In 2009, members of LEDET 409 detained suspected pirates in the Gulf of Aden as part of Combined Task Force 151. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

The Long Blue Line: LEDETs – 35 years of law enforcement missions

Since 1982, LEDETs have evolved from a counterdrug unit under local Coast Guard command, to one of the service’s modern Deployable Specialized Forces with a global area of responsibility. Over the course of their history, the LEDETs’ role has expanded to carry out a variety of maritime interdiction missions, including counter-piracy, military combat operations, alien migration interdiction, military force protection, counter terrorism, homeland security, and humanitarian response. The LEDETs and their law enforcement mission form one more link in the long blue line.


Uranium glass was popular from the 1920s to the early 1950s. It contained between 2 percent and 25 percent of the oxide diuranate form of uranium which was added to glass before it was melted and formed into glassware. It has a distinctive fluorescent yellow color in regular light, but will glow under blacklight. Despite registering on a Geiger Counter, uranium glass was often used as tableware or other household items. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

When Navy Explosive Ordnance Division knows your name…

A curator’s job is not for the faint of heart as Jen Gaudio, Coast Guard Museum curator, can attest to. In her colorful blog, read more about how working at the Coast Guard Museum in New London, Connecticut, has her on a first-name basis with the Navy Explosive Ordnance Division, and how “dangerous” live in the museum can really be.


Vice Adm. Michael McAllister (right), deputy commandant for mission support, and Alan Kaplan, national president of the Navy League, present Petty Officer 1st Class Elizabeth Meister, food services officer, Sector San Francisco, with the Douglas A. Munro Award for Inspirational Leadership, during the 2018 Navy League National Caonvention held in Portland, Ore., June 8, 2018. The Douglas A. Munro Award for inspirational leadership is awarded to the Coast Guard enlisted member who has demonstrated outstanding leadership and professional competence to the extent of their rank and rate. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Levi Read.

Honor, Respect, Devotion to Duty: CSC Elizabeth Meister

Chicago native, Chief Petty Officer Elizabeth Meister, a culinar specialist, is the 2018 winner of the Douglas A. Munro Award. The award, presented once a year, recognizes Coast Guard enlisted members who demonstrate outstanding leadership qualities and professional expertise. Meister’s commitment to others is seen not only in the galley of Sector San Francisco, but with the mentorship and leadership she provides as well as participation with the victim’s advocate and Leadership Diversity Advisory Council.


Maritime Security and Response Team members deployed in a special rigid-hull inflatable patrol boat. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

The Long Blue Line: MSSTs and MSRTs—forged in the crucible of 9/11

With the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the War on Terror set in motion dramatic changes to the Coast Guard. Prior to the 9/11 attacks, U.S. ports, waterways, and coastlines were protected primarily by Coast Guard boat stations and cutters. Immediately following September 11, Coast Guard resources were reallocated to fill the additional maritime security functions required in a post-9/11 environment. A variety of new units, like the MSSTs and MSRTs, emerged as part of the Coast Guard’s greatest organizational transformation since World War II.


The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Active, a 210-foot medium endurance Reliance-class cutter homeported in Port Angeles, Wash., interdicts more than 1 ton of cocaine from four suspected drug smugglers during a counter-narcotics patrol in the eastern Pacific Ocean, Friday, May 18, 2018. Cutters like Active routinely conduct operations from South America to the Bering Sea to perform defense operations, alien migrant interdiction, domestic fisheries protection, search-and-rescue, counter-narcotics and other Coast Guard missions at great distances from shore keeping threats far from the U.S. mainland. U.S. Coast Guard Photos by Petty Officer 1st Class Michael De Nyse.

Damage control, not damage repair – keeping an aging cutter active

Petty Officer 1st Class Victor Arcelay, a damage controlman and one of the 75 crew members aboard Active, has the daunting task of keeping the 52-year-old Coast Guard Cutter Active, well — active. The Active is currently operating well beyond its 30-year design service life. The Medium Endurance Cutter class is considered the backbone of the Coast Guard’s fleet; however, engineering challenges have plagued the operations of these vessels in recent years.


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.


A Coast Guard 45-foot Response Boat Medium circles a Coast Guard Auxiliary vessel in preparation for a side-tow demonstration during the Regatta Point Marina Nautical Association Spring Expo. Coast Guard Auxiliarists from the 7th District near Coast Guard Station Cortez routinely work with the active duty Coast Guard for training, demonstrations, and patrols. Coast Guard Auxiliary photo by Patti Kuhn.

Honor, Respect, Devotion to Duty: Coast Guard Auxiliary

Today the Coast Guard Auxiliary celebrates its proud history of outstanding volunteer service on America’s waterways, turning 79 years young…and its members show no signs of slowing down. Auxiliarists have supported Coast Guard missions along our nation’s coasts and inland waters, with emphasis on the promotion of recreational boating safety, since June 23, 1939, when Congress authorized the formation of the Coast Guard’s “Volunteer Reserve.”


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.


Petty Officer 2nd Class Kenneth Minnes and his father, both New Jersey state troopers pose for a photo together. Photo courtesy of Kenneth Minnes.

Off-duty trooper and reservist improvises rescue

A Coast Guard Reserve petty officer was hailed as a hero in early March after saving an accident victim on the Atlantic City Expressway in Gloucester Township, New Jersey. Minnes, a New Jersey state trooper, pulled a man to safety and provided emergency medical assistance to save the man’s life earning him the gratitude of survivor, the governor of New Jersey and the Winslow Fire Department.


Senior Chief Petty Officer Marilyn Dufrat (center), a victim's advocate, shows off her award with her senior reserve officer, Cmdr. Maureen Kallgren.

Victims advocate receives state award

Senior Chief Petty Officer Marilyn Dufrat was awarded the Unsung Hero Award from Attorney General of Virginia Mark Herring at the attorney general’s office in Richmond, Virginia, on April 12, 2018. Dufrat has been the manager of the victim-support program for the last 16 years. Her staff offers information and services to victims and witnesses with the goal of reducing confusion during what can be a complicated, lengthy ordeal.


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