Today President Obama announced his intent to nominate Vice Admiral Peter Neffenger, the current Vice Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard, to be the next Administrator of TSA. I could not be more pleased.
Aviation security continues to be a vital part of homeland security, and TSA remains a vital part of our overall counterterrorism efforts. TSA is also the agency of government that the American public interacts with most on a daily basis. Thus, the job of TSA Administrator, leading 50,000 personnel, is itself vital to public safety and homeland security.
Pete Neffenger is one of the brightest and most capable flag officers in the U.S. military I have ever met. His 30-year record in the Coast Guard includes service as Deputy National Incident Commander for the 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, as well as Sector Commander and Federal Maritime Security Coordinator for the mega-ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. I have no doubt that his skills, intellect and energy that have up to now been devoted to maritime security will be easily translatable to aviation security. The first Administrator of TSA, James Loy, had been Commandant of the Coast Guard prior to that.
With the recent confirmation of Russ Deyo to be our new Under Secretary for Management, there are now 12 new Senate-confirmed presidential appointments for the Department of Homeland Security since I took office, including me. I urge the Senate to act quickly on the nomination of Vice Admiral Neffenger to be TSA Administrator. I know Senators agree this is a position that should not remain vacant for long.
Vice Admiral Peter Neffenger
Vice Admiral Peter Neffenger assumed the duties as the 29th Vice Commandant in May 2014. Prior to this, Vice Admiral Neffenger served as the Deputy Commandant for Operations, where he directed strategy, policy, resources and doctrine for the employment of Coast Guard forces globally. Other assignments include Director of Coast Guard Strategic Management and Doctrine, and Commander of the Ninth Coast Guard District in charge of Coast Guard operations throughout the Great Lakes and Saint Lawrence Seaway region. Vice Admiral Neffenger also served as Commander of Coast Guard Sector Los Angeles/Long Beach where he was the Captain of the Port and Federal Maritime Security Coordinator. Additionally, he was the Budget Officer of the Coast Guard, the Coast Guard Liaison Officer to the Territory of American Samoa, and a student engineer on U.S. Coast Guard Cutter GALLATIN among other operational and staff assignments.