Vice Admiral Charles D. Wurster assumed his duties as Commander, Coast Guard Pacific Area in May 2006. The Area of Operations for this command encompasses over 73 million square miles throughout the Pacific Basin to the Far East. Vice Admiral Wurster oversees the operation of units performing missions in maritime safety, maritime mobility, protection of natural resources, maritime security, homeland security, and national defense.
Prior to this assignment, he served as commander of the Fourteenth Coast Guard District in Honolulu, Hawaii. He also served as Assistant Commandant for Acquisition at Coast Guard Headquarters, Washington, D.C. Acquisition projects under Vice Admiral Wurster’s oversight included Rescue 21, a complete renewal of the National Distress and Response System; replacement of 180 aircraft, cutters, patrol boats, and motor lifeboats; plus acquisition of hundreds of fast response boats.
Vice Admiral Wurster’s other recent assignments include Chief of Staff to Commander Coast Guard Pacific Area, Alameda, California; Commanding Officer of Coast Guard Integrated Support Command Kodiak, Alaska; Commanding Officer of Coast Guard Facilities Design and construction Center Pacific, Seattle, Washington; and Chief of the Civil Engineering Division, Maintenance and Logistics Command Pacific, Alameda, California.
As a junior officer, Vice Admiral Wurster served as a Deck Watch Officer aboard Coast Guard Cutter Steadfast, St. Petersburg, Florida, and as Commanding Officer of Loran-A Station at Cape Sarichef, Alaska. Vice Admiral Wurster has also been assigned to Civil Engineering duties at the Thirteenth Coast Guard District, Seattle, Washington; the Eighth Coast Guard District, New Orleans, Louisiana; Coast Guard Headquarters, Washington, D.C.; and as Facilities Engineer at Training Center Petaluma, California.
Vice Admiral Wurster is a 1971 honors graduate of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. He received a Master’s degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Illinois in 1976 and is a 1993 graduate of the Industrial College of the Armed Forces. He is a registered Professional Engineer and is a Fellow of the Society of American Military Engineers. His awards include Legion of Merit (four awards) and the Society of American Military Engineers Sverdrup Medal. He is also the recipient of nine unit and meritorious unit commendations.