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 Locates Three Men on Overdue Sailboat

Coast Guard 26 foot rescue boat

The U.S. Coast Guard said it located three men who had been reported missing on a sailing trip after they called in to report they were delayed but not in distress 30 miles from Lahaina. Father and son, Frank and Joshua Gogolski and friend Jerome Pascual took the sailing vessel Honeycutter and left on Friday from the Rainbow Marina in Pearl Har... more

Coast Guard: Barge Sinks in Mississippi River

MH-65 Dolphin Helicopter

CONVENT, La. — The Coast Guard says a barge broke free from its mooring and sank near this town on the Mississippi River. Petty Officer Jonathan Lally, a Coast Guard spokesman, says the river was briefly closed Monday as investigators determined whether the barge posed a danger to river traffic. The barge sank at about 5:20 a.m. Aboard the sun... more

Proud Coast Guard Cutter Returns to Curtis Bay

Coast Guard Cutter Eagle 600x400

The deck was free of cadets Saturday when a 79-year-old Coast Guard ship sailed from Annapolis to Baltimore, its masts seemingly scraping the clear blue sky. The cutter Eagle will return to the Coast Guard Yard in Curtis Bay Monday for phase two of its $28 million overhaul, which will focus on determining the structural integrity of the main ma... more

Katrina: 10 Years Later Coast Guard Rescuers Remember


NEW LONDON -- Jen Gaudio, curator of the museum at the Coast Guard Academy, says some people have called Hurricane Katrina the Coast Guard's war. On the 10th anniversary of the catastrophic hurricane, the event is still remembered as a defining moment for the Coast Guard. Until then, some people still believed the Coast Guard was a reserve uni... more

Coast Guard Helps Seize 53 Pounds of MDMA near San Juan Islands

Coast Guard Cutter Swordfish (U.S. Coast Guard photo)

Law-enforcement officials boarded a vessel near the San Juan Islands on Thursday afternoon, seizing about 53 pounds of MDMA, a chemical found in the club-drug ecstasy, and detaining a citizen of Taiwan. The discovery was made by a Coast Guard boarding team from the cutter Swordfish near President Channel, off Orcas Island, according to a Coast ... more

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