Week in the life of the Coast Guard 2017 – Friday

* This is the fifth day of our “Week in the life 2017” series. The series provides a glimpse into the lives of Coast Guard members and highlights the day to day activities of the service.  Follow along on Facebook and Instagram , as well as right here on the Compass Blog throughout the week.

The Coast Guard is the principal Federal agency responsible for maritime safety, security, and environmental stewardship in U.S. ports and waterways. In this capacity, the Coast Guard protects and defends more than 100,000 miles of U.S. coastline and inland waterways, and safeguards an Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) encompassing 4.5 million square miles stretching from North of the Arctic Circle to South of the equator, from Puerto Rico to Guam, encompassing nine time zones – the largest EEZ in the world.

The Coast Guard is divided into two geographic commands, the Atlantic Area and Pacific Area. The Areas are further divided into nine district commands. The Atlantic Area includes five district commands covering the Eastern United States, the Atlantic Ocean, the Great Lakes and the Gulf of Mexico. The Pacific Area includes four district commands covering the Western United States and the Pacific Ocean.

Patrol Forces Southwest Asia (PATFORSWA) is the Coast Guard’s largest unit outside of the United States. PATFORSWA is currently supporting the U.S. Navy’s Fifth Fleet in Operation Enduring Freedom. The Coast Guard has two commands (Activities Europe and Activities Far East) that support the Coast Guard’s Maritime Safety and Security mission conducting marine inspection, marine investigation, and international port security operations to ensure the integrity of the Maritime Transportation System. The Coast Guard also has personnel assigned to eight DoD Combatant Commands and often has a presence on all seven continents and the world’s oceans, projecting national sovereignty with our icebreakers, national security cutters, high-endurance cutters, aviation assets, and deployable specialized forces.

Releasing into the wild – Emerald Isle, North Carolina

Coast Guard Petty Officer 3rd Class Sarah Welvaert, a boatswain's mate at Coast Guard Station Emerald Isle in Emerald Isle, North Carolina, releases a Kemp's ridley sea turtle into the Atlantic Ocean Feb. 3, 2017. Crew members from the station helped North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission personnel release four rehabilitated sea turtle back into the wild. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Coast Guard Petty Officer 3rd Class Tyler McGuinness/Released)

Coast Guard Petty Officer 3rd Class Sarah Welvaert, a boatswain’s mate at Coast Guard Station Emerald Isle in Emerald Isle, North Carolina, releases a Kemp’s ridley sea turtle into the Atlantic Ocean Feb. 3, 2017. Crew members from the station helped North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission personnel release four rehabilitated sea turtle back into the wild. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Coast Guard Petty Officer 3rd Class Tyler McGuinness/Released)

Catching some air – Port Angeles, Washington

Lt. Skylar Swenson, an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter pilot from Sector Field Office Port Angeles, jumps in a puddle at the SFO base in Port Angeles after a training flight, Feb. 10, 2017. SFO Port Angeles is a dual mission unit charged with both operational and support responsibilities for Coast Guard units in an area that includes the Strait of Juan De Fuca and the north western coast of Washington around the Olympic Peninsula to the mouth of Puget Sound. U.S. Coast Guard photo courtesy of Sector Field Officer Port Angeles.

Lt. Skylar Swenson, an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter pilot from Sector Field Office Port Angeles, jumps in a puddle at the SFO base in Port Angeles after a training flight, Feb. 10, 2017. SFO Port Angeles is a dual mission unit charged with both operational and support responsibilities for Coast Guard units in an area that includes the Strait of Juan De Fuca and the north western coast of Washington around the Olympic Peninsula to the mouth of Puget Sound. (U.S. Coast Guard photo courtesy of Sector Field Officer Port Angeles)

A look at the horizon – St. Ignance, Michigan

The Coast Guard Cutter Biscayne Bay, a 140-foot ice breaking tug home-ported in St. Ignance, Michigan, sails across Lake Michigan, Feb. 10, 2017. The photo was taken by the crew of Air Station Traverse City, Michigan, aboard an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter as both crews were conducting hoist training. (U.S. Coast Guard photo courtesy by Air Station Traverse City)

The Coast Guard Cutter Biscayne Bay, a 140-foot ice breaking tug home-ported in St. Ignance, Michigan, sails across Lake Michigan, Feb. 10, 2017. The photo was taken by the crew of Air Station Traverse City, Michigan, aboard an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter as both crews were conducting hoist training. (U.S. Coast Guard photo courtesy by Air Station Traverse City)

All hands – San Diego, California 

Department of Homeland Security Secretary John F. Kelly addresses the crew at Coast Guard Sector San Diego on February 10, 2017. This was Kelly's first engagement forum with the Coast Guard since taking the job as DHS Secretary. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Joel Guzman/released)

Department of Homeland Security Secretary John F. Kelly addresses the crew at Coast Guard Sector San Diego on February 10, 2017. This was Kelly’s first engagement forum with the Coast Guard since taking the job as DHS Secretary. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Joel Guzman/released)

Driving time – Portsmouth, Virginia 

Coast Guard Petty Officer 2nd Class Shane Klema, a boatswain's mate at Coast Guard Station Portsmouth in Portsmouth, Virginia, pilots a 45-foot Response Boat-Medium away from the boat's mooring Feb. 17, 2017. Klema, coxswain of the crew, allowed trainees to practice driving and mooring the boat and initiated several man overboard and anchoring drills. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Coast Guard Petty Officer 3rd Class Corinne Zilnicki/Released)

Coast Guard Petty Officer 2nd Class Shane Klema, a boatswain’s mate at Coast Guard Station Portsmouth in Portsmouth, Virginia, pilots a 45-foot Response Boat-Medium away from the boat’s mooring Feb. 17, 2017. Klema, coxswain of the crew, allowed trainees to practice driving and mooring the boat and initiated several man overboard and anchoring drills. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Coast Guard Petty Officer 3rd Class Corinne Zilnicki/Released)

Double drydock – Baltimore, Maryland

Pictured here are Coast Guard Cutter Willow, homeported in Newport, Rhode Island, and Coast Guard Cutter Sturgeon Bay, homeported in Bayonne, New Jersey, drydocked at Coast Guard Yard Baltimore. Both cutters are receiving maintenence and will return to the fleet after maintenance completion. (Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Jasmine Mieszala)

Pictured here are Coast Guard Cutter Willow, homeported in Newport, Rhode Island, and Coast Guard Cutter Sturgeon Bay, homeported in Bayonne, New Jersey, drydocked at Coast Guard Yard Baltimore Feb. 24, 2017. Both cutters are receiving maintenence and will return to the fleet after maintenance completion. (Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Jasmine Mieszala)

Recognizing a real life hero –  Rehoboth Beach, Delaware

Senator Chris Coons pins the Silver Lifesaving Medal on Petty Officer 3rd Class Caleb Mabry during an award ceremony at Coast Guard Station Indian River, Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, Friday Feb. 24, 2017.

Senator Chris Coons pins the Silver Lifesaving Medal on Petty Officer 3rd Class Caleb Mabry during an award ceremony at Coast Guard Station Indian River, Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, Friday Feb. 24, 2017. Mabry received the Silver Lifesaving Medal for heroic actions while off-duty and recovering from leg surgery in Cape Charles, Virginia June 21, 2015. Mabry and a good Samaritan entered the water and rescued a drowning teenager 50-yards offshore. Once onshore, Mabry persisted and re-entered the water looking for another teenager, who unfortunately succumbed to drowning. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Lt. Cmdr. Krystyn Pecora)

Manning the machine – Juneau, Alaska

Crewmembers from the Coast Guard Cutter Liberty load a .50 caliber machine gun with blank rounds during a practice fire exercise at the Juneau Police Department firing range in Juneau, Alaska, Feb. 24, 2017. The Browning M2 .50 caliber machine gun is just one of the weapons available to the Island Class cutter's crew in support of law enforcement, force protection and homeland security operations. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Chief Petty Officer Shawn Eggert

Crewmembers from the Coast Guard Cutter Liberty load a .50 caliber machine gun with blank rounds during a practice fire exercise at the Juneau Police Department firing range in Juneau, Alaska, Feb. 24, 2017. The Browning M2 .50 caliber machine gun is just one of the weapons available to the Island Class cutter’s crew in support of law enforcement, force protection and homeland security operations. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Chief Petty Officer Shawn Eggert)

Hovering above – St. Clair River, Michigan

Members of the Coast Guard Cutter Bristol Bay, a 140-foot ice breaking tug homeported in Detroit, conduct helicopter hoist training with an aircrew from Coast Guard Air Station Detroit in the St. Clair River Feb. 24, 2017. Crews from cutters and helicopters routinely conduct hoist training to ensure they are capable of responding during real emergencies. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Coast Guard Cutter Bristol Bay)

Members of the Coast Guard Cutter Bristol Bay, a 140-foot ice breaking tug homeported in Detroit, conduct helicopter hoist training with an aircrew from Coast Guard Air Station Detroit in the St. Clair River Feb. 24, 2017. Crews from cutters and helicopters routinely conduct hoist training to ensure they are capable of responding during real emergencies. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Coast Guard Cutter Bristol Bay)

Buoy jump – Tillamook Bay, Oregon

Seaman Eric Ostrander, a qualified minor aids technician from Coast Guard Aids to Navigation Team Astoria, Ore., jumps from a 47-foot Motor Life Boat from Coast Guard Station Tillamook in Garibaldi, to Tillamook Bay Entrance Lighted Bell Buoy 1 as Fireman Kalani Coria tends a fender, Feb. 24, 2017.

Seaman Eric Ostrander, a qualified minor aids technician from Coast Guard Aids to Navigation Team Astoria, Ore., jumps from a 47-foot Motor Life Boat from Coast Guard Station Tillamook in Garibaldi, to Tillamook Bay Entrance Lighted Bell Buoy 1 as Fireman Kalani Coria tends a fender, Feb. 24, 2017. The boat crew assisted the ANT due to the buoy’s precarious location on the Tillamook Bay Bar. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Alan Dumville)

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