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.”

Coast Guard: California Oil Slick Created by Natural Seepage

This photo provided by the Santa Barbara County, Calif., Fire Department shows a sample of oil scraped off the side of a kayak in Goleta, Calif., July 29, 2015. (AP Photo/Mike Eliason, Santa Barbara County Fire Department)

LOS ANGELES — The Coast Guard says an oil slick that formed in the Pacific Ocean last week near Santa Barbara, California, was created by natural, ocean-floor seepage. Tests conducted on samples from the thin layer of oil found its composition matched naturally occurring sources. The slick was found Wednesday in the Santa Barbara Channel above... more

Missing Teens' Capsized Boat Disappears after Being Found Last Week

This combination made from photos provided by the U.S. Coast Guard shows Perry Cohen, left, and Austin Stephanos, both 14 years old. Cohen and Stephanos were last seen Friday afternoon, July 24, 2015, in the Jupiter, Fla. area. (U.S. Coast Guard via AP)

As a band of volunteers continues its search for the two Tequesta teens who vanished at sea, the Coast Guard acknowledged Monday it didn't return the teens' capsized boat to shore last week. And now the vessel can't be found. Coast Guard rescuers first found the boat on July 26, about 67 miles east of the Ponce de Leon Inlet, near New Smyrna B... more

Coast Guard Training Center to Host Third Sunset Parade of 2015

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CAPE MAY, N.J. – The Coast Guard is scheduled to host its third Sunset Parade of 2015 in honor of the Coast Guard's 225th birthday at Training Center Cape May, Tuesday at 7:40 p.m. Sunset Parades are military displays of marching troops and the Coast Guard Recruit Precision Drill Team. More than 250 recruits will march in the parade and strike ... more

Navy to Salute to Coast Guard for its 225th Birthday

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NEW LONDON -- The Navy will pay special tribute to the Coast Guard on Tuesday in honor of its 225th birthday. During a ceremony to begin at 1:30 p.m. at City Pier, Navy small craft will escort a Coast Guard response boat on the Thames River while the Saluting Battery from Naval Submarine Support Facility's Weapons Department fires off a 13-gun ... more

Coast Guard Chopper Makes Emergency Landing on Golf Course

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NEW YORK — A Coast Guard helicopter had to make an emergency landing on the grounds of New York golf course because of smoke and fumes in the cockpit. No injuries were reported. The craft landed on the course at Richmond County Country Club on Staten Island around 10:30 a.m. Sunday. Petty Officer Sabrina Laberdesque says the helicopter had fou... more

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