Captain Tom Hastings
A native of Vicksburg, Michigan, CAPT Tom Hastings graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1980 and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Army. Upon graduation from U.S. Army flight training at Fort Rucker Alabama, he served as a platoon leader in an air cavalry troop in the Republic of Korea, flying the AH-1 Cobra. He later returned to Rucker and served as an Instructor Pilot in the UH-1 Huey, teaching U.S. and allied students attending flight training. In 1986, CAPT Hastings left the U.S. Army and worked for Snap-on Tools Corp and Pan Am Flight Services.
Desiring to return to active duty military service, CAPT Hastings applied to the United States Coast Guard and was selected as a Direct Commission Aviator in 1988. His first assignment was to Air Station Clearwater where he flew the HH-3F Pelican, to include over 13 months of deployment time to Operation Bahamas, Turks and Caicos. During this tour, he completed a Masters of Aeronautical Science degree from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and was selected for the Coast Guard’s Aeronautical Engineering Program.
From 1993 to 1997, CAPT Hastings served as the Assistant Aeronautical Engineering Officer at Air Station Traverse City, flying the HH-60J Jayhawk until the unit transitioned to the HH-65A Dolphin. He was the first unit pilot to transition to the HH-65A Dolphin and the Project Officer responsible for the conversion of Air Station Chicago into an Air Facility. From 1997 to 2001, CAPT Hastings served as the Training Officer, and later, the Executive Officer of the Aviation Technical Training in Elizabeth City, North Carolina. As Training Officer, he oversaw the rewrite of all aviation curricula, correspondence courses, and service wide exams during the consolidation of the aviation ratings from five rates to three.
In 2001, CAPT Hastings was assigned as the Aeronautical Engineering Officer for Group/Air Station Corpus Christi, Texas where he also served as an Instructor Pilot in the HH-65B Dolphin. CAPT Hastings then served as the Executive Officer of Helicopter Interdiction Tactical Squadron Jacksonville, in Florida from 2004 to 2006. He flew the MH-68A Stingray and deployed as a member of aviation detachments on five different Coast Guard Cutters where he was able to experience first hand the employment of Airborne Use of Force to stop a go-fast vessel attempting to smuggle drugs. From June 2006 to July 2008, CAPT Hastings commanded Air Station New Orleans, the busiest (SAR cases) all-helicopter air station in the Coast Guard. This period included the rebuilding of the air station facilities severely damaged in 2005 and a record number of operations away from home station to include: extensive TAD support to the National Capital Region, several shuttle security missions, flood ops in Texas and the all along the Mississippi River.
In July 2008, CAPT Hastings became the Officer in Charge of the Maritime Liaison Office in the Kingdom of Bahrain. The 9 member office is responsible for liaison between US Naval Forces Central Command and the commercial maritime industry. Duties include travel to more than 10 countries in the Middle East and Eastern Africa. CAPT Hastings assumed command at the Aviation Technical Training Center on 29 April, 2010.
CAPT Hastings has logged over 6,000 flight hours in seven different rotary wing aircraft. His military awards include the Meritorious Service Medal (2), Coast Guard Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Coast Guard Achievement Medal, and the Commandant’s Letter of Commendation (2).