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.


Petty Officer 1st Class Kevin Spratt, a boatswain's mate stationed on the Coast Guard Cutter SPAR, displays his hammer hook invention in Kodiak, Alaska, April 12, 2018. Spratt combined two tools commonly used by crew members working on a buoy deck, a chain hook and a maul, which allowed for a safer working environment by de-cluttering the buoy deck. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Lauren Dean.

Innovation from a life at sea

The crews aboard buoy tenders like Coast Guard Cutter SPAR, homeported in Kodiak, Alaska, use both sledgehammers and hooks to work on buoys but with so many tools, wouldn’t it make sense to combine? That’s exactly what Petty Officer 1st Class Kevin Spratt that earned him the 2017 Capt. Niels P. Thomsen Innovation Award after coming up with the hammer hook.


Research, Development, Test and Evaluation Spotlight: Innovation Awards

The Coast Guard Innovation Council assesses and provides strategic guidance on emerging technologies, missions, gaps, challenges and requirements. Recently, 12 Coast Guard members were honored for ideas that significantly impacted the service’s operations with the Capt. Niels P. Thomsen Innovation Awards during the Senior Leadership Conference held at Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington, D.C.


Coast Guard Academy mechanical engineering cadets test out their rescue basket design at a local simulator facility, April 18, 2018. They have been prototyping a new and improved rescue basket, which could revolutionize the way the Coast Guard conducts search-and-rescue missions aboard the MH-60 Jayhawk helicopters. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Nicole Foguth.

Raising the bar in a single hoist

Coast Guard Academy mechanical engineering cadets have been prototyping a new and improved rescue basket, which could revolutionize the way the Coast Guard conducts search-and-rescue missions aboard the MH-60 Jayhawk helicopters. The new design, which is roomy enough for two individuals to comfortably sit in the basket, allows Coast Guard operators to shave off precious time during mass rescue situations.


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.


Scot Tripp and Lt. Cmdr. Shaun Vaccaro perform final checks on a Coast Guard-developed Hailing Acoustic Laser Light Tactical System onboard Coast Guard Cutter Flores, Feb. 14, 2018, in a Miami harbor. The CG-HALLTS system was designed by the Coast Guard Research and Development Center to effectively communicate and enforce maritime security zones with boaters. U.S. Coast Guard Research and Development Center photo.

Research, Development, Test and Evaluation Spotlight: Laser light communication system CG-HALLTS

Coast Guard Law Enforcement personnel need an unambiguous tool to better attract boaters’ attention and communicate with them. The Coast Guard Research, Development, Test and Evaluation Program is currently testing a possible solution: a Hailing Acoustic Laser Light Tactical System appropriately called CG-HALLTS. Instead of launching a small boat or dispatching a helicopter to determine a boater’s intent, the Coast Guard may be able to de-escalate a high-alert scenario with CG-HALLTS.


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.


The “Pacific Prowler” concludes its service in the Pacific

The Coast Guard Cutter Galveston Island, a 110-foot Island Class patrol boat home ported in Honolulu, was recently decommissioned after nearly 26 years of service to the nation.


Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak MH-60 helicopter crew and Marine Safety Detachment Kodiak pollution responders conduct an overflight in response to an oil spill in Shuyak Strait, 49 miles north of Kodiak, Alaska, Feb. 27, 2018. The Coast Guard and Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation established a unified command in response to the oil spill as part of the service’s marine environmental protection mission. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

Research, Development, Test and Evaluation Spotlight: Detection, Mitigation of Oil within the Water Column

As part of the Coast Guard’s marine environmental protection mission, the Research and Development Center recently completed a project to identify and prototype technologies capable of detecting and mitigating the impacts of oil in the water column that show promise for future commercialization and implementation.


State of the Coast Guard 2018

Last week, Adm. Zukunft gave his final “State of Coast Guard Address” at the historic National Press Club in Washington, D.C. In his address, Adm. Zukunft used the events of the past year to highlight how each Coast Guard member […]


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