Each year, working with the international affairs staff, members travel to countries around the globe providing technical training and consulting services in maritime law enforcement, small boat operation and maintenance, search and rescue and infrastructure development for countries with waterway law enforcement programs.
This year’s International Mine Countermeasures Exercise, or IMCMEX, concluded in Bahrain recently after several weeks of seminars and training maneuvers focused on enhancing military cooperation, protecting global commerce and developing the international community’s ability to address threats to the freedom of navigation.
Fourteen partner nations from across the world recently came together in Callao, Peru, to represent UNITAS 2014, the 55th annual multi-national maritime exercise. UNITAS is the longest-running exercise of its type in the world.
Fourteen retired, active and reserve servicewomen kicked off New York Fashion Week after walking the runway at New York City’s Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Sept. 3, 2014. Little Black Dress Wines and Fatigues to Fabulous (F2F), a campaign supporting women as they transition back to being a private citizen, sponsored the fashion show “Salute the Runway.”
The world relies on the sea for commerce. In fact, approximately 90 percent of world’s trade in goods is shipped by sea and that reliance continues to grow stronger with time. As Americans, we are connected to this global industry that powers the movement of goods and supports our way of life.
“Our crew used their unique capabilities and authorities as a military service, law enforcement agency, and member of the U.S. intelligence community to disrupt transnational organized crime networks in the Eastern Pacific and keep drugs from making it to the U.S.,” said Capt. Edward A. Westfall, commanding officer of Coast Guard Cutter Boutwell. “These illegal drug networks are dangerous breeding grounds for all types of trafficking and their immense profits fuel violence and instability.”
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.
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.
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.
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.