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Coast Guard Air Station Miami

COMMAND

 

Our Mission Statement

“Air Station Miami safely, effectively, and efficiently executes Coast Guard missions. We take care of our people and enhance our partnerships as vital resources to serve the Nation and achieve mission success.”

 Our Vision Statement

“A unit where mission excellence is unparalleled; optimism inspires relentless pursuit of proficiency in our trade; devotion to our people is evident in every decision we make.”


COMMANDING OFFICER

CAPT Eric A. Smith

CAPT Eric A. SmithCAPT Smith assumed command of Air Station Miami on June 24th, 2022. Prior to arriving at Air Station Miami, Captain Smith served as the Chief of Incident Management within the Response Division of District Seven in Miami, FL. In this role, he led forty personnel in planning and executing missions across a 1.8 Million square mile area that spans the Southeast U.S. and Caribbean. His primary functional portfolio included search and rescue, aviation, emergency management, pollution/HAZMAT response, and command center operations.

CAPT 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 HH-60J helicopters conducting search and rescue, counter drug and alien migration missions throughout the western Caribbean basin.

After completing the Aviation Engineering Program in 2004, CAPT 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/D helicopters and implementation of Airborne Use of Force capabilities. He next served as the Executive Officer at the Coast Guard Aviation Technical Training Center in Elizabeth City, NC overseeing logistics, infrastructure, and personnel issues at the Coast Guard’s enlisted aviation petty officer training academy. Prior to assignment at District Seven, CAPT Smith served as Executive Officer at Coast Guard Air Station Sitka Alaska.

CAPT Smith holds a Master of Science Degree in Quality Systems Management from New England College of Business and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Computer Science from Florida International University, and is certified as a LEAN Six Sigma Black Belt. A graduate of the Coast Guard Advanced Helicopter Rescue School and US Army High Altitude Training Course, he has accumulated over 5000 flight hours serving as an Instructor Pilot in MH-60J and Aircraft Commander in MH-65C/D helicopters, and holds a FAA Airline Transportation Pilot Certification. He is the recipient of the 2007 Order of Daedalians, USCG Exceptional Pilot Award and his personal military honors include the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Meritorious Service Medal, four Coast Guard Commendation Medals, six Coast Guard Achievement Medals and numerous other personal, unit and service awards.


EXECUTIVE OFFICER

CDR Travis R. Gagnon

Travis R. GagnonBorn and raised in Staffordville, CT, CDR Gagnon graduated from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy with a B.S. in Management in 2006.

His first assignment was as a Deck Watch Officer onboard the USCGC ESCANABA in Boston, MA and he served as the Combat Information Center Officer. From there, he was selected for and completed basic Naval Flight Training in Pensacola, FL. He continued multi-engine training in Corpus Christi, TX and received his wings of gold in August 2009. His first aviation assignment was Sector/Air Station Corpus Christi as a HU-25 Falcon pilot.

There, CDR Gagnon served as the Assistant Command Center Supervisor doubling as duty pilot and Operations Unit Controller. He held positions as the Sector Command Security Officer, Training Officer, Auxiliary Liaison, and Flight Scheduler. He flew many search and rescue missions, international fisheries interdictions, and Deepwater Horizon oil spill. CDR Gagnon managed the decommissioning project, asset class retirement ceremony, and piloted the final flight for the HU-25 Falcon.

In 2014, he reported to Air Station Miami, FL, where he served as an HC-144 Ocean Sentry pilot. Notable flights include six counter narcotics seizures valued at $64M, over 30 migrant interdictions, and first On-scene Commander for urban search and rescue during Hurricane Harvey. With communications towers inoperable, CDR Gagnon and his crew played an essential role relaying communications between command centers and over 30 helicopters simultaneously saving 865 lives. He served as the Leadership Diversity & Advisory Council Chair and the Assistant Special Services Department Head. He was selected as the Flight Safety Officer and graduated Naval Aviation Safety School in 2016 and led the safety program as the Fixed-wing Flight Safety Officer and first ever unit Safety Examiner.

CDR Gagnon is a lifelong learner. He completed his Master of Science in Quality Systems Management from the National Graduate School and a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt. In January 2020 he graduated from The George Washington University with a Masters of Public Administration and assigned to USCG Headquarters as a plank owner for the Office of Program Analysis and Evaluation (CG-PAE) in CG-8. There he led $2.9B in enterprise-wide Service strategies, asset laydowns, and budgeting evaluations streamlining Coast Guard management processes on a 20-year time horizon.

At the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, CDR Gagnon deployed to the White House Coronavirus Task Force working with Dept. of Health and Human Services, FEMA, and other govt. partners. He was entrusted as the Executive Officer of the data collection and analysis team revolutionizing the federal response for first-ever nation-wide hospital database used to prioritize the Strategic National Stockpile critical resources. He earned the Public Health Service’s second highest service medal for his efforts.

CDR Gagnon is heavily engaged with the community through Australian Rules Football and running clubs. He is a co-founder of the Jeff Braun Foundation for the Children of Honduras, an organization dedicated to the lifelong dream of his best friend and fallen Operation Iraqi Freedom veteran, which now houses 13 children and caretakers. His personal military decorations include a PHS & USCG Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal, two Commendation Medals, and other various personal and unit awards.

In July 2023, CDR Gagnon reported to Air Station Miami to serve as the Executive Officer. He resides in Hollywood, FL with his wife, LCDR Steph Wood, Civil Engineering Unit Miami Executive Officer.


 

COMMAND MASTER CHIEF

Master Chief Petty Officer Bryan P. Salazar

Salazar PortraitMaster Chief Bryan Salazar assumed the duties of Command Master Chief of Air Station Miami in July of 2021. Prior to this assignment, he served as Aircrew Program Manager at the Office of Aviation Forces where he oversaw aircrew requirements for all Coast Guard aircraft. In this role, he managed 70 pilot and aircrew training courses totaling $7 million, managed over $24 million in contracts, and established the Helicopter Flight Mechanic C School. 

He previously served as HC-144 Leading Chief Petty Officer and Education Services Officer at Aviation Training Center, Mobile. His other aviation assignments include Air Station Clearwater, Air Station Elizabeth City, Air Station Astoria, and Air Station San Diego. He also served aboard Coast Guard Cutter CHASE. 

Originally from Los Angeles, California, Master Chief Salazar completed Coast Guard Basic Training in 1999 and graduated from Avionics Technician Class A School in 2001. He is a graduate of the Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer Academy, the Senior Enlisted Leadership Course, and has earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Thomas Edison State University. 

As a Flight Mechanic on the HH-60J and MH-60T helicopters, he deployed in support of Hurricane Katrina, Super Bowl XL, and the inauguration of President Barrack Obama. His awards include the Meritorious Service Medal, the Coast Guard Commendation Medal, three Commandant’s Letters of Commendation, and seven Good Conduct Medals in addition to various team and unit awards.

Master Chief Salazar is married to the former Amy Adrian of Ontario, California, with whom he has two children, Kaytlin and Cameron.