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Response Directorate Leadership



Roy Savoca is the Director of the Response Directorate. He has been active in the Auxiliary since 2004. As the Director, Roy provides national leadership and oversees the management of more than two dozen staff, who lead all the national Coast Guard Auxiliary programs and policy relating to Aviation, Surface, Telecommunications and Education. Roy earned his BS in Business Administration at St. John’s University, and his MBA in Computer Methodology at CUNY Baruch College. He is a consultant specializing in Technology, Risk Assessment, Business Process, and Business Performance. He is also an Adjunct Professor of Computer Sciences and IT Management at Bethune-Cookman University, Daytona Beach FL., where he is also Advisor to the Robotics Club. Roy has held numerous positions within the Auxiliary. 

He is a single and multi-engine private pilot who has earned the Auxiliary Commendation Medal and the Team Meritorious Award (several times), while serving in the AUXAIR program where he remains active. Originally from New York City, Roy resides with his family in Port Orange, Florida.





Larry Fletcher is Deputy Director for the Response Directorate.



Division Chief

Surface Operations



COMO Michelle Thornton currently hails from Panama City, FL and works as Search & Rescue Program Manager for US Air Force Rescue Coordination Center at Tyndall AFB. She joined the Coast Guard family from her hometown of Springfield, OH in 1991 and served as an active-duty Quartermaster (ships navigator) onboard CG Cutters homeported in Key West, FL, San Pedro, CA, and Kodiak, AK. Michelle graduated with Marine Biology degree from University of Alaska, a Bachelor of Business Administration from American Intercontinental University, and an MBA from Texas A&M Corpus Christi. She is a graduate of Hall’s Diving Institute and is a certified National Association Underwater Instructors (NAUI) scuba diving instructor trainer. She holds a USCG 100-ton vessel master license and is active with the daughters of the American Revolution. 

She met her husband, David, in Key West. They lived in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba where she provided SCUBA instruction to the U.S. military troops and families. They also lived in Heidelberg, Germany where Michelle was the commissions administrator for a financial planning company. When her husband was called to duty in Iraq, she was hired by the US Coast Guard in Key West, FL as a civilian Search & Rescue controller. Michelle joined Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 13-01 in Key West, FL in September of 2006 and transferred to Flotilla 05-09 Smithfield, VA in 2009. She has been elected and appointed to several leadership positions and currently serves on the National Auxiliary Staff as the Division Chief for Surface Operations & as the Immediate Past District Commodore for the fabulous 5th Southern Region. She maintains certifications as USCG Auxiliary Coxswain, Public Education Instructor and Program Visitor. She also masquerades as Sammy the Sea Otter: “You otter wear your life jacket!”



Division Chief



Andy Ely is the Chief of the National Telecommunications Division.  A retired Chief Boatswains Mate, having spent 32-years in the Coast Guard Reserve, Andy joined the Auxiliary in 2011 and is approaching his 40th anniversary as a Coastie.  As Division Chief, Andy provides national leadership to a staff of professionals who support CG COMMCOM, oversee District compliance with Auxiliary communications policies, and evaluate emerging technologies.  Andy has a BA in Communications from Seton Hall University along with numerous professional certifications.  Retired from Motorola following a career highlighted by responsibility for the New York City Police Department, he currently consults with government, police, fire, and EMS to evaluate and improve their mission critical communications systems.  He is an accredited COML and COMT, and has served COMMCOM and the MSRT at many National Special Security Events (NSSEs).  Andy is also the DSO-CM for D1SR. 
 Andy is the father of two daughters, and lives with them and his wife in East Brunswick, NJ.  Among his awards are the Auxiliary Achievement Medal, the Auxiliary Commendation Medal, three Auxiliary Letters of Commendation, two Coast Guard Achievement Medals, the Coast Guard Commendation Medal, the 9-11 Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, and Coast Guard Coxswain and Advanced Boat Forces Operations insignias.


Division Chief

Air Operations



COMO Byron Moe is the current Immediate Past District Commodore for the First Northern District, and current Division Chief for Response Aviation.  Joining the Auxiliary in 1983 while serving on active duty as a USCG Aviator.  Through the years Byron has held numerous positions from Flotilla, Division, District, and National.  In recent years Byron was deployed to assist in Air Operations at Hurricane Katrina, the Haitian Earthquake, and to Puerto Rico for Hurricane Maria.  He is also the executive Assistant for the Chief Director to CG-113, USCG Safety & Environmental Health.  Byron is an AUXOP member and has achieved qualifications as Marine Safety and Environmental Specialist, Aircraft Commander, Instructor, CRM Trainer, Vessel Examiner, Vessel Operator, and Watchstander.

In Byron’s professional career, he began as an active duty officer in the USCG, operating the C-130 as an Aircraft Commander and Instructor Pilot.  Missions included Search & Rescue, Drug Interdiction, Fisheries Enforcement, Maritime Domain Patrols, Logistical Support, and 2 years with the International Ice Patrol.  Upon leaving the USCG, Byron began his Airline career flying with Mesaba Northwest Airlink working as a line pilot, Captain, Check Airman, and Instructor.  During that time Byron also represented his Airline as a safety professional, assisting in 6 major airline accident investigations, working with numerous FAA rulemaking committees, and testifying as a safety expert to both the NTSB & the United States Congress.  Byron switched companies in 2006 and is now a Captain at JetBlue.  He holds an Airline Transport license with 9 type ratings.  Byron also holds flight instructor licenses with a gold seal.

Growing up in Minnesota, Byron attended the University of Minnesota on an athletic scholarship and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Aeronautical Engineering, graduating Suma Cum Laude.  Later, Byron attended the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks, earning a Master of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering, cum laude.  Byron has further certification from the Department of Transportation in Hazardous Materials Transportation, Aviation Safety Action Program, and Safety Management Systems.  Byron has been married for 33 years, has 3 children and 5 grandchildren.  Byron is a Mater Mason, 32nd degree Scottish Rite Mason, and a Knight Templar York Rite Mason, as well as a fellow at the International Society of Air Safety Investigators. 

His personal awards include: Air Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Auxiliary Commendation Award(2), Auxiliary Achievement Award (2), Commandants Letter of Commendation(2), Auxiliary Sustained Service Award (11), Coast Guard Achievement Medal (3), Coast Guard Artic Service. Naval Aviator & permanent Marine Safety Device.