Crewmembers aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Tampa's deployable response boat tow an intercepted 'go-fast" vessel from the Cutter Confidence to the Tampa, Feb. 11, 2012.

Sustaining mission effectiveness as Coast Guard surface fleet transitions

The U.S. Coast Guard Western Hemisphere Strategy is built around three priorities, combating networks, securing borders and safeguarding commerce. To meet these priorities, the strategy emphasizes the critical importance of offshore vessel and aircraft presence to support effective governance and sovereignty, as well as other concepts to ensure long-term success. That long-term vision relies heavily upon the ongoing acqusition of national security cutters and fast response cutters and future acquisition of offshore patrol cutters by the service but also requires us to lean heavily on an aging medium endurance cutter fleet made up of 210-foot and 270-foot cutters, some of which have been operational for as many as 45 years.


A memorial to Signalman 1st Class Douglas Munro at Guadalcanal. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

Coast Guard, Marines, Nation remember Signalman 1st Class Douglas Munro

Ask any Coast Guard man or woman and any Marine about Douglas Munro and you will instantly be taken back to the fateful day in 1942 when a Coast Guardsman gave his life so a detachment of Marines might live. To a woman or man, each will recite Munro’s last words to his best friend, Ray Evans, “Did they get off?” In many ways, Munro’s sacrifice is at the very core of the close relationship between the two services. And, all who hear Munro’s story instantly understand the bond between American brothers and sisters in arms and the true meaning of service to nation.


Former United States Senator Sam Nunn. Photo courtesy of Nuclear Threat Initiative.

Honor, Respect, Devotion to Duty: Senator Sam Nunn

“All in all, it was just a great experience and most of all a learning experience and understanding how important it is for unit cohesion, for discipline, for the sense of integrity. All of those things were pounded home and I think they stuck with me really all of my career.”


signing

Release of Western Hemisphere Strategy

This morning Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Paul Zukunft signed the Coast Guard Western Hemisphere Strategy. It addresses transnational threats and maritime challenges that threaten the security of our Nation, markets and oceans over the next 10 years. The Coast Guard is globally deployed, but our primary operating area remains in the Western Hemisphere. As we engage future challenges we must think strategically to best position our resources to leverage our unique authorities, capabilities and partnerships to achieve national objectives across the range of Coast Guard missions.


A ruptured pipe drenches third class cadets as they attempt to control the flooding during Damage Control drill on the waist on board the Coast Guard Cutter Eagle July 24, 2013. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Walter Shinn.

Mastering disaster: How to effectively practice for an emergency

How many times have you heard the old saying, practice makes perfect? Well, this month we’re telling everyone that practice makes preparedness; knowing what to do when a natural disaster strikes can save lives.


Coast Guard Cutter Margaret Norvell anchored off the coast of Bimini, known as the "Gateway to the Bahamas." U.S. Coast Guard photo.

Coast Guard Cutter Margaret Norvell visits “Gateway to the Bahamas”

With eight of the top 10 most violent nations residing in the Western Hemisphere and transnational organized crime networks acting as non-state actors, relationships between America’s military services and law enforcement agencies with their counterparts throughout the region are more important than ever. And, every Coast Guard port call is an opportunity to build and nurture those critical partnerships.


America, a juvenile bald eagle, is held by Bruce Beatty, a a federally-licensed birds of prey rehabilitator, Petty Officer 1st Class Dominic Potter (left) and Petty Officer 3rd Class William Peters at a Michigan Department of Natural Resources center in Bay City, Mich., after being rescued in the Saginaw River by Potter and Peters, Sept. 18, 2014. America was not injured and will be cared for by Beatty until released. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

Rescuing America

“Everyone, from the good Sam[aritan] who notified us, to the Michigan DNR and the Consumers Power Plant personnel, was so helpful in helping us rescue America,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Andy Burns. “This bird is not just an injured animal, it is our country’s symbol of freedom, and America deserved to be saved.”


Coast Guard Commandant, Adm. Paul Zukunft, recognizes Petty Officer 2nd Class Matthew Baasch from Coast Guard Cutter Bertholf in Alameda, Calif., Sept. 16, 2014, for his role in two separate counter narcotics off the coast of Colombia. The crew of Cutter Bertholf recently returned from a 140-day patrol off the coast of South America. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Patrick Kelley.

Honor, Respect, Devotion to Duty: GM2 Matthew Baasch

Sometimes a person gets a weird feeling in the pit of their stomach because there is more to a situation than meets the eye. This feeling is commonly referred to as a person’s “sixth sense.” Coast Guard boarding officers are trained to follow that “sixth sense” while they’re conducting counter narcotics operations in the Eastern Pacific and Caribbean Basin. That’s exactly what happened to Petty Officer Matthew Baasch and a boarding team from the Cutter Bertholf when they climbed aboard the fishing vessel Goliat I off the coast of Colombia on June 28.


FEMA graphic on preparing a pet emergency kit. Graphic courtesy of FEMA.

Emergency Kits: The Top 10 Items Every Household Should Have

An emergency kit is essential to have for any situation that may pose a threat to accessing basic survival necessities. While your kit should be personalized to fit your own specific needs, there are 10 core items that are important to include.


operations

A safe, secure North Pacific

North Pacific nations are gathering this week to discuss the North Pacific Ocean, the body of water they all border that encompasses 21 percent of the world’s ocean area. The safety and economic security of these nations depends considerably upon the secure use of the ocean; for the large expanse of the North Pacific, this means strong relationships between nations with overlapping sovereignty, economic, security, emergency response and law enforcement concerns in the region. These relationships are bolstered each year through the North Pacific Coast Guard Forum.


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