LCDR Helgen began his career aboard USCGC ACTIVE, Port
Angeles, WA (1998-2000), serving as the Combat Information Center
Officer, Support Services Department Head, Law Enforcement Officer, and
Boarding Officer. Aboard
CGC ACTIVE, LCDR Helgen conducted several counter-narcotics operations
in the Eastern Pacific and fisheries law enforcement off the Washington
and Oregon coasts.
Following USCGC ACTIVE, he served on Pacific Area
Operations Staff, Cutter Forces Section, Alameda, CA (2000-2002),
managing major cutter deployment schedules, budgets, maintaining
oversight of the Pacific Area Tactical Law Enforcement Team and serving
as the Area Patrol Boat program manager.
Following 9/11, he helped stand up the Sea Marshal program in San
Francisco Bay and assisted in the conceptual development of the Maritime
Safety and Security Team program.
After Pacific Area, LCDR Helgen was
assigned role as the Operations Officer aboard USCGC MORGENTHAU,
Alameda, CA (2002-2004), planning & executing Eastern Pacific
counter-narcotics deployments off the Mexican and Central and South
American coasts, Bering Sea deployments along the US/Russian Maritime
Boundary Line, Search and Rescue Response in support of the 2003 Bristol
Bay Red King Crab season as well as Homeland Security Operations in San
Diego, Los Angeles / Long Beach, and San Francisco at the onset of
OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM hostilities.
After MORGENTHAU, he served as the
Executive Officer of the Pacific Area Training Team in Alameda, CA
(2004-2007), where he coordinated patrol boat damage control & emergency
procedures, small boat station, fisheries, and law enforcement training
for all units in Pacific Area.
LCDR Helgen left the PAC TRATEAM for
Patrol Forces Southwest Asia in the Northern Arabian Gulf as the 7th
Patrol Boat Crew Commanding Officer (2007-2008).
He commanded USCGC ADAK, MONOMOY, MAUI, BARANOF, and AQUIDNECK
supporting OPERATIONS IRAQI and ENDURING FREEDOM, defending Iraq’s two
offshore oil terminals, the Al Basra Oil Terminal and the Khwar Al Amaya
Oil Terminal. He also
served as the Officer-in-Charge of Forward Operating Base Kuwait Naval
Base coordinating operational, and engineering, logistics support for
USCG patrol boats and US Navy PCs.
He also served as a liaison to US Embassy, and US Army, Navy, and
Air Force personnel in Kuwait.
After departing the Middle East, LCDR
Helgen served as the Commanding Officer of USCGC
ROANOKE ISLAND, Homer, AK (2008-2010), conducting Fisheries Law
Enforcement, Recreational Boating Safety, Search and Rescue, and
Homeland Security in the Gulf of Alaska.
LCDR Helgen left Alaska to serve at US
Northern Command and North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) as
a Maritime Domain Chief in the NORAD-NORTHCOM Command Center, Colorado
Springs, CO, monitoring maritime threats and natural disasters in and
around North America (2010-2012).
Currently, LCDR Helgen serves as the Executive Officer
aboard USCGC ACTIVE, managing the ship’s budget, property, and personnel
while executing counternarcotics missions in the Eastern Pacific and
fisheries law enforcement and search and rescue from California to the
LCDR Helgen is married to Alison Joan
Claire Helgen of Johannesburg, South Africa and they have a
two-and-a-half year old son, Ian, and their Jack Russell Terrier, Saffa.
LCDR Helgen’s awards include the Defense
Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal, two Coast
Guard Commendation Medals, a Coast Guard Achievement Medal, 9/11 Medal,
Iraqi Campaign Medal, and a permanent Cutterman’s Pin.