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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 Helps Rescue 400 Migrants at Sea

MIAMI — Coast Guard crews and Royal Bahamian Defence Force (RBDF) rescued more than 400 Haitians illegally migrating in three separate at sea interdictions in the span of 11 days. Monday, an aircrew aboard a Coast Guard C-130 aircraft from Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater located a 40-foot sail freighter riding low west of Ragged Island, Baha... more

Coast Guard Air Station aircrew

CG Rescues Man Overboard in Houston Ship Channel

HOUSTON – The Coast Guard rescued a 62-year-old man who was stranded on Atkinson Island after he fell off his boat near Sylvan Beach and swam to the island Wednesday. At approximately 9 a.m., watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Houston-Galveston received a call from a mariner transiting near Sylvan Beach stating they saw an unmanned boat going ... more

Coast Guard Signs Agreement to Service NOAA Fleet

The U.S. Coast Guard's shipyard in Curtis Bay has signed an agreement to provide ship maintenance over the next five years for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Atlantic fleet. The new memorandum of understanding, announced Tuesday by Sen. Barbara Mikulski's office, extends an existing partnership between the Coast Guard and... more

Stranded Ship Drifts; Crewman Buried at Sea

PORTLAND, Ore. — The crewman who died in a fire aboard a chemical tanker that's adrift off the Oregon coast has been buried at sea. Ship spokesman Campbell Houston said Monday the engine-room fire left the 485-foot Pine Galaxy without much refrigeration, and the crewman's family gave permission for the ocean burial. Houston did not have his na... more

Coast Guard Unable to Fix Stranded Ship's Engines

CAPE BLANCO, Ore.— U.S. Coast Guard experts have been unable to restart the engines of a chemical tanker after a deadly fire left it adrift 700 miles off the Oregon coast. Petty Officer 2nd Class George Degener said Saturday that damage from an engine-room fire was too severe to restore the vessel's on-board systems. One crew member was killed ... more

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