- USCG Base Honolulu
17th Change Of Command At Joint Interagency Task Force West
Story by Shawn Parrish on 04/01/2017
HONOLULU - Joint Interagency Task Force West held its 17th change of command ceremony bidding farewell to U.S. Coast Guard Rear Adm. Keith M. Smith and welcoming Rear Adm. Donna L. Cottrell, at Camp H. M. Smith, March 31. Smith, a native of Cypress, California, served as the Director of Joint Interagency Task Force West from May 2015 to March 2017. He will be reporting as Commander to U.S. Coast Guard Force Readiness Command, in Norfolk, Virginia.
During Smith's tenure as director, Joint Interagency Task Force West conducted 87 counter narcotics capacity building missions that provided training to more than 1800 partner nation law enforcement members. Tri-lateral counternarcotics' training including both Bangladeshi and Sri Lankan forces was also conducted, the first time a counternarcotics mission has been accomplished in Sri Lanka.
Smith is best known for operationalizing and optimizing the Task Force through a major internal reorganization combining intelligence and operations activities into a single directorate and establishing a new Counter Narcotics Operations Center. During his tenure, Task Force contributions have resulted in the successful seizure of over 140 metric tons of chemical precursors used in the illicit synthesis of methamphetamine, over 3 metric tons of cocaine, and the seizure of illicit funds equivalent to $2 million.
Cottrell is from Wellington, Ohio, with more than 30 years of service. She most recently served as the Deputy to the Assistant Commandant for Capability, sourcing capabilities to meet U.S. Coast Guard mission requirements, and developing service wide policies for equipping and sustaining Coast Guard members.
Both Cottrell and Smith share the distinction among current Coast Guard Admirals of having prior enlisted service before receiving their commission. Smith was a former air crewman, and Cottrell, served as a boatswain's mate and aviation electronics technician.
Joint Interagency Task Force West plans and conducts Department of Defense counterdrug activities in order to increase regional stability and disrupt transnational criminal organizations that threaten global interests in the U.S. Pacific Command area of responsibility.