WASHINGTON (LOG NEWS SERVICE) — President Barack Obama is nominating Vice Adm. Paul F. Zukunft to be the next Coast Guard commandant.
If confirmed, Zukunft — who presently commands U.S. Coast Guard Pacific Area — will succeed retiring Adm. Robert J. Papp Jr.
Zukunft assumed the duties of Commander, Coast Guard Pacific Area in April 2012, where he serves as the operational commander for all Coast Guard missions within the half of the world that ranges from the Rocky Mountains to the waters off the East Coast of Africa.
Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Charles Johnson announced Zukunft’s nomination internally in an all hands email Feb. 28 to DHS personnel. The Coast Guard is part of Homeland Security.
Johnson said Zukunft will be a great leader for the future of the Coast Guard.
“As a 37 year veteran of the U.S. Coast Guard, he has demonstrated this leadership while serving in a number of different capacities, including coordinating federal response to the Deepwater Horizon Spill. During the response, Vice Admiral Zukunft directed more than 47,000 responders, 6,500 vessels and 120 aircraft as the Coast Guard worked to respond to and recover from the largest oil spill in U.S. history, Johnson said.
Zukunft graduated from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in 1977 and was promoted to flag rank in 2006. He holds advanced degrees from the U.S. Naval War College and Webster University.
“If confirmed as Commandant, Vice Admiral Zukunft will follow another great leader — Admiral Robert Papp, Jr.,” Johnson said. “I thank Admiral Papp for his years of service to the U.S. Coast Guard, to the Department of Homeland Security, and to this Nation, and I look forward to seeing Vice Admiral Zukunft continue his great work.