast Environmental disaster, Haitian Earthquake, and every major hurricane that threatened the United States.
Captain Kelly served as Executive Officer and Operations Officer at Group-Air Station Atlantic City from 2003-2006. He provided scheduling and oversight for all Coast Guard missions with 6 H65 helicopters, 4 Boat Stations, 3 Patrol Boats, an Aids to Navigation Team, as well as a vital reserve and auxiliary component. From 1998-2002 he served as the Assistant Operations and Facilities Engineering Officer at Air Station Detroit, MI. From 1994-1998 he served as the Supply, Contracting, and Property officer for Group-Air Station Port Angeles, WA which included 3 HH65A aircraft, 2 Boat Stations, 2 Patrol Boats, and the Aids to Navigation team. From 1991-1994 he served as the education services officer in the Administration Department at Air Station Borinquen, Puerto Rico. His operational experience also includes Search and Rescue Mission Coordinator, HH-65C Instructor Pilot, and Flight Examining/Standardization Board member.
Captain Kelly received his Commission from Officer Candidate School at Yorktown, Virginia on March 4th, 1988. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Forest Biology from the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry, and a Master of Business Administration from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.
In addition to his Naval Aviator Wings, Captain Kelly earned the Coast Guard Boat Force Operations Insignia. His military awards include the Meritorious Service Medal, Commendation Medal (2), and Achievement Medal (2) among others.