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Coast Guard

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The U.S. Coast Guard’s mission is to protect the public, the environment, and U.S. economic interests — in the nation’s ports and waterways, along the coast, on international waters, or in any maritime region as required to support national security.

For over two centuries the U.S. Coast Guard has safeguarded the United States’ maritime interests in the heartland, in the ports, at sea, and around the globe. We protect the maritime economy and the environment, we defend our maritime borders, and we save those in peril. This history has forged our character and purpose as America’s Maritime Guardian — Always Ready for all hazards and all threats.

Today’s U.S. Coast Guard, with nearly 42,000 men and women on active duty, is a unique force that carries out an array of civil and military responsibilities touching almost every facet of the U.S. maritime environment.

By law, the Coast Guard has 11 missions: 

•Ports, waterways, and coastal security
•Drug interdiction
•Aids to navigation
•Search and rescue
•Living marine resources
•Marine safety
•Defense readiness
•Migrant interdiction
•Marine environmental protection
•Ice operations
•Other law enforcement

The legal basis for the Coast Guard is Title 14 of the United States Code, which states: “The Coast Guard as established January 28, 1915, shall be a military service and a branch of the armed force of the United States at all times.” Upon the declaration of war or when the President directs, the Coast Guard operates under the authority of the Department of the Navy. 

As members of a military service, Guardians on active duty and in the Reserve are subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice and receive the same pay and allowances as members of the same pay grades in the other four armed services.

The Coast Guard’s motto is “Semper Paratus,” which means “Always Ready.”

The U.S. Coast Guard ship Monomoy participates in the International Mine Countermeasures Exercise (IMCMEX) 2013 with Combined Task Force 523. Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Terah L. Mollise/Navy

Iran Confirms US Coast Guard Fired at Fishing Boat

TEHRAN, Iran — The chief of Iran's Revolutionary Guard navy confirmed in remarks published Friday that a U.S. Coast Guard vessel fired on an Iranian fishing boat in the Persian Gulf this week but insisted the incident was not a "clash." The U.S. Navy's Bahrain-based 5th Fleet said that personnel on a small boat dispatched from the U.S. Coast Gu... more

Coast Guard and Unmanned Aircraft System

CG Lands Unmanned Aircraft System on Flight Deck

COAST GUARD CUTTER HEALY, Arctic Ocean – Coast Guard and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration researchers successfully landed an unmanned aircraft system on the flight deck of Coast Guard Cutter Healy Monday, marking the first time a UAS has completed a take-off and landing aboard a Coast Guard icebreaker. UAS operators from AeroViro... more

Navy, Coast Guard Improve Maritime Security

AGANA, Guam - The Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigate USS Rodney M. Davis visited Guam Aug. 18-19 after finishing a two-week Oceania Maritime Security Initiative (OMSI) Patrol.  OMSI is a maritime security operation designed to enhance maritime domain awareness, increase law enforcement presence, and expand at-sea law enforcement capabilities thr... more

The U.S. Coast Guard ship Monomoy participates in the International Mine Countermeasures Exercise (IMCMEX) 2013 with Combined Task Force 523. Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Terah L. Mollise/Navy

Coast Guard Team Fires Shot at Iranian Dhow

MANAMA, Bahrain -- A U.S. Coast Guard small boat team fired a single shot at an Iranian flagged dhow in the Persian Gulf after the dhow's crew aimed a .50-caliber machine gun at the approaching U.S. boat, which was conducting a routine query Tuesday. Such approaches in the Persian Gulf are a common U.S. practice intended to improve maritime sec... more

Coast Guard Rethinks Launch of New Foghorn System

SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine -- U.S. Coast Guard officials may launch a statewide outreach effort after the installation of a new foghorn trigger system at Goat Island Light off Cape Porpoise caused a tempest of complaints. Goat Island Light is one of seven Maine lighthouses at which a radio-controlled foghorn system has been installed, and the Coast ... more

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