Keith LaPlant spent 30 years on active duty in the U.S. Coast Guard, specializing in operational communications and information systems management. His career includes more than 21 years operating and managing military satellite, long range and tactical and data communications networks. He also spent five years supervising the installation, maintenance and repair of computer, communications, sensor and data systems throughout the Southeastern United States and Caribbean. In his last assignment on active duty prior to retiring, he was responsible for managing the operational and contingency communications systems throughout the Southeastern US and Caribbean.
He has been a member of the Coast Guard’s Type-1 disaster management team since 2001, and was the Coast Guard’s first fully certified Type 1 Communications Unit Leader. He led the disaster communications teams responding to such notable incidents as Hurricane Katrina and Ike, the 2004 G8 Summit, and most recently, served as COML and COMC for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill response. He also created and serves as the lead instructor for the Coast Guard’s Type-3 Communications Unit Leader course.
Following his retirement from the Coast Guard he accepted a civilian position back with the US Coast Guard in Miami as the program manager for Telecommunications and Interoperability, specializing in tactical communications interoperability programs. As one of the Coast Guards subject matter experts on tactical communications, he is frequently asked to consult with other Coast Guard units and DHS partners to improve communications interoperability.