Commanding Officer

Captain James B. Suffern

Photo of Activities Far East Commanding Officer, Captain James B Suffern

Captain Suffern currently serves as Commanding Officer of Coast Guard Activities Far East. In this capacity, he directs Prevention missions in more than 40 Indo-Pacific nations and territories spanning 40% of the earth’s circumference, ranging from Madagascar to French Polynesia. As the Officer in Charge, Marine Inspection he ensures U.S. commercial ships’ safety, security and environmental compliance as they traverse the world’s busiest shipping lanes. He also leads a contingent of International Port Security Liaison Officers who promote the effective implementation of globally accepted-maritime security measures in foreign ports. Activities Far East, based in Japan, oversees a subordinate command, Marine Inspection Unit Singapore.

Prior assignments include serving as Executive Officer of Marine Safety Unit Port Arthur, Texas, home of the nation’s third busiest commercial port, the third largest petrochemical complex and busiest Strategic Port of Military Cargo embarkation. He served as the senior Coast Guard representative to the Naval Forces Central Command and the Fifth Fleet in Manama Bahrain where he played a crucial role in the development of the international security naval coalition, whose mission safeguarded maritime operations in the troubled waters of the Arabian Gulf, Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea. He served at Coast Guard Headquarters in the Office of Defense Operations as lead for CG Global Force Management (GFM) where he coordinated DoD/CG interaction and managed USCG senior leadership decision making process for defense contingency planning and force distribution. He served as Chief of Investigations at Activities Europe in Brunssum, Netherlands, overseeing the USCG's most unique international cases including the grounding and sinking of the MV COSTA CONCORDIA. He was the officer in charge of the Redeployment Assistance and Inspection (RAID) Team at Patrol Forces Southwest Asia (PATFORSWA) where he worked with the U.S. Army's 595th Transportation Brigade and directed 26 members throughout Afghanistan, Iraq and Kuwait. CAPT Suffern served as an International Port Security Liaison Officer (IPSLO) at Activities Europe in Rotterdam, Netherlands, conducting international port security visits in ports throughout Europe, Africa and Middle East. He served as a vessel inspector and Chief of Planning and Waterways Management at Coast Guard's Sector Miami, where he managed all modifications, compliance, exercise, and evaluation for the area contingency and maritime security plans and the restructuring of the commercial vessel anchorage in Port Everglades, Florida. He started his Coast Guard career in New Orleans, with tours at Marine Safety Office New Orleans as a casualty investigator and with the Eighth District, as a Pollution Fund Administrator and a Response and Advisory Team (DRAT) member.

CAPT Suffern holds two masters degrees, one from the Marine Corps University, Command and Staff College in Military Studies, and a second from the University of New Orleans in Finance and Business Administration. He received a Bachelor of Science degree from Louisiana State University in Finance. He is an October 1999 graduate from the U.S. Coast Guard Reserve Officer Candidate School in New London, Connecticut.

Born in New Orleans, Louisiana, CAPT Suffern has received the Bronze Star Medal, three Meritorious Service Medals, four Coast Guard Commendation Medals, the Commandant’s Letter of Commendation, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal and various unit awards. 

Bio | Photo

Executive Officer

Commander Jeyar Pierce

Photo of Executive Officer, Activities Far East Executive Officer, Commander Jeyar L. Pierce

Commander Pierce assumed the duties as the Executive Officer of U.S. Coast Guard Activities Far East (FEACT) in July of 2022. He is the principle advisor to the Commanding Officer and is the alternate in performing a wide-range of federal authorizations to include Officer-in-Charge of Marine Inspections. Maintaining the Coast Guard’s largest area of responsibility, Activities Far East oversees operations spanning 43 countries from the Hawaiian Islands to the India/Pakistan border, southeast Africa, and as far south as New Zealand .

Prior to his assignment to FEACT, Commander Pierce was Executive Officer at Marine Safety Unit Texas City. His responsibilities included carrying out the Coast Guard’s Homeland Security, Marine Safety, and Marine Environmental Protection missions in the Ports of Galveston, Texas City, and Freeport, in over 120-miles of the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway, 40,000 square-mile region of the Outer Continental Shelf, and the entrance to the nation’s largest petrochemical complex.

This is Commander Pierce’s fifth overseas assignment in the Coast Guard with the most recent assignment as an International Port Security Liaison Officer (IPSLO) in Singapore.  As an IPSLO, he was responsible for assessing anti-terrorism measures in foreign ports through verifying implementation of international conventions and leading bilateral discussions with countries throughout the Indo-Pacific region. Commander Pierce shared and aligned security practices to reduce risks to U.S. ports and ships from bad actors, while also ensuring the security of the overall global maritime transportation system.

Commander Pierce enlisted in the U.S. Coast Guard in 2005 and as a Second Class Petty Officer he was accepted to the U.S. Coast Guard’s Officer Candidate School, where he graduated in 2006.  His other previous assignments include Situational Unit Controller, Sector Guam, Naval Base Marianas; Marine Inspector, Sector Seattle, Washington; Chief, Inspections Division, Sector Key West, Florida; Marine Inspector, Coast Guard Activities Far East, Yokota Air  Base, Tokyo, Japan, and Coast Guard Liaison Officer to the Republic of Korea, U.S. Embassy Seoul, Korea.

Born in Seoul, Korea, Commander Pierce grew up in Bellingham, Washington. He is an honors graduate of Chaminade University of Honolulu, holding a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Historical and Political Studies.   Additionally, Commander Pierce holds a Master’s Degree in Administrative Leadership from the University of Oklahoma, a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Northcentral University, and a Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice from American Military University.  Commander Pierce has also completed courses in a variety of Homeland Security, U.S. Coast Guard, and Department of Defense mission areas.