MONT J. SMITH
Mr. Smith graduated from the United States Coast Guard Academy in 1968 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering. After an 18-month seagoing assignment, he was selected for flight training with the Navy and simultaneously earned a Master’s Degree in Aeronautical Systems Engineering from the University of West Florida in 1971. Throughout a Coast Guard career spanning 26 years, Mr. Smith flew several types of helicopters, a medium jet aircraft, and large C-130 transport planes. He received advanced training from the University of Southern California, Arizona State University, and Naval Postgraduate School Monterey as a Flight Safety expert and accident investigator. He established a temporary aviation detachment at Key West during the 1980 Cuban exodus from Mariel, Cuba, and at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba during the 1981 Haitian migrant Interdiction Operation. He commanded Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak, Alaska from 1988 to 1991 during the EXXON VALDEZ oil spill disaster. Following military service, Mr. Smith was an Emergency Medical Service helicopter pilot and director of the Pacific Disaster Center, a fusion center for space-based imagery, disaster event computer modeling, geospatial information systems, and web-based information support to emergency managers throughout the Pacific. He subsequently returned to aviation, serving as Senior Director, Safety and Compliance, for Hawaiian Airlines and Director of Safety for the Air Transport Association. In the latter role, and as a member of the International Society of Air Safety Investigators, Mr. Smith coordinated airline industry safety strategy development for the Commercial Aviation Safety Team (CAST) that has virtually eliminated fatal accidents on major U.S. air carriers. CAST was awarded the 2009 Collier Trophy.
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