Each and every day, the Coast Guard combats the illicit drug trade in a six-million square mile area, including the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico and Eastern Pacific. Cocaine seizures prevent drugs from reaching America’s streets, while delivering a blow to the wallet and influence of transnational organized crime groups. Without the Coast Guard and its partners, hundreds of millions of dollars would flow past U.S. borders and fuel these crime-terror-insurgency organizations.
The Coast Guard’s Western Hemisphere Strategy makes it clear that combating transnational organized criminal networks is a top priority, and that the service will continually seek new methods and assets for doing so. One new method that has proven highly successful in recent years has been the deployment of the Coast Guard’s maritime safety and security teams to assist with the disruption of these networks throughout their known operating routes in the Caribbean.
Of known drug shipments, it’s believed that 97 percent are transported via maritime means. Through the Coast Guard’s role as America’s premier maritime security force, servicemembers seek to better understand, identify, aggressively pursue and prosecute transnational organized crime networks in the Western Hemisphere.
The Coast Guard’s leadership role in Western Hemisphere security and prosperity is critical in the fight against transnational organized crime networks active in the Western Hemisphere as continually strained national security resources are stretched across the globe.
Cocaine seizures prevent drugs from reaching America’s streets, but they also deliver a blow to the wallet and influence of transnational organized crime groups. Without the Coast Guard and its partners, hundreds of millions of dollars would flow past U.S. borders and fuel these crime-terror-insurgency organizations.
Each and every day, the Coast Guard combats the illicit drug trade in a six-million square mile area, including the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico and Eastern Pacific. In addition to deterrence, Coast Guard drug interdiction accounts for nearly 52% of all U.S. government seizures of cocaine each year.
Today the Coast Guard and its interagency partners marked an important milestone in our Nation’s fight against dangerous transnational organized crime. In just six months, Coast Guardsmen have already interdicted more drugs in the Eastern Pacific than they did in all of fiscal year 2014.
Stepping aboard an unfamiliar ship for the first time can be overwhelming. But, a ship is a ship, and sailors are sailors, used to quickly adapting regardless of the vessel. On January 20, 2015, three khaki-clad Mexican Naval officers came on board the 418-foot Coast Guard Cutter Waesche, arguably the most advanced and mission capable cutter in the fleet, and were quickly made to feel at home.
Today I delivered my first State of the Coast Guard Address and outlined how America’s Coast Guard will meet the challenges of today while preparing for complexities that remain ahead. In the face of unparalleled demands on the Service, we must: build the 21st century Coast Guard; defeat transnational organized crime; safeguard maritime commerce; operate in the polar regions; maximize return on investment; and drive out sexual assault.
During the annual leadership address at the Academy, Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Paul Zukunft talked to the Academy’s Corps of Cadets about leadership principles to help guide them in their careers: know your purpose, standards matter, trust and empower your people and take decisive action.