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 Helicopter Joins Ice Rescue Training in Grand Haven

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BM1 Dustin McClelland said it's been a long time since Coast Guard Station Grand Haven has done an ice rescue operation involving a helicopter. The orange whirly bird made a bright impression against the gray sky Thursday morning as the Traverse City crew worked with Station Grand Haven on ice rescue training on the Grand River in front of the ... more

Coast Guard Cutter Rescues Man Walking in Middle of Lake

The crew of Coast Guard Cutter Neah Bay, home-ported in Cleveland, rescued a 25-year-old man attempting to walk across Lake St. Clair, March 5, 2015. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Lt. Josh Zike)

CLEVELAND — The Coast Guard rescued a man attempting to walk across Lake St. Clair Thursday morning and is transporting the man to Algonac, Michigan. The man rescued is a 25-year-old American citizen, who stated he was attempting to walk from Detroit to Toronto. At about 9:30 a.m., the lookout assigned to Coast Guard Cutter Neah Bay, a 140-foo... more

Coast Guard Kicks Off Ice Breaking Operations

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U.S. Coast Guard Cutter ALDER begins spring ice breaking operations in the Duluth/Superior area starting Wednesday. The operations continue periodically over the next two weeks throughout the greater Duluth/Superior area. Initial ice breaking operations start inside the Duluth/Superior Harbor, then expanding to offshore the Duluth/Superior are... more

Thick Ice on River Thwarts Coast Guard Cutters

Coast Guard Cutter Thunder Bay, a 140-foot ice breaking tug, arrives at its temporary homeport at the Cleveland Moorings, Dec. 12, 2011. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class George Degener)

BANGOR, Maine -- Repeated winter storms and record cold conditions have hampered the U.S. Coast Guard's ice cutting operations on the Penobscot River, raising concern among some officials that ice jams could cause flooding in the spring. The Coast Guard's 65-foot ice breakers have not been able to get within a half-mile of the Veterans Remembra... more

Mental Evaluation for Coast Guard Attack Suspect

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The court case for the suspect in an attack at Grand Haven's Coast Guard station will be delayed while the man undergoes a mental competency evaluation. Matthew Lawrence Krueger, 33, of Westmont, Ill., will likely be transferred to the Kent County Jail, which acts as a regional center for the Ypsilanti Forensic Center, said Ottawa County Prosec... more

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