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.”

Pierluisi Urges Coast Guard to Build on Recent Success in Puerto Rico

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico -- Resident Commissioner Pedro Pierluisi has sent a detailed letter to senior officials at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the U.S. Coast Guard, expressing his appreciation for the fact that the Coast Guard--at Pierluisi's request--has substantially increased the number of hours its ships and aircraft spe... more

Coast Guard Still Searching for 2 Missing Cuban Rafters

The Coast Guard continued its search Tuesday for two missing Cuban rafters, part of a group of 13 men that left days ago from Cojimar, on Cuba's northern coast about 340 miles east of Havana. On Tuesday, activist Ramón Saúl Sánchez, head of the Democracy Movement, said a man who identified himself as the father of one of the 13 was desperately ... more

Coast Guard Blames Unknown Man for 7 Phony Mayday Calls

One man went to prison in August and two more were indicted this month on charges of making false distress calls about boats in danger on the North Carolina coast -- but that has not ended the U.S. Coast Guard's expensive problem of mayday hoax callers. A fourth man, unidentified, is suspected of making seven phony distress calls over the past ... more

9 Suspected Migrants Rescued in Water near Turkey Point

MIAMI — Nine suspected migrants were rescued Monday in the water near Turkey Point in Biscayne Bay, Florida as Coast Guard and partner agencies continue to search for two people in the water. The crew aboard the tug boat Eagle notified Coast Guard Sector Miami watchstanders of a man in the water clinging to debris shortly after 10 a.m. Monday. ... more

Couple Helps Boaters for Half-century with Coast Guard Auxiliary

Henry and Mary Pratt have spent more time volunteering in the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary than most people have spent in their paid careers. For 50 years, the Hilton Head Island couple have assisted local flotillas and held nationwide leadership roles. In fact, Henry Pratt served as commodore for two years. The Pratts were recently honored for ... more

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