Families and friends welcomed home Coast Guard Cutter Legare this weekend, just in time for Easter. Before pulling into homeport, however, they made a stop in Miami to offload $110 million worth of cocaine from two separate interdictions.
A year ago today the Coast Guard led an unprecedented maritime response to the tragic bombings at the Boston Marathon, one of the most significant terrorism incidents since 9/11. During the response, the Coast Guard joined federal, state and local law enforcement agencies to ensure safety and security on the waterways.
Coast Guard reservists assigned to Port Security Unit 301 in Cape Cod, Mass., provided port security and communications support in Anchorage, Alaska, during the 2014 National Exercise Program’s Capstone Exercise. During the exercise, the Port of Anchorage, which processes approximately 90 percent of all cargo arriving in Alaska, was heavily damaged by the simulated earthquake and knocked out of commission.
Paws down, snout up and ready for landing; Bert, an explosive detection dog from Coast Guard Maritime Safety and Security Team Galveston, and his handler, Petty Officer 2nd Class Chandler Nuttal, approached the deck of the training boat. They hovered over it, almost effortlessly, along with a whirlwind of freezing-cold saltwater. The confidence of Nuttal and his fury friend Bert, a 5-year-old German shepherd was evident as they were lowered more than 30 feet out of a Houston-based Coast Guard rescue helicopter to the deck of the boat.
In a decommissioning ceremony Monday at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, the Coast Guard bid a fond farewell to its last East Coast-based high endurance cutter: Coast Guard Cutter Gallatin.
Formalizing the role divers play across the service’s diverse mission sets, the Coast Guard announced the creation of the diver, or DV, rate and an associated chief warrant officer, or DIV, specialty, Jan 31, 2014. Coast Guard divers have a storied history that began in the 1940s with intelligence gathering and subsurface activities supporting the Office of Strategic Services, a predecessor of the Central Intelligence Agency. They were also assigned to the Navy Yard at Washington, D.C., to support salvage operations.
In the world of emergency response, one can accurately infer that strong working relationships among all involved parties are crucial to mission success. The Coast Guard, being one of the nation’s top emergency response organizations, works with local agencies throughout the country every day in search and rescue operations, law enforcement cases and even environmental protection missions to ensure the preservation of lives, protection of property and national security, and the conservation of ecosystems and endangered species.
In the labyrinth and confluence of ladders, corridors and gangways aboard the 540-foot T. S. Kennedy, the Massachusetts Maritime Academy’s cadet training ship, it was a “hellish” close quarters combat training for 15 members from four maritime safety and security teams from Boston, New York, New Orleans and Galveston, Texas. Training multiple law enforcement teams simultaneously is a rare and precious opportunity, so this particular event means a lot to the trainees and to unit commanders.
New York-based Coast Guard units are no strangers when it comes to assisting with large-scale events in the area but for the first time in history, area crews put in a team effort alongside local New York and New Jersey authorities to safeguard a Super Bowl event. Having provided security for the United Nations General Assembly, Macy’s Fourth of July Firework display, Fleet Week and the NYC Marathon in previous years, the opportunity for the Coast Guard’s assets to assist with Super Bowl XLVIII was also a success.
International trade is a powerful engine of our nation’s global economic growth and the Coast Guard remains committed to ensuring the global maritime industry is safer and more secure. Established in 2003, the Coast Guard’s International Port Security Program is a major entity in reducing risks to U.S. ports and ships and to the entire maritime transportation system.