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 Rescues 11 from Sinking Tow Vessel Off Hawaiian Island

HONOLULU — Officials say 11 people are safe after being rescued from their sinking tow boat off the Hawaiian island of Oahu. The Coast Guard says it received an emergency call Thursday afternoon from the 95-foot Nalani after it began taking on water about 2 1/2 miles offshore. Emergency vessels rushed toward the scene, while an alert went out ... more

Coast Guard Helicopter Makes Emergency Landing Outside Store

A Coast Guard helicopter set down Thursday night in a shopping center parking lot in Kemah after striking a bird. The pilot made an emergency landing about 8 p.m. outside the Target store in the 200 block of Marine Bay Drive. There were no injuries from the two pilots or the two crewmembers, U.S. Coast Guard officials said. The helicopter was ... more

Eagle To Be Featured on Stamp Honoring Coast Guard

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Each year the U.S. Postal Service receives between 20,000 and 30,000 suggestions for stamp ideas. Many of those suggestions in recent years were for a stamp recognizing the achievements of the U.S. Coast Guard. And so, this August, the USPS will issue a "forever" stamp in honor of the multi-mission military service. "We are proud to honor membe... more

On Coast Guard Hunt for Smugglers, an Air of 'Master and Commander'

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His back stiff, his stance wide for balance, Babbini shifted his eyes forward and down to where his flashlight was aimed, about 100 feet beyond the deck of the Coast Guard cutter Blackfin. On this Friday evening, the first class petty officer was helping guide the boat around crab traps bobbing in Santa Barbara Harbor's darkened waters. The sun... more

Coast Guard Commandant Emphasizes Western Hemisphere Priorities

Adm. Paul Zukunft and his wife

WASHINGTON — Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Paul Zukunft addressed transnational threats and maritime challenges at the Center for Strategic and International Studies as part of the Maritime Security Dialogue, Friday. The Maritime Security Dialogue highlights particular challenges facing the Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard, from national-level... more

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