Capt. Gregory Buxa retired from the U.S. Coast Guard on June 5.
Buxa has been in the Pacific Area at Alameda, Calif., since July 2010, where he was responsible for Pacific Area Preparedness Planning. He also led the North Pacific Heads of Coast Guard combined operations work group.
Previously, Buxa was stationed at Air Station Sacramento where he served as the executive officer for 2 1/2 years and as acting commanding officer the last half-year of his assignment. Buxa led the unit through the aftermath of the tragic mid-air collision between one of the unit's HC-130H aircraft and a Marine Corps helicopter on Oct. 29, 2009.
Before Sacramento, Buxa was the chief of the Maritime Homeland Security Policy Division in the Office of Law Enforcement at Coast Guard Headquarters. In 2007, he was awarded the Capt. Niels P. Thomsen Innovation Award for Science and Technology.
Buxa has distinguished himself as a professional officer, aviator and HC-130H expert. Serving in the harsh Alaskan environment, he held the highest pilot qualification of flight examiner and ensured all HC-130H aircrews were safe to fly. Buxa has operated in all Coast Guard districts, prosecuting search and rescue, Maritime Homeland Security, illegal migrant interdiction, counter-drug interdictions, fisheries and living marine resources enforcement, environmental response operations and most other Coast Guard missions.
Before attending Naval flight training in Florida and Texas, Buxa served aboard the Coast Guard cutter Dependable in Panama City, Fla., as the senior boarding officer and deck watch officer.
Buxa was raised in Minot, graduated with honors from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in 1989 with a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering and has a master's in public administration specializing in organizational leadership from National University. He is married to the former Linda Baacke of Milwaukee. They have three children: Abigail, 12, Lydia, 10, and Benjamin, 8.
"We are moving to Wisconsin," said Buxa. "Our church and school will be St. Matthew's Lutheran in Oconomowoc. I'll be working for Thrivent Financial in the Oconomowoc office.
"I joined the CG to help people so that will continue. I'm going to go do something meaningful, hands on and helpful to the community. I am excited to be going back to the country and small-town atmosphere. I plan to garden, perhaps hobby farm, fish, and hunt more," he said.
Air Force Airman Miranda Christensen graduated from basic military training at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, San Antonio, Texas.
Christensen is the daughter of Theresa and Rob Christensen, Waverly, Minn., and granddaughter of Kenny and Donna Christensen, Kenmare. She is a 2007 graduate of Howard Lake-Waverly-Winstead High School, Minn.