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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.”

Icebreaker Fleet Will Need Makeover by About 2020, Coast Guard Says

CGC POLAR STAR (WAGB-10) is a United States Coast Guard Heavy Icebreaker.

The U.S. Coast Guard's fleet of two operating Arctic-class icebreakers will be sufficient -- if barely so -- for about another six years, the agency's new Alaska commandant said Monday. Rear Adm. Daniel Abel, who took over in June as the commandant for the sprawling Alaska district, told the U.S. Arctic Research Commission the Coast Guard can g... more

Firefighters, Coast Guard Reunite with Rescued Surveyor

MH-60 Jayhawk

Forest Grove Fire & Rescue firefighters reunited with members of the U.S. Coast Guard who helped rescue a surveyor who fell down a ravine in July. Dennis Keister, 57, fell about 30 feet during the incident, which occurred near the Gales Creek Campground. Keister was part of a team of land surveyors on private property off Oregon 6, Wilson Rive... more

Congress Declines to Help Coast Guard Fund New Polar Icebreaker

Coast Guard icebreaker Healy

The Coast Guard needs $1 billion to build a new polar icebreaker. Members of Congress at a recent hearing said the service wasn't going to get it. At least not from them. Although a Navy representative and officials from other federal agencies testified to the importance of attaining a new icebreaker for the Arctic, none of them promised to hel... more

Coast Guard Rescues 3 Hunters Near Kodiak, Alaska

Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk helicopters

ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- The Coast Guard rescued three hunters from dangerous weather conditions at Windy Lake near Kodiak Sunday. An MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Air Station Kodiak safely transported the men to Air Station Kodiak where they were examined by waiting emergency medical personnel. Watchstanders at the 17th District command cent... more

Ingalls Delivers Cutter Hamilton to Coast Guard

PASCAGOULA -- Ingalls Shipbuilding delivered its fourth national security cutter of the Legend class to the U.S. Coast Guard during a ceremony Monday morning. The Coast Guard took possession of the Cutter Hamilton and the crew of 110 members moved onboard the ship to begin training. Construction on the ship began three years ago. The ship is 4... more

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