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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.”

Salvage Plans Progressing for Bulk Carrier Aground

tanker aground

 | Apr 18, 2014

PORTSMOUTH, Va. -- The Coast Guard is in the final stages of reviewing a salvage plan Thursday that is scheduled to begin Friday morning to move the 751-foot bulk carrier, Ornak, that is aground near First Landing State Park in Virginia Beach, Va.   "Moving a vessel of this size off the beach is a complicated and dynamic operation, requiring c... more

High Winds Could Leave Cargo Ship Aground for Days

tanker aground

 | Apr 17, 2014

VIRGINIA BEACH -- It could be hours or days before a 751-foot cargo ship is moved from the spot it ran aground in the lower Chesapeake Bay Tuesday night. The bulk carrier Ornak, which isn't carrying any cargo, called the Coast Guard for help around 8:30 p.m. after storms barreled through the area and caused the ship to drag anchor, Capt. John L... more

Battaglia Visits Florida Coast Guard, MEP Units

Marine Corps Sgt. Maj. Bryan B. Battaglia, right, senior enlisted advisor to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, explores the instrument panel of the Midnight Express, a tactical training boat.

American Forces Press Service | Apr 17, 2014

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The senior enlisted advisor to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff visited U.S. Coast Guard and Military Entrance Processing units here yesterday. Marine Corps Sgt. Maj. Bryan B. Battaglia engaged with dozens of Coast Guardsmen at the Helicopter Interdiction Tactical Squadron here to get feedback about personnel and b... more

Coast Guardsman Steps Up to Command Navy Unit

Coast Guard Cmdr. Alan Tubbs

 | Apr 14, 2014

CAMP LEMONNIER, Djibouti – It’s not something that happens very often in the U.S. Armed Forces, but the only Coast Guardsman at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, is also the only current Coast Guardsman to hold a command position of a U.S. Navy unit. “They live to drive boats, shoot guns and protect assets,” U.S. Coast Guard Cmdr. Alan Tubbs, Coastal R... more

Ship Runs Aground, 2 Collide after Dragging Anchor

tanker aground

 | Apr 16, 2014

VIRGINIA BEACH -- A 751-foot ship ran aground, two others collided and about a dozen other ships were dragging anchor in the lower Chesapeake Bay on Tuesday night. Wind speeds reached as high as 60 to 70 mph as storms moved through the Lynnhaven area. The Coast Guard received numerous calls for help Tuesday night, said Petty Officer 1st Class ... more

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