The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Ship Nancy Foster is shown underway. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

Aboard the NOAA Ship Nancy Foster

The U.S. Coast Guard and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have a long history together from tracking storms to helping search for cutters on the ocean floor that never made it home. Our Coast Guard historians continue to work with NOAA to share these historical maritime stories.


U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Oliver Berry (WPC 1124) sails in formation with the Republic of the Marshall Islands Ship Lomor 03 off Kwajalein Atoll, July 3, 2018. The crews rendezvoused en route to Majuro Atoll while the RMI crew conducted the 24-hour escort. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Amanda Levasseur/Released)

Coast Guard Cutter Oliver Berry crew sets new horizons for cutter operations

In July, Oliver Berry’s crew set a new milestone by deploying over the horizon to the Republic of the Marshall Islands. The 4,400 nautical mile trip marked marking the furthest deployment of an FRC to date for the Coast Guard and is the first deployment of its kind in the Pacific.


A U.S. Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew lands at a softball field at a Coast Guard housing facility in Bayamon, Puerto Rico, Sept. 22, 2017. The housing facility was used for Coast Guard personnel to shelter in place for Hurricane Maria and some operations were based there as damages were repaired to the Coast Guard base Sector San Juan, which is adjacent to San Juan harbor in Puerto Rico. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Senior Chief Petty Officer Zach Zubricki.

Surviving Hurricane Maria

The U.S. Coast Guard members who work at Sector San Juan had already been hit with Hurricane Irma but just two weeks later, they had to relocate and hunker down 10 miles away at Bayamon while Hurricane Maria wrought even more destruction to the island of Puerto Rico. Weeks later, those same member worked tirelessly to rebuild and become operational again.


Fire boat response crews battle the blazing remnants of the off shore oil rig Deepwater Horizon, April 21, 2010. A Coast Guard MH-65C dolphin rescue helicopter and crew document the fire aboard the mobile offshore drilling unit Deepwater Horizon, while searching for survivors April 21. Multiple Coast Guard helicopters, planes and cutters responded to rescue the Deepwater Horizon's 126 person crew. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

The Long Blue Line: local enforcer to global responder—nearly 230 years of Coast Guard evolution!

In 1790, Alexander Hamilton established a small fleet of coastal law enforcement vessels to patrol off East Coast seaports. Over the next 228 years, the service experienced rapid growth in its geographic area of responsibility, mandated missions, and organization through mergers with other maritime services, reorganizations, and transfers from one federal agency to another. These frequent changes demanded remarkable flexibility and resourcefulness of the Coast Guard. The service has lived-up to its motto Semper Paratus by adapting and evolving to meet the nation’s changing needs emerging as a global responder known and respected at home and abroad.


The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Mellon (WHEC 717) and crew patrol along the Maritime Boundary Line between the U.S. and Russia in the Bering Sea, Alaska, May 25, 2018. The crew kept a lookout for illegal encroachments of the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone by foreign fishing vessels. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Bill Colclough.

Lookouts of The Last Frontier

The Coast Guard Cutter Mellon, homeported in Seattle, and its 180 crew members embark every year on their Alaskan patrol from Dutch Harbor, Alaska, the nation’s top fishing port. The Mellon and its crew divide their patrols between the Pacific Ocean adjacent to Mexico and Guatemala. In the Eastern Pacific, offshore South America, the crew interdicts drug smugglers in the Joint Interagency Task Force – South area of responsibility.

In the Bering Sea, the Mellon crew keeps a lookout for mariners in distress and enforces laws and regulations related to the preservation of U.S. fisheries stocks.


Dave Lewald gives a presentation on the U.S. Coast Guard’s eATON response during the 2017 hurricane season during the 2018 IALA Conference in Incheon, Republic of Korea. U.S Coast Guard photo by Cmdr. Justin A. Kimura.

Coast Guard recognized for electronic aids to navigation hurricane response

The U.S. Coast Guard was recognized by the International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse Authorities (IALA) for its use of electronic Aids to Navigation (eATON) during the 2017 hurricane season.

The members of the international technical association selected the U.S. Coast Guard for its best practices award during its quadrennial conference in the Republic of Korea’s third largest city.


Then Chief Petty Officer Trainor reenlists on “PA” Lighted Buoy in the Straits of Juan de Fuca, while stationed aboard Coast Guard Cutter Fir (WLM-212) in February 1986.

Coast Guard veteran dedicates 43 years to keeping mariners safe

Bob Trainor spent 43 years of his life serving with the U.S. Coast Guard, 31 years as an enlisted and later chief warrant officer, and 12 years as a civil servant working at Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington, D.C. For the majority of his years in the service, Trainor worked as a guiding light in the Aids to Navigation field making U.S. waterways safer, more efficient, and more resilient. Fair winds and following seas Mr. Trainor!


More than 30 students from the Coast Guard Academy, U.S. Air Force Academy, U.S. Miltiary Academy and U.S. Naval Academy and staff pose for a photo on the steps of Satterlee Hall at the Coast Guard Academy in New London, Conn., April 12, 2018.

Fixing the Coast Guard with math

Each year the Coast Guard presents capstone problems to Coast Guard Academy cadets to help solve centric problems from operation units like aircraft inventory costs, training assignments, cutter operations, etc. During the 2018 Service Academy Student Mathematics Conference held at the Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut, 30 cadets and midshipmen presented their senior research projects to an audience of peers. These projects allowed students to gain real world experience during their final semester and an opportunity to provide solutions that would have a substantial effect on the service.


Designing the Coast Guard’s role in the Arctic

The Coast Guard’s missions in the Arctic are evolving with the changing landscape. Six teams of Coast Guard Academy cadets have been working on their capstone projects exploring and designing icebreakers capable of operating in both the Arctic and Great Lakes, as well as applying conceptual understanding of the Arctic domain to build foundational relationships between Arctic nations.


Petty Officer 2nd Class Jonny Walker, a marine science technician aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star, uses a lathe to fabricate a brass bushing for the ship’s propulsion machinery, Jan. 16, 2018. The crew of the Seattle-based Polar Star was on deployment to Antarctica in support of Operation Deep Freeze 2018, the U.S. military’s contribution to the National Science Foundation-managed U.S. Antarctic Program. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Chief Petty Officer Nick Ameen.

Operation Deep Freeze: An aging ship

The Polar Star’s engineering department ensures the ship’s mechanical and electrical equipment is working properly, but the harsh conditions of Antarctica provide many challenges for the aging ship, which has been around longer than many of its crew members.


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