Captain Mark E. Hiigel
Captain Mark E. Hiigel graduated from the United States Coast Guard Academy with a Bachelor of Science degree in Management in 1995. After graduation, he reported to USCGC STEADFAST in Astoria, OR where he served as First Lieutenant. In 1997, CAPT Hiigel reported to Naval Flight training, Pensacola, FL where he earned his wings.
Following flight training, he served his first aviation tour flying the HH-65A at Air Station Port Angeles, WA. There he was the Housing Officer, Communications Officer, and became designated as Aircraft Commander in the HH-65A. In 2002, CAPT Hiigel transferred to Air Station Borinquen in guadilla, PR, where he became qualified as an HH-65B Flight Instructor and Flight Examiner while performing the duties of Air Operations Officer and MWR Officer. He was then assigned to the Aviation Training Center (ATC) Mobile, AL as the H65 Assistant Branch Chief in 2005. While there, he played a critical role in the H65 community as the airframe transitioned from HH-65B to HH-65C to MH-65C. He was also one of many pilots who flew during Hurricane Katrina.
From 2009 to 2012, CAPT Hiigel served as part of Force Readiness Command in Alameda, CA. While there he helped transition ATC Mobile to a new command structure and served as Operations Training Branch Chief reviewing and approving all CG operations curriculum. In 2012, he served as the Response Officer at Air Station North Bend, OR during the transition from Group North Bend to Sector North Bend. In 2015, he fleeted up to Deputy Commander of Sector North Bend (XO).
In 2016, CAPT Hiigel assumed command of Air Station/SFO Port Angeles, WA, where he served as the unit's 41st Commanding Officer. From 2018 to 2020, he served as Chief of Incident Management at Coast Guard District One in Boston, MA where he coordinated and oversaw all SAR and response actions from the NJ/NY State Border up to the US/Canadian Border between Maine & New Brunswick.
CAPT Hiigel has a Master's of Science degree in Aviation Operations from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University. His military decorations include three Meritorious Service Medals, one Air Medal, three Coast Guard Commendation Medals, one Coast Guard Achievement Medal, two National Defense Service Medals and two Humanitarian Service Medals.