Captain Vincent Skwarek assumed command of the Coast Guard Yard on June 25, 2019. He is the 43rd Commanding Officer in the Yard’s 122-year history.
Upon commissioning Captain Skwarek reported as Student Engineer aboard Coast Guard Cutter (CGC) POLAR SEA in Seattle, Washington and subsequently served as Damage Control Assistant and Assistant Engineer Officer. Following graduate school, he reported to the Office of Naval Engineering at Coast Guard Headquarters, serving on the Deepwater Surface Asset Integrated Product Team. Captain Skwarek served as Engineer Officer aboard CGC SPENCER in Boston, Massachusetts and participated in Hurricane KATRINA relief operations in New Orleans. His follow-on assignment at the Engineering Logistics Center was as the ATON Branch Chief. With the standup of the Surface Forces Logistics Center this position transformed into the Icebreaker, Buoy and Construction Tender Product Line’s ATON Asset Management Section Chief.
From 2010 until 2013, Captain Skwarek served as Commanding Officer of Naval Engineering Support Unit New Orleans where he directed Naval Engineering mission support responses in the 26 state Mississippi Valley and Gulf Coast region. He played leading roles in directing logistics response efforts in Hurricanes ISSAC and SANDY along with providing evidence support for the largest oil spill in history, the DEEPWATER HORIZON spill.
Captain Skwarek reported to Coast Guard Headquarters, Office of Naval Engineering in 2013. As Chief of the Resources Management Division for two years, he oversaw execution of the $380 million annual vessel maintenance budget and the development of Naval Engineering policy.
Captain Skwarek most recently served as the Coast Guard Yard Industrial Manager overseeing shipyard operations at the Coast Guard’s only shipyard and largest industrial facility in the Department of Homeland Security.
Captain Skwarek graduated from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in 1994, earning a Bachelor of Science with High Honors in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering. He earned a Naval Architect Professional Degree and a Master of Science in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering from the University of Michigan in 1999. In 2019, Captain Skwarek obtained a Master of Arts degree in Defense and Strategic Studies with Distinction from the U.S. Naval War College. His personal awards include four Meritorious Service Medals, two Coast Guard Commendation Medals, and numerous unit and team awards. He is a registered Project Management Professional and a Senior-Level Acquisition Program Manager.
Captain Skwarek is originally from Trenton, New Jersey. He and his wife, Ruth, have four children – Marika, Hannah, Annika, and David.
Commander Lauren Dufrene has held the role of Executive Officer of the Coast Guard Yard since June 22, 2020.
Upon commissioning, Commander Dufrene reported as a Student Engineer aboard Coast Guard Cutter (CGC) MUNRO in Alameda, California, where she deployed for joint operations in support of OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM and tsunami response in 2004. In 2005, Commander Dufrene transferred to New Orleans, Louisiana, where she served as a Port Engineer for the Naval Engineering Support Unit, providing contract oversight to 87’ and 110’ cutters throughout the Gulf of Mexico, and directing maintenance support following Hurricanes KATRINA and RITA.
In 2008, Commander Dufrene joined the Fast Response Cutter (154’ WPC) Acquisition Project at Coast Guard Headquarters where she provided technical design and construction support for the first phase of the $54B acquisition program.
Returning afloat, Commander Dufrene reported to Honolulu, Hawaii in 2012 as the Engineer Officer aboard CGC JARVIS. Following the cutter’s decommissioning, she led the cross-decking and homeport shift for CGC MORGENTHAU, and deployed in support of Seventh Fleet operations in the Eastern Pacific.
In 2014, Commander Dufrene transferred to the Surface Forces Logistics Center, Patrol Boat Product Line, in Baltimore, Maryland, where she served as the Projects and Engineering Branch Chief. During this time, she directed maintenance and logistics support for the Coast Guard’s 154’, 110’, and 87’ cutters, leveraging technological advances to drive flexible maintenance support, emergency casualty response, and creation of long-term recurring depot maintenance programs, including the expansion of partnerships with the Coast Guard Yard.
In 2018, Commander Dufrene was selected as the Coast Guard liaison to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Office of Legislative Affairs, where she collaborated with DHS partners to communicate operational and strategic initiatives to Congress.
Commander Dufrene holds a Bachelor of Science from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy (2003) and a Master of Science from George Washington University (2013). Her personal awards include a Meritorious Service Medal, three Coast Guard Commendation Medals, as well as various team and unit awards. She was selected as the 2016 recipient of the American Society of Naval Engineers Rosenblatt Award, for early professional achievement in the field of naval engineering.
Nicholas Wright assumed duties as Command Senior Chief, at the USCG Yard in Baltimore, MD on 22 July 2019. His primary role is to advise the Yard Commanding Officer on issues concerning the diverse workforce of more than 600 military and civilian employees. In this role he acts as a liaison between the workforce and the Command, advising on personnel policy development and effective personnel engagement. Senior Wright also serves as the Contracting Office Representative (COR) managing accounts in excess of $6 million annually. He also serves in the CG Yard Leadership Advisory and Diversity (LDAC) group to further engage and improve an inclusive workforce.
Most recently Senior Chief Wright served as the Food Service Officer (FSO) at the Marine Safety Unit in Portland Oregon. His previous assignments include service aboard FSO CGC OUACHITA, CGC ACTIVE, TRACEN Petaluma Barracks Military at Arms, CGC JARVIS and CGC MELLON.
Senior Chief Wright holds an Associates of Applied Science in Technical Management. He is also a proud graduate of the Chief Petty Officer’s Academy, Class CCXXVI (226) His personal awards include two Coast Guard Commendation Medals with Operational Distinguishing Devices, three Coast Guard Achievement Medals with Operational Distinguishing Device, one Navy Achievement Medal, four Coast Guard Good Conduct Medals, Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal, and permanent Cutterman Insignia.
David Obermeier (Captain, U.S. Coast Guard) is the Industrial Manager at the U.S. Coast Guard Yard, the only shipbuilding and repair facility of the U.S. Coast Guard. The Coast Guard Yard employs over 500 civilian employees and operates on an annual budget of over $100M.
Prior to his current position, Captain Obermeier was the Deputy Program Manager for the Coast Guard’s Boat Acquisition Program, where he managed six acquisitions with a combined life cycle cost estimate of over $3B. He assumed that position following the System Design and Management (SDM) Fellowship at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where he focused on sustainability and managing the complexity of socio-technical projects through an integrated curriculum of System Architecture, System Engineering, and Project Management.
Previous tours include the Business Operations Division Chief at the Shore Infrastructure Logistics Center (SILC), Facilities Engineer at Base Portsmouth, Supervisor at Sector Field Office (SFO) Cape Hatteras, Designer/Planner at Civil Engineering Unit (CEU) Providence, Business Manager at Base Boston’s Industrial Division, and Damage Control Assistant on USCGC POLAR STAR.
Captain Obermeier holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, a Master of Science in Civil Engineering and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Illinois, and Master of Science in Engineering and Management from MIT. He is a registered Professional Engineer (PE) in his home state of Rhode Island, and holds credentials as a Project Management Professional (PMP), Certified Facility Manager (CFM), Certified Energy Manager (CEM), and DHS Level III Program Manager.
Captain Obermeier was awarded the Society of American Military Engineers (SAME) Oren Medal in 2015 for Excellence in Civil Engineering and the Senator John Chafee Humanitarian Award in 2005 by the Rhode Island Federal Executive Council for mentoring and tutoring at-risk youth.
CDR Kowalczyk is a cutterman with over eight years of sea time. He served onboard CGC HEALY (WAGB 20) homeported in Seattle, WA as Damage Control Assistant, as Engineer Officer on CGC DECISIVE (WMEC 629), homeported in Pascagoula, MS. He’s been the Executive Officer of both CGC CAMPBELL (WMEC 909), homeported in Portsmouth, NH as well as CGC SHERMAN (WHEC 720), homeported in Honolulu, HI.
His education includes a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy earned in 2001, an M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Texas A&M University and a Certificate from the George Bush School of Government and Public Service. Commander Kowalczyk is a certified Level II Program Manager, is licensed as a professional engineer, and completed the Joint Professional Military Education Phase I program through the Naval War College in 2015.
While stationed ashore, CDR Kowalczyk has served as a Port Engineer at Naval Engineering Support Unit (NESU) Seattle, and Executive Officer of NESU Honolulu. As the In Service Vessel Sustainment (ISVS) and Polar Project Officer within the Office of Naval Engineering, he oversaw the planning for future cutter Service Life Extension and Midlife Availabilities as well as supporting the Coast Guard’s acquisition of new Polar Icebreakers and oversaw the CGC POLAR SEA (WAGB 11) preservation dry docking.
Past awards include five awards of the Coast Guard Commendation Medal, the Antarctic Service Medal, three awards of the Arctic Service Medal, the Coast Guard Sea Service Ribbon, and numerous other personal and unit awards. He is originally from Wilbraham, MA.
Mr. John Bragaw is the Yard's Production Manager. Retired with the rank of Captain from the U.S. Coast Guard, Mr. Bragaw served as the Yard’s Industrial Manager from 2010 to 2011. He reported to the SFLC as the SFLC Deputy before his retirement in November 2011. Accepting a civil service position at Coast Guard Headquarters, he served as Deputy Chief, Coast Guard Office of Naval Engineering from 2011 to 2014 before his return to the Yard as Production Manager in June 2014.
Mr. Bragaw graduated from the Coast Guard Academy in 1987 with a Bachelors Degree in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering. Upon his commissioning, he reported to the Cutter ALERT as a Student Engineer. Follow on assignments included Port Engineer at the Naval Engineering Support Unit New York, New York; Chief Engineer on the Cutters DEPENDABLE and DAUNTLESS, Galveston, Texas; Executive Officer of the Naval Engineering Support Unit, Miami, Florida; Commanding Officer of the 47’ Motor Life Boat Project Resident Office, New Orleans, Louisiana; High and Medium Endurance Cutter Platform Manager, Engineering Logistics Center, Baltimore, Maryland, and Deputy Chief, Office of Naval Engineering, Coast Guard Headquarters.
While stationed at the Office of Naval Engineering, Mr. Bragaw served detached duty in Baltimore as the Pre-Commission Commanding Officer of the Standard Boat Asset Project Office (PRO), a new command responsible for the transformation of the Coast Guard’s surface fleet to a new logistics model. He was detailed from the APO to stand up the Coast Guard’s first Surface Asset Product Line under the new modernization model. In August 2009, he completed his detail and returned to the Office of Naval Engineering, eventually reporting to the Yard as Industrial Manager in January 2010.
Mr. Bragaw graduated from Great Mills High School in southern Maryland in 1982 and attended one year of college at St. Mary’s College in St. Mary’s City, Maryland, before continuing his education at the Coast Guard Academy. He attained a Master of Science in Engineering Management from The George Washington University in Washington, D.C. in 1999.
Eric Linton is Chief Engineering and Business Manager for the Yard. He is responsible for developing new Yard product lines, managing the Lean 6 Sigma Process Improvement Program, and supervising the Yard Engineering Division.
Mr. Linton has ten years experience at the Yard and has worked in Project Staff and Scheduling and in Industrial Staff prior to assuming his current position. He retired from active duty Coast Guard in 2003 as a Commander (O-5) after 23 years experience as a Naval Engineer.
Mr. Linton has a Bachelor's Degree in Mathematics, Masters' Degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Naval Architecture, and is a licensed Professional Engineer.
James Hoehn serves as the Yard’s Chief of Planning & Estimating and Scheduling, Industrial Department. A 24 year civil service employee, Mr. Hoehn began his federal career with the Department of Defense as an Electronics Mechanic. He started his career with the Coast Guard in 1997 as a WG-08 Electronics Worker in Electro Group of the Yard, progressing thru the ranks to WL-12 Work Leader. In 2006, he was promoted to Electronics Ship Superintendent for the Electronics and Ordnance Project Management Branch (EOPMB), overseeing electronic and ordnance projects for the shipyard.
Mr. Hoehn furthered his Coast Guard career in 2008, accepting the position of Electronics Equipment Specialist at the Engineering Logistics Center (ELC). During his tenure at the ELC, Mr. Hoehn served as a Contracting Officers Representative (COR) and Maintenance Analyst, providing Life Cycle Support for Coast Guard Electronic systems. He participated in the modernization of ELC to the Surface Force Logistics Center (SFLC).
Mr. Hoehn continued to enhance his Coast Guard career in 2010 and accepted a Management and Program Analyst position supporting the Command, Control, Communications, Computers and Intelligence (C4ISR) project Coast Guard Logistics Information Management System (CG-LIMS) within the Acquisition Directorate (CG-9) at Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington, D.C.
Completing a Coast Guard 360 degree circle in June of 2015, Mr. Hoehn returned to the Coast Guard Yard as the Chief of Planning & Estimating and Scheduling. His duties include but are not limited too, supervising the creation of and ensuring the accuracy for detailed plans, workload analysis, estimates, and scheduling for all Yard plans and projects (over $100M in annual production and 650,000 labor hours).
Mr. Hoehn is an Acquisition Program Manager Level II, Life Cycle Logistics Manager Level II, and Contracting Officers Representative (COR) Level II Department of Homeland Security Certified Acquisition Professional. He’s earned Associates’ Degrees in Electronics Technology and Business Administration and is a veteran of the United States Army and Maryland National Guard.
Lieutenant Adam Dolan is currently assigned to the Yard as the Military Support Division Chief. Lieutenant Dolan reported aboard in July of 2018. He oversees the Yard Police Department, MWR Staff, YN’s, barracks, and gym.
Previous tours of duty include Sector Upper Mississippi Bay where he was the Administrative and Personnel Chief. Lieutenant Dolan also served at the Personnel Service Center, Sector Delaware Bay, Air Station Clearwater, CGC ELM, CG Recruiting Command, and Integrated Support Command Boston.
Lieutenant Dolan’s personal awards include three Coast Guard Commendation Medals, four Coast Guard Achievement Medals with the operational distinguishing device, two Commandant’s Letter of Commendation Ribbons, and four Coast Guard Good Conduct Medals.
A native of Clearwater, Florida, he joined the Coast Guard shortly after graduation from high school in July of 2000. Lieutenant Dolan is a graduate of the Air Force SNCO Academy class 12-E, Chief Warrant Officer Professional Development School.
Tim Howard has been the Financial Officer of the Coast Guard Yard since Oct 2017. He is responsible for the financial operations of the Yard and the fiscal health of the Yard Fund; a working capital fund with annual revenue of $100 million. As the Department Head for the Yard’s Financial Operations Department, he leads a team of 18 financial and accounting professionals.
Mr. Howard came to the Yard from the Surface Forces Logistics Center (SFLC) Asset Logistics Division where he was the Budget Section Chief in the Fiscal Operations Branch. In this role, he developed the annual budget for over $400M in Operating Expense funding and over $100M of Acquisition Construction and Improvement funding. This funding supported maintenance activities on the Coast Guards entire surface fleet of 244 ships and 1800 small boats.
Mr. Howard is a retired Coast Guard Reserve Officer having served over 12 years on active duty. Active duty tours included Financial Officer for the SFLC Long Range Enforcer Product Line in Oakland, CA; Executive Officer on Coast Guard Cutter SPAR in Kodiak, AK; Project Officer for First District Waterways Management Branch in Boston, MA, and Operations Officer on the Coast Guard Cutter BRISTOL BAY, a Great Lakes icebreaker stationed in Detroit, MI. Mr. Howard also served in the Marine Corps Reserve as a small arms repairman and an ammunition technician.
Mr. Howard earned his Bachelor of Science Degree from the Bob Jones University in 1999 and his Master of Business Administration with a concentration in accounting from the American Military University in 2011. He is a Certified Government Financial Manager (CGFM) and Certified Defense Financial Manager (CDFM).
LCDR John Adams reported to the Yard in October 2017 to assume the position of Yard Facilities Engineer. A native of Newburg Pennsylvania, LCDR Adams graduated from the United States Coast Guard Academy in 2005, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering. Upon commissioning, he served as the First Lieutenant aboard USCGC DECISIVE (WMEC-629) in Pascagoula, MS where he was directly involved with Hurricane Katrina recovery efforts. Following his initial afloat tour, he served as Executive Officer of two crews on four different WPB hulls in Key West and Miami, FL as part of the High Tempo High Maintenance project. His most recent afloat assignment was as Executive Officer aboard USCGC WILLOW (WLB-202) in Newport, RI.
LCDR Adams served as the Housing and Small Arms Firing Range asset lines manager as well as the ATON coordinator at CEU Oakland where he earned the Society of Military Engineers Oren Medal in 2012. He came to the Yard from his assignment as the Facility Engineer for Base National Capital Region.
LCDR Adams earned a Master of Science Degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Illinois in 2010 and is a licensed Professional Engineer in the State of Illinois since 2014.
Roger Taylor has served as the Yard's Quality, Safety & Training Manager since 2007. With an extensive background in the maritime industry, Mr. Taylor came to the Yard from the U.S. Maritime Administration where he was a project manager in ship operations and ship disposals. His previous work experience included Environmental, Safety & Health Manager and Ship Superintendent of Production and Operations at the Baltimore Marine Industries and Bethlehem Steel Shipyard in Sparrow's Point, Maryland.
Among other marine-related specialties, Mr. Taylor has been employed as a marine surveyor and as a commercial diver. He is a veteran of the U.S. Navy.
Kristen Soper has served as the Yard’s Chief of Public Affairs since December 2018. Ms. Soper has 15 years of federal service that began in the Legislative Branch working for U.S. Senator Barbara A. Mikulski. After six years, she moved to an Executive Branch agency serving within the Congressional and Legislative Affairs Office, first as a Congressional Affairs Liaison, then later as Chief.
Ms. Soper is a native of Michigan where she obtained her B.A. from Central Michigan University. She moved to Maryland in 2001 and currently resides in Baltimore City. She holds a Masters of Social Work (Social Action and Community Organization) from the University of Maryland, School of Social work.
Adam Cole is General Foreman of the Yard Structural Group. He supervises the Shipfitting, Sheetmetal, Welding, and Boat Joiner Shops consisting of over 100 employees. His group repairs, renovates, and refurbishes Coast Guard vessels. He began his employment at the Yard in 2002 as a WG-1 Sheetmetal Trainee as a part of his high school work release program. Two years later, he transferred shops and entered the Yard Trades Training program as a WG-3 Shipfitter/Welder Helper. Adam completed multiple college courses and continued his on the job training until he graduated from the program in 2008 as a WG-10 Shipfitter/Welder. He continued to progress through his career as a Ships Inspector, Structural Leader, and Structural Supervisor before receiving his current promotion to General Foreman. Adam is a AWS QC1 Certified Welding Inspector and Certified Welding Supervisor.
Donald Shields is General Foreman of the Yard Mechanical Group and supervises the Inside Machine, Outside Machine, Pipe, and Engine Repair Shops. He is responsible for the management of repairs and overhauls of basic to complex inside machining, shafts, CPPs, rudders, and fins (including installation); calibration lab and engraving production; repairs and overhauls of crane and weight handling and other shipboard mechanical equipment; piping installations, repairs/installation of complete shipboard piping and air conditioning systems; CPP hub and engine overhauls, and Dyno testing, both in the shop and on board the vessel.
Mr. Shields has worked at the Yard since 1980, starting as a WG-08 and progressed thru the ranks to Supervisor in 1988, Assistant General Foreman, and to his current position as General Foreman in 2007.
Before his civil service career, Mr. Shields served five years in the United States Navy where he was an E-5, Engineman 2nd class.
Ron Viands is General Foreman of the Yard Electrical Group that includes the Electric, Electronics, and Ordnance Shops. He oversees 91 employees who work on the repair and installation of equipment and systems on a variety of Coast Guard vessels that come to the Yard. He is responsible for a busy "road show" schedule accomplishing electrical, electronics, and ordnance installs and repairs, as well as CASREP response, on the Coast Guard fleet world-wide.
Mr. Viands came to the Yard in 1991, starting out as an apprentice and progressing to mechanic, work leader, supervisor in both electronics and electric shops, and to his current position as General Foreman in December 2012.
He is a veteran of the United States Army, specializing in electronic warfare.
Lamont McCloud is the General Foreman of the Yard Services Group, consisting of the Central Tool Room, Heavy Equipment Repair, Marine Coatings and Material Handling Shops. He has been employed at the Yard since 2007, serving as Production Supervisor of the Yard Paint Department and Quality Control Supervisor for Marine Coatings within the Yard Quality Assurance Branch.
Mr. McCloud worked multiple years as a contractor specifically working on Coast Guard cutters. He has a diverse background in the maritime industry including experience as a sheet metal mechanic, painter/supervisor, ship superintendent, and project manager. He worked over 18 years for Bethlehem Steel Shipyard at Sparrows Point, concluding his career there as Department Head of the Coatings and Services Branch.
Mr. McCloud was promoted to the Yard Services Group General Foreman in 2018.