HONOLULU – Joint Interagency Task Force West held its 18th change of command ceremony bidding farewell to U.S. Coast Guard Rear Adm. Donna L. Cottrell and welcoming Rear Adm. Robert P. Hayes, at Camp H. M. Smith, April 12.
Cottrell, a native of Wellington, Ohio, served as the Director of Joint Interagency Task Force West from March 2017 to April 2019. She will be reporting as Commander to U.S. Coast Guard District Nine, in Cleveland, Ohio.
During Cottrell’s tenure as director, Joint Interagency Task Force West analysts identified suspect shipping events that led to several successful joint law enforcement operations seizing approximately four metric tons of cocaine, two metric tons of methamphetamine, and 90 metric tons of precursor chemicals. Working with regional partners, she initiated a new cooperative effort with partner nations operating in the Pacific through exercise PACIFIC SNOW, a first for the Task Force, leading to increased intelligence sharing to combat the flow of transnational crime in the region.
Under Rear Adm. Cottrell’s watch, Joint Interagency Task Force West received the U.S. Interdiction Coordinator Award for its efforts in assisting law enforcement with the shutdown of the largest illicit dark web marketplace, Alpha Bay, and the arrest of the administrator and co-conspirators.
Incoming director Rear Adm. Hayes, a native of Connecticut, has over 30 years of service. He most recently served as the Coast Guard’s Assistant Commandant for Intelligence, at the Coast Guard Intelligence Coordination Center in Washington D.C. There, Hayes oversaw the efforts of over 1,100 intelligence professionals who conduct the Coast Guard’s intelligence programs, including collection activities, analysis and production, geospatial intelligence, counterintelligence, cryptology, and critical IT and security functions.
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.