External Affairs is a command function aimed at building and maintaining relationships among the community, elected officials and media. The Fifth District External Affairs program is divided into Governmental Affairs who field formal and informal congressional inquires and elected official visits throughout the district, and Public Affairs who provide coverage of newsworthy command events, Community Relations, Media Relations for the district. Each of these interdependent outreach efforts are critical to educating the American public about the important work the Coast Guard does for our Nation and our community.

The 5th District External Affairs team located in Portsmouth, Virginia oversees media relations and press releases for the coastal areas of Virginia and North Carolina. The PA Detachment located at the Coast Guard Yard in Baltimore covers media relations in the Maryland and Delaware Bay area. 

Additionally, the Fifth District External Affairs program provides guidance to units and training for collateral-duty Public Affairs and Governmental Affairs Officers throughout the district.  

To contact the Duty Public Affairs Officer for the Virginia and North Carolina area call 757-295-8435. To contact the Duty Public Affairs Officer for the Maryland and Delaware Bay area call 410-576-2541. During office hours call 757-398-6272 Main Office, 410-576-2541 PA Detachment Baltimore.  


The Coast Guard Fifth District does not maintain a portrait studio capable of providing command official photographs; however, we do maintain a support relationship with the Navy Public Affairs Support Element (NPASE) at Naval Station Norfolk. 

The NPASE office is manned with Navy MCs, who operate and maintain a professional-permanent studio and provide this service based on scheduled appointment times. Please use the below Official Photo Request Form and/or call (757) 396-3879 or (757) 282-1983 to schedule an appointment or for additional information.

Additional Portrait Request Form

Directions: Please email the information below to to schedule your official portrait at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard Portrait Studio. The studio will then contact you with their availability. Please see the attached maps for exact building location.


Name of Requestor:



Preferred Dates/Times (list at least three):





Guidance for Official Portraits: All official portraits for U.S. Coast Guard personnel shall be taken in the Service Dress Blue uniform. Portraits shall be in color, showing head and shoulders with the subject seated. The wearing of a cover is optional, but LANT-092 recommends obtaining two versions; one with cover and one without. The U.S. Flag shall be behind and to the subject’s right side, and the U.S. Coast Guard Standard behind and to the subject’s left side. The showing of sleeve lace is not required. The digital image shall be saved so that it produces a resolution of 300dpi for an 8x10 inch image.


Directions to the Norfolk Naval Shipyard Portrait Studio:

Address: (address is to parking lot)

706 Warrington Ave

Portsmouth, VA 23704



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