Commander Eric Smith
CDR Smith hails from Orlando, FL and enlisted in the Coast Guard in 1989. First serving at CG Group Cape Hatteras, NC, he attended Electronics Technician ”A” School at TRACEN Petaluma, CA with follow on tours at Loran Station Iwo Jima, Japan and Communication Station Miami, FL. He received his commission from Officer Candidate School, Yorktown, VA in 1997 and was selected for flight training. Following designation as a naval aviator in 1999, he was assigned to CGAS Clearwater, FL where he served as the Operations Bahamas Turks and Caicos Officer coordinating logistics for four deployed HH60J helicopters conducting search and rescue, counter drug and alien migrations missions throughout the western Caribbean basin.
After completing the Aviation Engineering Program in 2004, CDR Smith was assigned as the assistant Engineering Officer at CG Air Station Astoria, OR where he supported the maintenance of 3 MH-60J helicopters, Advanced Helicopter Rescue School and one of only two Coast Guard Air Station staffed Aircraft Rescue & Fire Fighting programs. He was assigned as the Engineering Officer at CG Air Station San Francisco, CA in 2008 where he led 70 personnel and oversaw the maintenance program supporting 3 MH-65C helicopters and implementation of Airborne Use Of Force capabilities. He currently serves as the Executive Officer at the Coast Guard Aviation Technical Training Center, Elizabeth City, NC.
CDR Smith holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Computer Science from Florida International University. A graduate of the Coast Guard Advanced Helicopter Rescue School and US Army High Altitude Training Course, he has accumulated over 4200 flight hours serving as an Instructor Pilot in MH-60J and Aircraft Commander in MH-65C helicopters. He is the recipient of the 2007 Order of Daedalians, USCG Exceptional Pilot Award and his personal military honors include the Distinguished Flying Cross, three Coast Guard Commendation Medals and four Coast Guard Achievement Medals. .