During Arctic Technology Evaluation 2018, the AeroVironment Puma unmanned aircraft system and a Coast Guard unmanned surface vessel were deployed together to test the feasibility of using multiple unmanned systems as a communications link over larger areas. Patrick Ryan, a researcher in the Systems Branch at the Coast Guard Research and Development Center, readies the UAS before launch. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Alexandra Swan.

Research, Development, Test and Evaluation Spotlight: Arctic Technology Evaluation 2018

The Coast Guard’s objectives in the Arctic include advancing U.S. security interests and pursuing responsible stewardship of the area. Two components of that strategy – maritime domain awareness and protection of the delicate environment – were the focus of the Coast Guard Research, Development, Test and Evaluation Program’s 2018 Arctic Technology Evaluation held in late July in Alaska. The event enables the Coast Guard to gain efficiencies by evaluating multiple technologies that have the potential to enhance future Coast Guard operations in harsh environments.


Small boat showing the minimal protection for boat and crew of flak vests and battle helmets. Photo courtesy of Gordon M. Gillies.

The Long Blue Line: Coast Guard small boat ops in Vietnam

During the Vietnam War, the 82-foot “Point”-Class cutters of Squadron One supported small boat reconnaissance missions. Their missions required the small boats to probe the canals and waterways of South Vietnam. These missions gathered intelligence regarding enemy weapons, troop movements, fortified positions and bunkers. Check out the blog to learn more about these dangerous operations, carried out at night and giving new meaning to the service’s old saying, “You have to go out, but you don’t have to come back.”


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The Panama buoy

The calm swells of the Port of Panama gave the Fir’s crew a perfect opportunity to show the Panama Canal Authority how buoys are maintained in the U.S. As the Panamanian crew traversed to the whistle buoy, they searched for the black-hulled tender sporting the iconic 64-degree Coast Guard red, white and blue racing stripe. There it was, on time, dead center of dozens of floating cargo ships.


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.


Petty Officer Second Class Paul F. Floge, a Coast Guard reservist with Coast Guard Port Security Unit 311 out of San Pedro, Calif., provides security with a .50 caliber machine gun on the Khawr al Amaya oil terminal off the coast of Iraq. Flodge, who works full time for the Los Angeles Police Department, is one of many reservists called to active duty in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

The Long Blue Line: Coast Guard combat operations in Operation Iraqi Freedom

In Operation Iraqi Freedom, the Coast Guard demonstrated the importance of a naval force experienced in shallow-water operations, maritime interdiction operations, port security and aids to navigation work. The port security units performed their port security duties efficiently in spite of their units being divided between three separate port facilities and two oil terminals. Patrol boats operated for countless hours without maintenance in waters too shallow for Navy assets and served as the Coalition fleet’s workhorses in boarding, escort and force protection duties. OIF was just one of the many combat operations fought by the Coast Guard since 1790 and its heroes are among the many members of the long blue line.


Nineteen packages of marijuana float near Naval Station Guantanamo Bay after being jettisoned off a small boat in June 2018. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

PSU 309, Coast Guard Cutter Vigilant team up to interdict illegal drugs

Coast Guard service members from Port Security Unit 309 and Coast Guard Cutter Vigilant often conduct missions very different from each other. Despite having different missions, these units often operate jointly with other Coast Guard assets and with international partners. In early June, members from both units collaborated to interdict illegal drugs approximately one mile from Naval Station Guantanamo Bay’s shoreline.


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.


The 82-foot patrol boat Point Cypress in camouflage paint scheme in Vietnam. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

The Long Blue Line: Coast Guard joined the fight in Vietnam over 50 years ago

Today, over 50 years after the service joined the fight in Vietnam, we commemorate the Coast Guardsmen who went in harm’s way, several of whom paid with their lives in a land far from home shores. In all, 8,000 Coast Guardsmen served in Vietnam. Their efforts curtailed maritime smuggling and enemy infiltration, saved hundreds of lives, and proved vital to the war effort in Vietnam.


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.


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