Air Station San Francisco Commanding Officer
CAPTAIN THOMAS F. COOPER
Captain Cooper assumed his duties as Commanding Officer of Coast Guard Air Station San Francisco in June of 2019. As Commanding Officer he is directly responsible for the leadership and operational performance of a 158 member, multi-mission Air Station that protects 650 miles of coastline and operates seven MH-65D helicopters for 24 hour launch at both San Francisco and Naval Base Ventura County.
Captain Cooper graduated from the United States Coast Guard Academy in 1994 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Management. His first assignment was Operations Officer aboard CGC RED BEECH, homeported in Governor’s Island, New York. In 1998, he graduated from U.S. Naval Pilot Training in Pensacola, Florida, and earned his designation as a U.S. Naval and U.S. Coast Guard Aviator.
Captain Cooper's first aviation assignment was as a duty standing pilot at Air Station Savannah, Georgia from 1998-2002. After designation as a Coast Guard Aeronautical Engineering Officer, he transferred to Air Station New Orleans, Louisiana. In August 2005, as the Aeronautical Engineering Officer in New Orleans, Captain Cooper led the New Orleans area logistical support for Hurricane Katrina. In a ten-day period, crews operating from Air Station New Orleans saved over 7,000 lives nearly tripling the number of lives saved in the previous 40 year history of the unit.
In 2006, Captain Cooper attended graduate school at Johns Hopkins University, and in 2008 was subsequently assigned as the H-65 System Manager in CG-41, Office of Aeronautical Engineering. In 2010, he fleeted up to serve as Chief, Resource Management Division within CG-41. Captain Cooper is a 2011 DHS Senior Fellow, having completed his 60-day rotational assignment with CBP. Captain Cooper was then assigned as Executive Officer, Air Station Los Angeles, California, and in June 2015, fleeted-up to serve as the last Commanding Officer of Air Station Los Angeles. He was next assigned as a Military Fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington, D.C.
Captain Cooper has Master of Science Degrees in Systems Engineering (2008) and Technical Management (2011) from Johns Hopkins University. He holds a Naval Postgraduate Certificate in Project Management. He has over 3,000 flight hours and has served as an Instructor Pilot/Flight Examiner in the H-65B & C helicopter variants. His personal awards include a Distinguished Flying Cross, Meritorious Service Medal (2), Air Medal, Coast Guard Commendation Medal, induction into the USCGA Hall of Heroes, and various other personal and unit awards.
Captain Cooper is married to the former Lynn McDowell and they have two daughters.