Rear Admiral Robert Hayes assumed his current duties as Director, Joint Interagency Task Force (JIATF) West on 12 April 2019. A standing Joint Task Force, JIATF West is U.S. Indo Pacific Command’s executive agent for executing Department of Defense counterdrug activities in order to shape the theater and disrupt transnational criminal organizations that threaten U.S. interests in the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command area of responsibility. JIATF West leverages the diverse capabilities and authorities of its staff, complemented by relationships with dozens of partner nations to carry out these missions.
Rear Admiral Hayes most recently served as the Coast Guard’s Assistant Commandant for Intelligence. As the Service Intelligence Chief, he led the efforts of over 1,100 intelligence professionals who conduct the Service’s intelligence programs, to include human intelligence, cryptology, geospatial intelligence, analysis and production, counterintelligence, and critical IT and security functions.
Prior to being Assistant Commandant for Intelligence, he had the privilege to serve as the Commanding Officer of the Coast Guard Intelligence Coordination Center — the Coast Guard’s service-wide, strategic analysis and production center which also conducts collection management; intelligence IT support and maintenance; geospatial analysis; and identity management. Rear Admiral Hayes’ career has largely focused on intelligence, where he has been part of the growth in capability and maturation of the Coast Guard’s intelligence program over the past quarter century. This has included assignments in analysis, counterintelligence, policy and strategy, and program management.
In addition to his intelligence assignments, Hayes has served at several operational units conducting homeland security, counter-narcotics, search and rescue, disaster response, icebreaking, and aids to navigation missions. Upon commissioning, he served as Operations Officer aboard the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter RED OAK which included significant icebreaking during the winter of 1989-1990. Subsequent operational tours included Operations Officer at Coast Guard Marine Safety Office/ Group Philadelphia including the seizure of the Blue Crown I (a coastal freighter that had smuggled 10,000 lbs of cocaine to the northeast United States); Operations Officer at Group/Marine Safety Office Long Island Sound in New Haven, CT; and as Deputy Commander of Coast Guard Group New Orleans—where he learned how to plan for and respond to hurricanes and tropical storms. He has earned the permanent Boat Force Operations insignia.
A native of Connecticut, he graduated from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy with a Bachelor of Science in Government. He also earned a Master of Science in Strategic Intelligence from the Joint Military Intelligence College, and later completed a one-year intelligence fellowship at the National Intelligence University’s Center for Strategic Intelligence Research.