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.”

New Coast Guard Boater Regulations Aim to Protect Bridge

Concerned about damage and injuries from boats striking Bonner Bridge, the U.S. Coast Guard says it will take steps to keep vessels away from the bridge when water and weather conditions make navigation perilous in Oregon Inlet. New rules announced Wednesday give Coast Guard officials the authority to keep vessels 100 yards away from the Outer ... more

Judge in Coast Guard Case Makes it Official: The Helo Keeps Flying


Following the dramatic turn of events last week, when a delegation of senators and representatives inserted language aimed at blocking the U.S. Coast Guard's plans to close helicopter air stations in Newport, Ore., and Charleston, S.C., it's official. The file in the case in U.S. District Court brought by Newport Fishermen's Wives against the C... more

Coast Guard Crew Returns Home in Time for Holidays

Crew members from the Coast Guard Cutter Mellon, a high-endurance cutter based out of Seattle, offload bales of cocaine from a bust at Coast Guard Base Los Angeles-Long Beach, Dec. 5, 2014. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Adam Eggers)

SEATTLE — The crew of Coast Guard Cutter Mellon returned to Seattle Thursday following a seven-week deployment in the Eastern Pacific Ocean after interdicting nearly 700 pounds of cocaine seized from seagoing drug smugglers. The drugs, recovered during a single bust off the coast of Central America, are worth an estimated street value of $18.6 ... more

US Coast Guard Rescues Boater Stranded in Bahamas

MIAMI — A man who was adrift on an inflatable dinghy for five days and then stranded on a small, uninhabited island in The Bahamas has been rescued, the U.S. Coast Guard said Monday. A Coast Guard patrol spotted Larry Sutterfield on Cay Sal Bank, in the Western Bahamas between Cuba and Florida. Video shot by the rescue crew showed the 39-year-o... more

Coast Guard Begins Operation Renew for Icebreaking Season

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BOSTON —The Coast Guard's winter icebreaking season has officially kicked off in the Northeast, starting Dec. 15 and running through March.  During the Coast Guard’s 2014-2015 winter ice breaking season, known as Operation Reliable Energy for NorthEast Winters (RENEW), the Coast Guard will conduct ice breaking operations for several reasons: *... more

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