Lt. Jeffrey Chonko
Coast Guard C4ISR Electrical Engineer,
C4ISR Acquisition Project, Washington
I’ve been at my current assignment since 2010. I work on the National Security Cutter program. One
of our main goals is to design the
electronic systems for all Coast
Guard cutters and aircraft. The new
C4ISR [command, control, communications, computers, intelligence,
surveillance and reconnaissance] systems are truly enhancements to the
service on the cutters and aircraft.
HUNTINGTON INGALLS INDUSTRIES
I like my current position because
my previous assignments have given
me the ability to see the Coast Guard
mission and how we execute those.
My current assignment gives me the
ability to take those experiences and
increase our mission capabilities by
designing C4ISR systems. My dream
job would be a commanding officer
on a Fast Response Cutter. After
that, I would like to continue working on the C4ISR side.
I think it’s a very good time to part
of the Coast Guard, specifically the C4ISR department,
because we are part of modernizing our fleet. When I was
at the academy, they first started talking about the modernization, and now that I am working on it I get to be
part of that. The systems we design now I will be able to
use on future deployments within the Coast Guard, and I
can tell people that I helped design them.
I wanted to join the Coast Guard, but I didn’t expect
how much I would enjoy it. It’s not hard to come to
work each day and I’ve made some lifelong friends. I
will always have fond memories of being on a cutter in
the ocean, watching the waves go by and looking at the
sunset. Not many people have a job a like that. ■
Iwent to the Coast Guard Academy after high school because it gave me a free, high-quality education and
also allowed me the opportunity to play college football, travel and serve my country.
Since graduating in 2003, I have spent time on three
cutters — Galveston, Adak and Zephyr. Each assignment
had a different focus, from patrolling offshore oil platforms in Iraq, to counternarcotics missions in the
Caribbean, to fishing patrols in Alaska. All of my assignments have given me the opportunity to carry out different homeland security missions and allowed me to travel. It’s all about helping people, saving lives and doing
anything I can to benefit the American citizen.
“I think it’s a very good time to part of the Coast Guard, specifically the C4ISR
department, because we are part of modernizing our fleet. When I was at the
academy, they first started talking about the modernization, and now that I am
working on it I get to be part of that.”