“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.”
“All in all, it was just a great experience and most of all a learning experience and understanding how important it is for unit cohesion, for discipline, for the sense of integrity. All of those things were pounded home and I think they stuck with me really all of my career.”
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.
Tuesdays week in the life of the Coast Guard 2014 features the work of Aids to Navagation team members, we honor a fallen shipmate in Long Beach, California, inventory of a new boat in Florida, ID card making in Honolulu and good ol’ hull maintenance on the Cutter Appleby
“Joshua James exhibited a commitment to excellence that permeates the Coast Guard to this day,” said Vice Commandant of the Coast Guard Vice Adm. Peter Neffenger. “He embodied the Coast Guard’s core values of honor, respect and devotion to duty and the guiding principles articulated in our new Commandant’s Direction long before we ever wrote them down.”
Coast Guard cutters Charles Sexton and Paul Clark are two of the service’s new fast response cutters. Capable of speeds in excess of 28 knots and armed with one stabilized remotely operated 25-mm chain gun and four crew-served .50-caliber machine guns, their crews deliver superior law enforcement capabilities. It was this capability that led to a historic drug interdiction.
In the fourth largest container port in the United States and the second busiest port on the East Coast, Marine Safety Unit Savannah maintains high expectations for the personnel stationed in the Coastal Empire. Petty officers of all ranks are asked to assume responsibilities that may exceed their previous experience and unit personnel are highly motivated to rapidly gain qualifications to be prepared to respond to the myriad of activities occurring in this busy port. From visits from the Vice President of the United States to a fiery explosion at a rubber warehouse at the port authority, MSU stands ready to respond.