Cmdr. James Espino
Supervisor, Detached Staff
Coast Guard Command, Control, Computers, Communications, Information, Surveillance
and Reconnaissance (C4ISR) Acquisition Program Office
My last tour has been the most
memorable. I have liked all my tours,
but we had over a dozen drug interdictions [aboard Hamilton], arrested
22 drug smugglers and received a Pacific Area Taclet Operational Excellence presidential award.
When you are prosecuting a case,
it’s pretty exhilarating when everything is clicking. It’s a big adrenaline
rush when you finally execute the
case, catch the smugglers and arrest
them. When it’s over, I would step
back for a moment and think of how
impressive it was that everything
was able to come together.
The acquisition program, on the
other hand, is a lot more complicated. Being on a ship, things are more
defined and there are standard operating procedures. In acquisition, you
still have the process but there are a
lot of other things that come into play and there are different variables when you are doing major system acquisition that can make the program successful or a failure.
I like jobs that push the limit of what the Coast Guard
is taught, either through training or education. I would
love to continue in this position and continue building
our acquisition expertise but my tour ends next year.
Ideally, I would like to get an operation job somewhere.
Here in Moorestown, we have an awesome team. There
is a mix of 42 people that includes government employees,
military personnel and support contractors. We are on the
leading edge of C4ISR acquisition as far as the Coast
Guard is concerned and the team has truly embraced
[Commandant] Adm. Thad Allen’s lead when he said the
Coast Guard was taking back the Deepwater program. ■
Iwas a Coast Guard brat and the Coast Guard Academy was the only college I applied to. I don’t really know
anything else aside from the Coast Guard way.
Since graduating from the academy in 1994, I have
held various positions such as the deck watch officer
on the cutter Morgenthau, the lead officer in charge at
the Coast Guard Pacific Area Taclet [Tactical Law
Enforcement Team] and the operations officer on the
San Diego-based cutter Hamilton. Over the past decade
I’ve gotten a master’s degree in information technology
management from the Naval Postgraduate School,
worked at Coast Guard Headquarters for my staff job
and then spent three years as the operations officer on
Hamilton. I settled into my current position in the
summer of 2006.
“Being on a ship, things are more defined and there are standard operating procedures. In acquisition, you still have the process but there are a lot of other things
that come into play and there are different variables when you are doing major
system acquisition that can make the program successful or a failure.”