Coast Guard announces retirement of Group Port Angeles Executive Officer

PORT ANGELES, Wash. (CG Public Affairs) – Coast Guard Group /Air Station Port Angeles will hold a retirement ceremony for Commander Keith Russell, the Executive Officer, on June 20, 2008 at 10 a.m., inside the Aviation Engineering Hangar.

A New England native, Commander Russell was born in Rutland, Vt., to Norman and Cheryl Russell in 1966. He married Michele Brown of Chester, N. H., in 1991. Together they had three boys Connor 10, Sean 8, and Brendan 6.

Commander Russell graduated from Pinkerton Academy High School in Derry, N. H., in 1984. He received a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering (with honors) from the United States Coast Guard Academy in New London, Conn., in 1988. He then received his Master of Science degree in Aeronautics and Astronautics from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in 1998 and a Master of Science degree in Technology and Policy from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Mass., in 2000.

After receiving his commission from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in 1988, Commander Russell was assigned to the Coast Guard Cutter MALLOW (WLB-396). Commander Russell was selected to attend Navy Primary Flight Training at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Fla., in 1990. Upon completion of flight training he was assigned to Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod, Mass., as a HU-25 Flacon pilot until 1995, when he received training and designation as a Coast Guard Aeronautical Engineering Officer and assigned to the Coast Guard’s Aviation Training Center in Mobile, Ala., as the HU-25 Falcon Engineering Officer, Maintenance Test Pilot, and Instructor Pilot. In 1999, Commander Russell was chosen as the Coast Guard’s Fixed Wing System Manager in the office of Aeronautical Engineering. From 2002 to 2006, he was a Space Station human factors engineer, Columbia reconstruction engineer, T-38 pilot, and Capsule Communicator for the Space Station astronauts with NASA’s Johnson Space Center. From 2006 to current Commander Russell has served as the Deputy Group Commander at Group/Air Station Port Angeles.

Commander Russell has flown twelve different types of aircraft, holds a civil pilot designations as a Commercial Airline Transport Pilot with a Multi-Engine Land (FA-20) Type rating, and has logged over 3,000 flying hours.

Commander Russell has earned accolades and awards during his outstanding career including two United States Coast Guard Commendation Medals, two Meritorious Service Medals, the Global War Terror Service Medal, three Coast Guard Unit Commendation Awards, two Coast Guard Meritorious Unit Commendations, four Coast Guard Meritorious Team Commendations, the Commandant’s Letter of Commendation, two National Defense Service Medals, two Humanitarian Service Medals, a Coast Guard Special Operations Service Ribbon, a Coast Guard Presidential Unit Citation, a Coast Guard Sea Service Ribbon, a Department of Transportation Outstanding Unit Award, and a NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal.

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