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 Sees Command Change in Portsmouth

Coast Guard cutter Forward

 | Jul 28, 2014

The Coast Guard cutter Forward got a new leader during a change-of-command ceremony in Portsmouth on Friday. Cmdr. Joseph Sundland took over command from Capt. Gregory Wisener, according to a Coast Guard news release. Wisener is transferring to the Coast Guard Leadership and Development Center to serve as the commanding officer. He has served ... more

Coast Guard Looking to Identify Hoax Caller

Baltimore Sun | Jul 24, 2014

The U.S. Coast Guard is looking to identify a Southern Maryland caller officials said made nearly more than a dozen false distress calls in recent weeks. Coast Guard officials said searches related to the hoax calls cost about $15,000 and could place the public in danger by diverting resources. The calls are believed to come from a male caller ... more

Coast Guard Suspends Search for Powerboat Racer

Philadelphia Inquirer | Jul 23, 2014

LONGPORT, N.J. -- The Coast Guard suspended its search Monday evening for a champion powerboat racer who disappeared late Sunday when his pontoon boat apparently hit a buoy and then slammed into a jetty at the southern tip of Longport. Officials identified the missing boater as Andrew Biddle, 44, of Egg Harbor Township, who was returning from d... more

Officials: Pot Haul Seized on Caribbean Cargo Ship

Associated Press | Jul 22, 2014

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico  — U.S. authorities say they have seized a haul of marijuana from a Guyana-flagged cargo ship in the Caribbean south of Puerto Rico. Coast Guard Capt. Robert Warren says the vessel An Nurl was stopped last week some 200 miles southwest of southern Puerto Rico. A boarding team allegedly found 3,591 pounds (1,630 kilograms)... more

Four Snorkelers Rescued near Molokini Crater

 | Jul 21, 2014

The Coast Guard and the Maui County Fire Department responded an unresponsive snorkeler and three others stranded near Molokini Crater off Maui on Sunday. Rescue crews arrived on scene and performed CPR to the unresponsive snorkeler. The snorkelers were transported to the Maalaea Boat Ramp where local emergency medical personnel were waiting t... more

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