CDR Heather Hanning

Prevention Department Head

Commander Heather E. Hanning assumed the role of Prevention Department Head, Sector North Carolina in June 2017.  She is responsible for preventing loss of life and property, minimizing security risks, and protecting the environment in the navigable waters of the State of North Carolina extending 200 miles offshore. Prior to her current assignment, she served as Executive Officer, Marine Safety Unit Paducah, KY where she was responsible for U.S. Coast Guard operations covering Kentucky, Tennessee, Illinois, and Missouri, and 500 miles of the Mississippi, Ohio, Tennessee, and Cumberland rivers.

Commander Hanning has served in the U. S. Coast Guard for over 18 years, spending the majority of her career supporting the strategic missions of marine safety, security and environmental protection. Her previous operational assignments include: Marine Safety Detachment Supervisor, Cincinnati, OH; Merchant Marine Industry Training – Shipyards & Shipbuilding, Mobile, AL; Small Passenger Vessel Inspections Branch Chief & Assistant Foreign Vessel Safety and Security Branch Chief, Sector Mobile, AL. Her previous staff assignments include Eighth District Waterways Management Branch Chief, New Orleans, LA, and Office of Marine Safety Information Systems, Coast Guard Headquarters, Washington, D.C.

Commander Hanning began her enlisted U.S. Coast Guard service in 1998, serving as a Seaman and Boatswain’s Mate Third Class aboard the 180-foot Coast Guard Cutter GENTIAN in Miami, FL. She received her commission from the U.S. Coast Guard’s Officer Candidate School in 2000. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Organizational Psychology from Purdue University and a Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership from Gonzaga University. She is a member of the Women’s International Shipping & Trading Association (WISTA).

Commander Hanning’s military awards include one Meritorious Service Medal, three Coast Guard Commendation Medals, three Coast Guard Achievement Medals, and the Commandant’s Letter of Commendation Ribbon. She is authorized to wear the Marine Safety Insignia.

Commander Hanning is a native of Hammond, Indiana, a Chicago suburb near the south shore of Lake Michigan. She has one son, Brody.

The Sector North Carolina Prevention Department is responsible for overseeing maritime safety, security, and environmental protection within North Carolina’s navigable waterways.  Comprised of three primary divisions, Inspections, Investigations, and Waterways Management, we execute various missions such as vessel examinations, aids to navigation, waterfront facility inspections, and marine casualty investigations. 

For questions, please feel free to contact us at (910) 512-5831 or