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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.”

Cargo Ship In Limbo on the Delaware

Philadelphia Inquirer | Jul 31, 2014

A Greek-owned cargo ship has been anchored in the Delaware River for nearly 16 weeks, with 20 crew on board, caught in a quagmire between U.S. Coast Guard demands for operational repairs, and an owner who has not paid bills incurred since April. The Nikol H, which is registered in the Marshall Islands, needs additional repairs before sailing, a... more

Coast Guard Cutter Returns to Port after RIMPAC

Coast Guard Cutter Waesche

 | Jul 31, 2014

HONOLULU – The Coast Guard Cutter Waesche returned to port at Coast Guard Base Honolulu, Wednesday morning after spending three weeks at sea participating in Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2014 exercises. During the exercises Waesche demonstrated the Coast Guard’s unique capabilities and partnership with Department of Defense entities and internat... more

Coast Guard, Marines, Sailors To Conduct Exercise

 | Jul 30, 2014

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Marines, sailors, Coast Guardsmen and civilian personnel with Combat Logistics Regiment 25, Naval Beach Group Two, Marine Corps Support Facility Blount Island and U.S. Coast Guard Sector Jacksonville will conduct a Maritime Prepositioning Force Exercise in the St. Johns River area during the month of August.  An In-Stream O... more

Coast Guard Crew Returns from Alaskan Patrol

Coast Guard Cutter Mellon

 | Jul 29, 2014

SEATTLE — A local Coast Guard crew returned home Monday after an 86-day patrol of the Bering Sea that covered nearly 15,000 miles conducting search and rescue and fisheries enforcement operations. The more than 160-person crew of the Mellon left Seattle May 10 to conduct missions throughout the Gulf of Alaska and the Bering Sea. Those efforts i... more

Coast Guard Sees Command Change in Portsmouth

Coast Guard cutter Forward

 | Jul 28, 2014

The Coast Guard cutter Forward got a new leader during a change-of-command ceremony in Portsmouth on Friday. Cmdr. Joseph Sundland took over command from Capt. Gregory Wisener, according to a Coast Guard news release. Wisener is transferring to the Coast Guard Leadership and Development Center to serve as the commanding officer. He has served ... more

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