From our maritime borders to the U.S Exclusive Economic Zone to our ports and inland waterways, the men and women of the Coast Guard are sentinels in preventing threats from reaching the United States. In the fight to secure the homeland, Coast Guard units often deploy overseas. On this leading edge to strengthen global capacities in fighting international drug trafficking and crime is Chief Petty Officer Shawn Vaupel.
Vaupel is a qualified deployable team leader and engineering section chief at the International Mobile Training Branch. This team of highly-skilled Coast Guardsman works with international partner nations with missions similar to the U.S. Coast Guard. In short, this team is the backbone of the Coast Guard’s global efforts to ensure safety and security at home.
When Vaupel first arrived at the unit, he set an impressive pace by being the first person out of 19 newly-reported members to complete the challenging six-month qualification process. As a deployable team leader – the highest unit qualification – he is responsible for coordinating all of the complex downrange logistics required to complete the mission. This position requires frequently liaising with senior military leaders from partner nations as well as embassy senior staff.
“There is an enormous level of trust and responsibility the command puts on the shoulders of the deployable team leader,” explained Lt. Marina Turner with Mobile Training Branch. “They are the one charged with the safety of their personnel and the execution of the deployment from start to finish.”
Through his superior initiative and judgment, Vaupel proved he was capable to lead training missions in support of United States security cooperation objectives abroad. Since reporting to the unit, Vaupel has deployed to Djibouti, Malaysia, Mexico and Serbia.
In each of these nations, he works with local agencies to hone critical safety and security skills such as maritime law enforcement; marine safety and environmental protection; small boat operation and maintenance; search and rescue; port security; and infrastructure development.
Deploying to developing nations around the world means a lot of time away from home and loved ones. In 2012, Mobile Training Branch conducted more than 70 deployments to 33 different countries, providing instruction to nearly 1,300 students in support of national security objectives.
Despite the exhaustive deployment schedule, Cmdr. Linda Hoerster, chief of Mobile Training Branch, notes Vaupel “is a person who exudes positivity on a daily basis.”
“Chief makes any negative part of a trip positive with his great attitude,” added Petty Officer 1st Class Brett Knobloch.
Vaupel embodies the core values of the Coast Guard as he strengthens global capacities in fighting illicit and illegal activity. He a leader at his unit and an ambassador to our nation aboard.