Lieutenant Commander David A. Smith serves as the liaison between Coast Guard Pacific Area Commander and Navy Third Fleet Commander. Located at Third Fleet Headquarters in San Diego, CA, he is responsible for coordinating efforts to maximize interoperability between the U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard in the Pacific Theater.
Lieutenant Commander Smith’s Coast Guard experience spans five afloat tours including command of a forward deployed Patrol Boat
in the Arabian Gulf, supporting the U.S Navy Fifth Fleet Central Command. As Commanding Officer, he was responsible for 25 personnel, a $135K annual budget, and $7.2 million in property. While in Bahrain, he experienced multiple, potentially incendiary
encounters with Iranian warships, including one incident in which a Revolutionary Guard Corp Navy warship aggressively crossed his bow within 50 yards in an attempt to provoke a response. As a key contributor to the national intelligence dialogue, he validated illicit smuggling theories by exploiting engagements with local dhows while simultaneously disrupting efforts to smuggle high-grade explosives, automatic weapons, and ammunition. Under his leadership, his vessel was recognized during the 2015 Hopley Yeaton
Cutter Excellence Award for exceptional performance, operational expertise, and value brought to the nation. While in Bahrain he also facilitated numerous meetings with senior United Arab Emirates (UAE) civilian and military officers. His liaison efforts led to the first joint search & rescue exercises between the U.S. Navy, U.S. Coast Guard, and UAE Coast Guard.
Lieutenant Commander Smith’s staff tours included Command Duty Officer and Search & Rescue coordinator from 2010 to 2013 in Cleveland, Ohio. He oversaw Coast Guard responses and coordinated rescues for distressed mariners on the Great Lakes. His expertise in SAR earned him the highest proficiency score in 2013 from Coast Guard Yorktown’s standardization team. As the Evergreen Project Manager from 2016 to 2019, he led efforts to develop U.S. Coast Guard future scenarios that looked toward a 20 year horizon to identify departmental capability gaps. He also developed service wide strategies to include the Coast Guard’s Arctic and Maritime Commerce Strategy. While in Washington, D.C. Lieutenant Commander Smith directly served the President of the United States and First Family as a White House Social Aide. Lieutenant Commander Smith is a permanent Cutterman. His personal awards include the Meritorious Service Medal, Coast Guard Commendation Medal (three awards), the Coast Guard Achievement Medal, the Commandant’s Letter of Commendation Ribbon Bar (two awards), and various other unit and service awards.