Acquisition Profile: Capt. Joseph Uzmann

Capt. Joseph Uzmann took over as the command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance program manager in June 2016. His 23-year career has prepared him for his new challenge of developing a long-term strategy for the C4ISR program beyond the national security cutter acquisition.

Uzmann grew up on Cape Cod and thought about joining the Coast Guard from an early age. “We lived near the air station, and I always saw aircraft flying over,” he said. “I also really enjoyed sailing as a kid and saw the Coast Guard operating a lot on the water.” His father worked with a retired Coast Guard captain, who talked with Uzmann and coordinated a ride on an HH-3F Pelican helicopter. The ride convinced Uzmann that he wanted to enter the service, and he applied to the U.S. Coast Guard Academy with a recommendation from the retired captain.

Uzmann received a Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering from the academy in 1993. Upon graduation, he started his career as an engineer and deck watch officer on Coast Guard Cutter Escape out of Charleston, South Carolina, and then as the assistant engineer and damage control officer aboard Coast Guard Cutter Venturous out of St. Petersburg, Florida.

After four years of service as an engineer, the Coast Guard sent Uzmann to flight training, where he learned to fly the HH-60J Jayhawk helicopter. He flew out of air stations in Clearwater, Florida, and Kodiak, Alaska, also performing engineering duties at both posts. Uzmann said that one of his favorite moments in the Coast Guard so far was “flying over country in Alaska that maybe no human has ever walked on.”

In addition to his Coast Guard flight experience, Uzmann holds a commercial pilot’s license for both fixed-wing and rotary aircraft and is rated to fly sea planes.

In 2005, Uzmann began working toward his master’s degree in engineering from Purdue University, focusing on aeronautical engineering structures. After he graduated, his career transitioned to the acquisition side of the aviation community. He worked as the engineering cell leader at the Aviation Logistics Center in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, and then as the deputy program manager for the HC-130J long range surveillance aircraft program. He next spent three years as the program manager for the H-65 Dolphin conversion and sustainment program.

Uzmann holds a Level III Program Manager acquisition certification and a Level II Systems Engineering acquisition certification. “I’m a big fan of process,” he said of his management philosophy. “Defining and improving the processes and best practices that we follow will help us achieve success. My biggest goal is to develop our long-term strategy for what the C4ISR program will be beyond the national security cutter acquisition.”

For the short term, the C4ISR program is working to bring updated combat and situational awareness systems to the NSC fleet. The upgrades are already installed on Coast Guard cutters Waesche, Hamilton and James. In 2017, the program will install the new systems on Coast Guard cutters Bertholf and Stratton and upgrade the training center in Petaluma, California, to reflect the new standard configuration. They will also continue to develop new upgrades for the NSC fleet and new systems for the offshore patrol cutter. The program is also exploring what C4ISR equipment will be needed for new polar icebreakers.

He said that his previous experience gave him a strong understanding of information flow between assets and shore-side facilities, from which he believes the C4ISR program will benefit. He also noted that the C4ISR program presents its own unique challenges. “There’s an increased emphasis on information assurance and cybersecurity, and there are different IT requirements for surface assets than for aviation assets,” he said.

For more information: C4ISR program page