OCSNCOE Logo         Stormy sunset behind a floating OCS facility in the Green Canyon area of the U.S. OCS in the Gulf of Mexico

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About Us

The Outer Continental Shelf National Center of Expertise (OCSNCOE) is based in Houma, LA and is the repository of Coast Guard expertise and best practices on Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) activities. Like other NCOEs, the OCSNCOE reports to the Chief of the Traveling Inspection Staff (CG-5P-TI) and is focused on raising the competency, capabilities and consistency of Coast Guard inspection/examination and oversight in our area of focus: OCS activities and the various types of units and vessels that conduct and support those activities.

The OCSNCOE is poised to provide training and mission support to the Coast Guard, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) and the offshore industry (drilling, production and support vessels). These responsibilities are carried out by regular communication and interaction with industry groups and operators, Coast Guard inspectors/investigators at units involved with OCS-related activities, Coast Guard Headquarters offices and the Force Readiness Command (FORCECOM).

Our unit consists of 6 members (3 active duty and 3 civilian) that are further discussed below. We are supported by a civilian Training Specialist, Mr. Doug Simpson, who is a detached-duty member of the CG-5P-TI Training Support Staff (tss) located at Training Center Yorktown. He works with the OCSNCOE on all training/workforce development related products.

Collectively, current members have advanced degrees in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering and over 20 years of OCS-related merchant marine experience. Additionally, the team has over 50 years of marine inspection experience, including 20+ years with Mobile Offshore Drilling Units and Production Facilities.


Contact Information

Address: Telephone: Group email:
425 Lafayette St, Ste 126
Houma, LA 70360-4800
(985) 850-6465
 
OCSNCOE@uscg.mil
(goes to all members)

 


 

Staff Members, Biographies and Direct Contact Information


Click on the member's name below for a direct e-mail to that member. Please note that members do not have direct phone lines/extensions. Please use the office phone number listed above for contact via telephone.

Member biographies can be accessed by clicking on the member's title or by expanding the text with the "+" sign at the end of the row.

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LCDR Andrew Czarniak is the detachment chief for the U.S. Coast Guard’s Outer Continental Shelf National Center of Expertise (OCSNCOE). He leads the OCSNCOE staff, providing technical assistance, support and training to Coast Guard headquarters and field units, governments, and industry on offshore drilling and production facilities, offshore supply vessels and crew boats.

From 2015 to 2019, LCDR Czarniak served as a Marine Inspector and then as the Chief of the Inspection Division at Marine Safety Unit Morgan City, LA. In that port, he oversaw a fleet of barges, offshore supply vessels, industrial vessels and crew boats supporting the maritime energy industry. Before his assignment in Morgan City, LCDR Czarniak served as a staff engineer in the Small Vessel Branch at the Marine Safety Center in Washington, D.C., and was a member of the Coast Guard’s Salvage Engineering Response Team (SERT).

Prior operational tours include service as an Engineering Officer in Training aboard USCGC MACKINAW (WAGB-83), Deck Watch Officer aboard USCGC FIR (WLB-213), and
Operations Officer aboard USCGC ELM (WLB-204).

LCDR Czarniak holds a Master of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley, and is a 2005 graduate of the United States Coast Guard Academy with a Bachelor of Science degree in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering. He is a licensed Professional Engineer in the state of Virginia.

LCDR Wilkinson is the National Technical Advisor for the U.S. Coast Guard’s Outer Continental Shelf National Center of Expertise (OCSNCOE). He is a subject matter expert in the areas of OCS vessel operations covering Offshore Supply Vessels (OSV) and Small Passenger Vessels (SPV). LCDR Wilkinson assists with the creation and review of Coast Guard policy, regulations, and standards related to the OCS. He also reviews and develops inspector qualification standards for OSVs and SPVs.

LCDR Wilkinson began his career in commercial vessel compliance at MSU Houma, serving there from 2014 to 2017. During that tour, he gained familiarity with USCG District Eight vessel activities covering inland tank barges, SPVs and OSVs. For the latter half of his tour, he additionally served as the Assistant Chief, Inspections Division, overseeing domestic vessel compliance inspections for the MSU Houma OCMI zone.

Following his tour at the MSU, LCDR Wilkinson served as the Marine Safety Detachment Supervisor in Peoria, Illinois. MSD Peoria was a diverse unit covering regulatory compliance and investigation activities for commercial vessels and inspected facilities on the Illinois and Mississippi Rivers, as well as response operations conducted via the unit’s two 29’ response boats. The unit was also a deployable team for the USCG’s urban flood response program and was deployed for multiple major hurricanes during LCDR Wilkinson’s tenure as Supervisor.

Prior to the NCOE, LCDR Wilkinson completed the CG Marine Engineering Post-Graduate program, earning a Master of Science degree in Ocean Engineering from Florida Institute of Technology. He is also a 2010 graduate of the University of South Florida where he earned his Bachelors of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering.

LT Joshua Diaz is a technical advisor for the U.S. Coast Guard’s Outer Continental Shelf National Center of Expertise (OCSNCOE) in Houma, LA. He is a subject matter expert in the areas covering Offshore Supply Vessels (OSVs), Small Passenger Vessels (SPVs), and marine casualty investigations. LT Diaz assists with the creation and review of Coast Guard policy, regulations and standards related to the OCS. He also reviews and develops inspector qualification standards for OSVs.

Prior to the NCOE, LT Diaz was selected to participate in the USCG’s Merchant Marine Industry Training (MMIT) program where he completed a six month executive management internship with one of the largest OSV operating companies, Edison Chouest Offshore (ECO). Areas of focus for the internship included Safety Management/Document of Compliance audits, execution of the Alternate Compliance Program and merchant mariner training.

Prior assignments include: Assistant Chief, Inspections Division at MSU Houma (2019-2022), where LT Diaz inspected OSVs, SPVs and barges, managed major modifications to existing vessels and assessed damage repairs; Investigating Officer at both MSU Morgan City and MSU Houma, which included OCS casualty investigations (2016-2019); National Response Center (NRC) in Washington, DC, as a Watch-Floor Supervisor where he prepared, evaluated and edited reports utilized to brief federal, state and local agencies on matters of security breaches, suspicious activity, transportation events, radiological and biological releases and hazardous material/oil spills; Port State Control Officer (PSCO), Foreign Freight Vessel Examiner (FFVE) and Intermodal Container Inspector at Sector Baltimore, MD (2008-2012); and USCGC CHOCK in Portsmouth, VA, as a Boarding Officer after graduating from the Coast Guard Training Center Cape May.

A native of Camden, Delaware, he graduated from Wilmington University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice in 2014. In 2015, he graduated from Virginia Tech with a Master of Science degree in Natural Resources. In 2021, he earned a Graduate Certificate in Leadership from The Citadel.

LT Diaz currently lives in Houma, Louisiana with his wife and their three children.

Eric is a USCG licensed Master that began his career in the marine industry in 1984. His experiences have been working as Master on crew boats, utility boats, towing vessels, seismic/research vessels, dive vessels, offshore supply vessels (OSVs) and anchor handling vessels. All of which are domestic vessels operating in the Gulf of Mexico.

Eric was originally hired by the OCS NCOE in January 2010 to provide knowledge of OSVs from an operator’s/Master’s point of view. He departed the NCOE in May 2013 to gain further industry knowledge before rejoining the OCS NCOE in August 2016. Eric furthered his knowledge by working as an auditor/inspector of OSVs, mobile offshore drilling units, barges, towing vessels, industrial vessels and conducting dynamic positioning (DP) system proving and annual trials on DP equipped vessels.

He also has experience as an instructor which include; teaching STCW 95 courses at a USCG approved training facility, teaching Nautical Institute approved basic and advance DP courses, and he continues to teach at Nichol’s State University College of Business, where he teaches the regulatory section of the Introduction to Maritime Management.

Eric worked with MSU Houma and MSU Morgan City to earn his Offshore Supply Vessel Inspector (OI) Marine Inspector qualification during 2018.

In July 2015, Gene Sykes hired on with the Outer Continental Shelf National Center of Expertise as a Civilian Marine Inspector. He retired as a CWO3 (Marine Safety Specialist Engineering) with nearly 23 years of USCG Active Duty service. Mr. Sykes has been involved with Offshore Supply Vessel (OSV) inspections since 2010 and Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) inspections since 2009.

Prior Marine Safety assignments include Marine Safety Unit Morgan City Civilian Supervisor 2014-2015, Sector New Orleans 2008-2014 (OCS Branch Manager, OSV New Construction, OSV Overseas Inspector and Domestic Vessel Inspections) and Sector San Juan, PR 2006-2008 (Port State Control Examiner and Foreign Freight Vessel Examiner).

Operational tours as a Machinery Technician prior to entering the Marine Safety Program include Marine Safety Unit Pittsburgh, PA, Aids to Navigation Team Venice, LA, Aids to Navigation Team New Orleans, LA, TRACEN Yorktown, VA, CGC VIGOROUS and CGC ALERT.

Areas of expertise are Floating OCS Facilities, Mobile Offshore Drilling Units, Fixed OCS Facilities (Platforms) and Offshore Supply Vessels.

Mr. Sykes serves as the point of contact for drilling and production Mutual Training Agreements (MTAs) between the Coast Guard and participating companies.

In April 2015, Harley Bates joined the Outer Continental Shelf National Center of Expertise as a Civilian Marine Inspector. He retired as a CWO4 (Marine Safety Specialist Engineering) with nearly 24 years of USCG Active Duty service. Mr. Bates has been involved with Offshore Supply Vessel inspections since 2006 and Outer Continental Shelf inspections since 2008.

Prior Marine Safety assignments include Marine Safety Unit Morgan City 2013-2015 (OCS Inspections and Floating OCS Facility New Construction) and Sector New Orleans 2005-2013 (OCS Branch Manager, OSV New Construction and Domestic Vessel Inspections).

Operational tours as a Machinery Technician prior to entering the Marine Safety Program include CGC KICKAPOO, CGC OCRACOKE, Aids to Navigation Team Gulfport, MS, CGC WEDGE, CGC ANVIL and CGC PATOKA.

Areas of expertise are Floating OCS Facilities, Mobile Offshore Drilling Units, Fixed OCS Facilities (Platforms) and Offshore Supply Vessels.

Mr. Bates also serves as the OCSNCOE's liaison to the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE), administrator for the Coast Guard's OCS Inspector Course and web content (website) manager for the OCSNCOE's site.