Captain Dwight E. Collins

Commanding Officer, Maritime Security Response Team West (MSRTW)
U.S. Coast Guard


Captain Collins is a native of Pottstown, Pennsylvania, and a 1992 graduate of Pennsylvania State University. He holds a Masters in Public Administration awarded by Webster University in 2002.

He assumed command of Maritime Safety & Security Team (MSST) San Diego (91109) in April 2016. MSST San Diego was established in 2004 following the terrorist attacks of 9/11/2001. In 2013, the unit began transitioning into the west coast’s Short-Notice Maritime Response/ counter-terrorism unit, which includes Direct Action Sections, Tactical Delivery Teams, and command of all three Regional Dive Lockers (RDLs): RDL Pacific in Honolulu, HI, RDL West in San Diego, CA, and RDL East in Portsmouth, VA. Under his tenure, MSST San Diego has tripled in size and capability and was renamed Maritime Security Response Team West (MSRTW), on November 1, 2017.

Captain Collins’ other operational assignments include: Chief of Response, Sector New York; Commanding Officer, Maritime Safety & Security Team (91103), Los Angeles/Long Beach; Deputy Group Commander/Base Executive Officer, Group Fort Macon, Atlantic Beach, North Carolina; Officer-In-Charge Tactical Law Enforcement Team South (TACLET), Law Enforcement Detachment (LEDET) 7-Kilo, Mayport, Florida, and Operations Department, Law Enforcement Division duty at Group Miami, Miami Beach, Florida.

Staff assignments include: Chief, Intelligence Operations Division (J23), Joint Interagency Task Force West (JIATFW), Camp Smith, Hawaii, where he provided timely, tactical intelligence to U.S. and partner nation law enforcement agencies; Branch Chief, Future Operations (DG35), Deployable Operations Group, Arlington, Virginia where he was responsible for the world-wide deployment of the Coast Guard’s 27 Deployable Specialized Forces (DSF) units and was the Project Officer that created the Coast Guard East and West Coast Regional Dive Lockers; Command Duty Officer, Tactical Action Officer and Air Bridge Denial Duty Officer in the Joint Intelligence & Operations Center (JIOC) at Joint Interagency Task Force South (JIATFS), Key West, Florida where he conducted counter narcotics detection & monitoring operations and handed off targets for interdiction & arrest by U.S. Coast Guard and partner nation law enforcement assets, and Intelligence Watch Officer at C3I Center East, Miami, Florida, a joint U.S. Coast Guard/U.S. Customs command tasked with intercepting illicit smuggling aircraft entering U.S. airspace, a mission now covered by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Air & Marine Operations Center (AMOC) at March Air Force Base in Riverside, CA.

Captain Collins’ personal awards include two Defense Meritorious Service Medals, two Coast Guard Meritorious Service Medals, four Coast Guard Commendation Medals; the Coast Guard Achievement Medal, the Outstanding Military Volunteer Service Medal and multiple service and unit awards. He has earned the Tactical Law Enforcement and Advanced Boat Forces Operations insignias.