Prior to the Pacific Strike Team CDR Donohue served as an International Port Security Liaison Officer attached to Coast Guard Activities Europe in the Netherlands where he worked with U.S. Embassies, foreign governments and other agencies throughout Europe Africa and the Middle East to reduce international and domestic maritime terrorism risks. In this position he conducted port and maritime security exercise workshops and seminars throughout Africa as a FEMA Certified Master Exercise Practitioner; and coordinated bilateral port security engagements with countries such as Tanzania, Kenya, Somalia, Sudan, Djibouti, Iraq and Israel.
From 2008-2010, CDR Donohue served as Chief of Response at Marine Safety Unit Port Arthur Texas, the largest MSU in the Coast Guard. He directed a staff of over 160 personnel, 20 Defender Class Small Boats and a 24/7 operations center to implement Incident Management, Pollution Response, Facility Inspections, Military Outload and Maritime Law Enforcement. As Operations Section Chief and Federal On-Scene Coordinator Representative (FOSCR), CDR Donohue directed all response operations throughout Southeast Texas and Southwest Louisiana when Hurricane Ike made landfall with a 17 foot storm surge in September 2009. He also oversaw numerous pollution response cases, including 50 oil spills following Hurricane Ike, a 100,000 gallon offshore pipeline spill, and the two largest National Pollution Fund Cases in 2009: the federal removal of 10,000 gallons of heavy oil from the submerged shipwreck of the S.S. Beaumont; and the assumption of operations to remove a heavy oil-filled-barge from a sensitive wetland. In January 2010, CDR Donohue served as Deputy OSC and later Deputy Incident Commander for the Eagle Otome collision that spilt an estimated 462,000 gallons of crude oil in the Sabine River and involved over 1,200 command post and field responders.
Serving in the Operating and Environmental Standards Division at Coast Guard Headquarters from 2003 to 2007, CDR Donohue oversaw the implementation and enforcement of the Coast Guard’s Mandatory Ballast Water Management Program, and drafted the initial regulatory text for approval of ballast water management systems that was later incorporated into 33 CFR 162. CDR Donohue was an Oil and Hazardous Material (ESF #10) Watch-Stander at FEMA's National Response Coordination Center for numerous national level contingencies and exercises from 2004 to 2007; and facilitated national interagency coordination and multi-million dollar mission assignment execution during hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
At Marine Safety Office Providence, he held positions as Facility Branch Chief, Marine and Environmental Protection Branch Chief, and Investigations Officer; acted as FOSCR and Site Safety Officer for the salvage of the F/V Cape Fear; and served as Resource Unit leader during the search and recovery efforts for the downed aircraft carrying John F. Kennedy Jr.
Commander Donohue received his commission from Coast Guard Officer Candidate School in 1997 after working for Hatts Diving Headquarters; Brown and Cole Diving Services; and then Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute as a contracted Biologist for the South Florida Water Management District. He holds a Master of Arts in Marine Affairs from the University of Rhode Island; a Bachelor of Science Degree in Chemical Oceanography from Florida Institute of Technology; and Merchant Mariner Credentials for Uninspected Passenger Vessels and Inland Vessels Not More Than 25 Gross Tons. His personal awards include; a Meritorious Service Medal, three Coast Guard Commendation Medals and two Coast Guard Achievement Medals. He is a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) certified Master Exercise Practitioner; and he holds Coast Guard designations in Boat Forces, Marine Safety and Environmental Protection.
Lieutenant Commander Norm Witt is currently serving as the Executive Officer at the National Strike Force’s Pacific Strike Team, a national asset which responds to emergency incidents involving the release of hazardous materials, discharges of oil, natural disasters, and weapons of mass destruction events. One of three USCG special teams, the Pacific Strike Team works for USCG and Environmental Protection Agency Federal On-Scene Coordinators in supporting their authorities under the National Contingency Plan.
Prior to his most recent tour at Officer Personnel Management, LCDR Witt worked for 8 years in the Marine Safety field, serving tours at Sector Jacksonville and Marine Safety Office Morgan City. After his commissioning at USCG OCS in 1999, LCDR Witt served as a Deck Watch Officer aboard CGC NORTHLAND. Prior to his USCG career, LCDR Witt served in the US Army and was stationed with the 82d Airborne Division.
LCDR Witt holds a B.S. in Criminology from the University of Tampa. His personal awards include the Meritorious Service Medal, two Coast Guard Commendation Medals, Army Commendation Medal, Coast Guard Achievement Medal, Army Achievement Medal, and two Commandant’s Letters of Commendation.
He is married to Theresa Nguyen-Witt, from Savannah, GA. They have three children: McKayla (12), Jamison (10), and Kinsley (2).
Chief Ksenzulak grew up and lived in Bend, OR. until he enlisted in the summer of 1993. He is currently engaged to Ms. Cindy Kono who works as a police officer for the City of Palo Alto, and has 3 Children from a prior marriage: Jacob, Abby, and Nathan. Chief Ksenzulak will be retiring September 2014.
Chief Ksenzulak’s career summary:
Pacific Strike Team, Novato, CA. (July 12 – Sept 14)
PATFORSWA RAID Team, Kuwait (July 11- July 12) MKC:
Sta Coos Bay, OR. (July 07 – June 11) MKC, Engineer Petty Officer (EPO):
Sta Valdez, AK. (June 05 – July 07) MK1/MKC, Engineer Petty Officer (EPO):
LORAN STA Kodiak, AK. (July 02 – June 05) MK1, Engineer Petty Officer (EPO):
CGC Osprey, Port Townsend, WA. (August 00 – July 02) MK2/MK1, Assistant Engineer Petty Officer (AEPO):
LORAN STA Shoal Cove, Ketchikan, AK. (May 97 – August 00) MK3/MK2:
CGC Orcas, Coos Bay, OR. (June 95 – May 97) MK3:
CGC Sweetbrier, Cordova, AK. (Oct 93 – April 95) FN:
Chief Ksenzulak’s military awards include the Army Commendation Medal, 3 CG Achievement Medals, 3 Letter of Commendation ribbons, 2 National Defense Service Medals, and 6 Good Conduct Award. He has also earned his Permanent Cuttermans insignia, and Permanent Boat Forces Command insignia. He holds the following certificates, Universal Refrigerant Technician, Boarding Officer, Small Arms Instructor, and Honda Outboard Technician.
“The World’s Best Responders: Any Time, Any Place, Any Hazard.”