Coast Guard pilot to receive national award for military and community service

ALAMEDA, Calif. – A San Francisco based Coast Guard pilot has been named one of the recipients of the 2009 National Women’s History Month Foreign Language and Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Role Model Award for the Department of Defense.

Lt. Cmdr. Andrea L. Sacchetti is scheduled to receive her award at a ceremony to be held Thursday, March 19, at the Women in Military Service for America Memorial in the Arlington National Cemetery, Washington D.C.

Sacchetti distinguished herself during the execution of numerous important Coast Guard missions, as well as community service volunteer efforts between March 2006 and January 2009.

Sacchetti was hand-picked to lead the Coast Guard’s first land-based forward operating location in the Arctic during Operation Salliq. She served as the Air Operations Officer for this high visibility mission in Alaska supporting the National Security Council’s inter-agency review of Arctic policy. With international cooperation, the Coast Guard hopes to ensure the safety and security of ships transiting through the northern passages. Sacchetti’s team provided search and rescue, protection of marine life and natural resources, homeland security, maritime mobility and law enforcement to the remote area of the northern most point of the United States.

During her off-duty hours while serving in Alaska, Sacchetti and her team built a basketball court for the community of Barrow, Alaska.

As Air Station San Francisco’s lead instructor and expert in Rotary Wing Air Intercept, Sacchetti flew numerous missions in support of the Coast Guard’s new National Capital Region Air Defense operation around our nation’s capital. While serving as senior aviator she led RWAI detachments at the Democratic National Convention, the Republican National Convention and a helicopter search and rescue team at the 2009 Presidential Inauguration.

During this same period of time, Sacchetti was a volunteer running coach for a program called “Girls on the Run.” This program helped 3rd through 5th grade girls to prepare for their first one-mile fun run. Each practice also focused on lessons in avoiding drugs and alcohol, standing up to bullies, healthy physical and emotional habits, and self-esteem and community service. There were dozens of schools in the San Francisco Bay area that participated in the program, the majority of which were in lower income or working class neighborhoods.

Sacchetti graduated from the Coast Guard Academy in 1996 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering. Upon graduating, she served aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Midgett. After her stint aboard the USCGC Midgett, she attended flight school in Pensacola, Fla. After graduation, she served as a Coast Guard helicopter pilot in Humboldt Bay, Calif., Mobile, Ala. and now is currently serving at Air Station San Francisco.

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