Captain John Rivers assumes command having most recently served as the Deputy Director for Coast Guard Health, Safety, and Work-Life where he assisted the Director in oversight of the Coast Guard’s health care system of 42 clinics and 150 sick bays, safety and environmental health program, and work-life programs.
A native of North Adams, MA, Captain Rivers graduated from the Coast Guard Academy in 1994 with a Bachelor of Science in Government. Following commissioning, he was assigned to USCGC MOHAWK (WMEC-913) in Key West, Florida as a Deck Watch Officer, and in 1997, he earned his “Wings of Gold” from the Naval Flight School in Pensacola, Florida. His previous aviation assignments include Commanding Officer, Air Station Savannah, Georgia, Executive Officer, Air Station Houston, TX, as well as Air Station Borinquen, PR, and Air Station Miami, FL. He also served as an H-65 Flight Examiner at the Coast Guard’s Aviation Training Center in Mobile, Alabama. During the final year of his assignment, he headed the Performance Technology Branch where he oversaw the development of the pilot training curriculum for the fleet transition from the HH-65B to the HH-65C. Throughout his career, he has accumulated more than 4,000 military flight hours and has held Flight Examiner designations in the H65A, B, and C models. In addition to his staff assignment at Coast Guard Headquarters, Captain Rivers has served two tours at the Pentagon, first as a liaison to the Director of Expeditionary Warfare on the Chief of Naval Operations staff and later on the Joint Staff as the principal advisor to the Chairman on Coast Guard capabilities, plans, and authorities. While there, he played a key role in coordinating the DoD’s support to civil authorities during numerous natural disasters to include hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria.Captain Rivers earned a Master of Arts in National Security and Strategic Studies from the Naval War College, a Master of Science in Instructional Systems Design from the University of South Alabama, and a Certificate in Aviation Safety Management from the University of Southern California.
His personal awards include the Defense Superior Service Medal, three Meritorious Service Medals, three Coast Guard Commendation Medals, and the Coast Guard Achievement Medal
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CDR Pototschnik graduated from Officer Candidate School in 2001 at New London, CT. He then reported to the Pacific Area / District Eleven Command Center in Alameda, CA and served as a Search and Rescue Duty Officer coordinating cases throughout an area of responsibility encompassing six of the seven continents, 71 countries, and more than 74 million square miles of ocean. Following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, he became one of the first active duty Coast Guard members to qualify in the newly established Sea Marshal program providing port security in the Port of San Francisco. In 2003 he reported to Naval Flight Training, Pensacola, FL where he earned his ‘Wings of Gold’ and later transitioned to the HH-65B helicopter.
From 2005 – 2008, CDR Pototschnik served at Air Station Borinquen, Puerto Rico where he flew extensively throughout the Caribbean providing natural disaster relief and combatting drug and migrant smuggling operations. From 2008 – 2011, he served at Air Station Los Angeles, CA as the Assistant Engineering Officer and qualified as an MH-65C Instructor Pilot and Flight Examiner.
From 2013 – 2017, CDR Pototschnik served as the HC-144 Product Line Engineering Officer at the Aviation Logistics Center in Elizabeth City, NC. He accepted the Coast Guard’s final HC-144 from Seville, Spain and managed all technical, logistical and contract services supporting depot maintenance activities and a fleet of 18 HC-144 aircraft. CDR Pototschnik also oversaw two major HC-144 upgrade projects including the integration of a new cockpit avionics suite and replacement of the legacy Mission System Pallet with the Minotaur Mission System greatly enhancing aircraft operational capability.
From 2017 – 2019, CDR Pototschnik became the first Coast Guard member to be assigned to Melbourne, Australia where he served as a Program Manager and Structural Engineer with the Royal Australian Air Force and Australian Department of Defence Science and Technology Group. CDR Pototschnik established a joint services Project Arrangement for conduct of the Australian-led C-27J Structural Substantiation Program and provided technical engineering support across multiple aeronautical disciplines including: test article requirements and acquisition, aircraft usage analysis, flight loads testing and loads development, loads to stress analysis, full-scale fatigue testing and test interpretation, and fatigue and damage tolerance analysis. Results of the program will inform future Coast Guard C-27J structural lifing assessments and continuing airworthiness requirements.
CDR Pototschnik has a Bachelor of Science degree in Neurobiology and Physiology from the University of Maryland and a Master of Science degree in Aeronautical Engineering from Purdue University. His military decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal, two Coast Guard Commendation Medals, four Coast Guard Achievement Medals, and various other personal and unit awards.
Master Chief Perryman assumed his duties as the Command Master Chief (CMC) for Air Station Barbers Point on February 12th, 2021 with 24 years of Coast Guard service. Air Station Barbers Point, Hawaii is the Coast Guard aviation force provider for the Coast Guard’s 14th District, an Area Of Responsibility (AOR) that covers over 12.2 Million square miles including the Hawaiian Islands and South Pacific. The unit performs a variety of missions including search and rescue, law enforcement, defense readiness, and marine environmental response.
Master Chief Perryman’s previous assignments include Air Station New Orleans as the CMC. He served as Leading Chief, MH-65 Division at Aviation Training Center, Mobile Alabama. His previous duties include: HC-130 Shop Chief at Air Station Sacramento, California; HH-65 Primary Quality Assurance Inspector at Air Station Borinquen, Puerto Rico; attended Purdue University; HH-65 Flight Mechanic, Flight Mechanic Instructor, Plane Captain, Primary Quality Assurance Inspector at Air Station San Francisco, California; HH-65 Flight Mechanic for Polar Operations which he deployed to McMurdo, Antarctica; HH-65 Flight Mechanic at Air Station North Bend, Oregon; attended Spartan School of Aeronautics for AMT “A” school; and Fireman, Coast Guard Cutter Boutwell.
Master Chief Perryman has completed the Coast Guard Chiefs Academy, Coast Guard Senior Enlisted Leadership Course, numerous technical “C” schools. He has his FAA Airframe & Powerplant License and holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Aeronautical Engineering Technology from Purdue University. His personal awards include two Coast Guard Commendation Medals and the Coast Guard Achievement Medal.