The Long Blue Line: National Strike Force—the Guard’s global responder for 45 years!

The U.S. Coast Guard has been the steward of the nation’s maritime environment for nearly 200 years. As a vital component of the National Response System and homeland security mission, the National Strike Force minimizes the human and environmental impact of oil discharges, hazardous material releases, Weapons of Mass destruction (WMD) incidents, and other natural and man-made disasters. The National Strike Force remains Semper Paratus, “always ready,” to expand and adapt its mission to ever-changing natural and man-made threats to the nation and its environment. The National Strike Force remains “Ready Relevant and Responsive” for any hazard, any place.


Locals wave for help in the central highlands of Puerto Rico. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

The Long Blue Line: “Semper Paratus”—Coast Guard men and women in Hurricane Maria

U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliarist J. Edwin Nieves compiled oral histories from Coast Guard members who responded in the wake of Hurricane Maria in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Every one of these recorded oral histories proved compelling and revealed the commitment to service, devotion to duty and willingness to make sacrifices that characterizes the Coast Guard and the Coast Guard community. Each of the interviewees made sacrifices for others and endured personal privations.


Civil Engineering Unit Providence captures an aerial image during a new ATON inspection of the Duck Island fixed channel marker near New Haven, Conn. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Lt. Kieron McCarthy.

U.S. Coast Guard employs drone to inspect new ATON structures

U.S. Coast Guard Civil Engineering Unit Providence, Rhode Island, piloted a short range Unmanned Aerial System to inspect the construction of new Aids to Navigation structures. The UAS saved the CEU more than 30 hours of work and reduced the risk of having to climb the structures.

“The UAS has allowed us to be more self-sufficient when it comes to accessing hard to reach assets, so we can better serve our operational partners,” Lt. Kieron D. McCarthy.


Coast Guard Academy cadets in the Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering Department test out their ship design in a water-testing tank at the Academy as part of their capstone project, Feb. 14, 2019. Their capstone project is to design a replacement Waterways Commerce Cutter to ensure these vital trade routes can be cost effectively maintained through future generations. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Lauren Laughlin

Tomorrow’s leaders designing tomorrow’s ships

The Coast Guard relies upon a fleet of 31 inland river buoy tenders averaging 52 years old, becoming increasingly expensive to maintain and sustain operations that support 2.3 billion tons of waterborne commerce along the U.S. Marine Transportation System. As part of the Coast Guard Academy’s capstone requirements, a group of cadets have been working in partnership with the Coast Guard Office of Ship Design to improve and replace the Waterways Commerce Cutter.


Chief Petty Officer Paul Taylor, a marine science technician, oversees vessel operations at Pitts Bayou in Panama City, Fla. U.S. Coast Guard Photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Paul Krug.

Clean-up crew: Facing aftermath from one of Florida’s most destructive hurricanes

The Florida Panhandle experienced pure devastation from Hurricane Michael, Oct. 10, 2018. It ripped through coastal towns and made its way inland, driving people from their homes and leaving thousands without power and fresh water. Relief efforts from federal and state agencies, as well as local and out-of-state volunteers, responded to help displaced survivors. The Coast Guard set up an Incident Command Post in Miramar Beach, Florida, in an effort to remove environmental threats from local waterways.


Petty Officer 1st Class Tiffany Stratford, a boatswain's mate attached to Aids to Navigation Team Kodiak, services a light at the top of a tower at Nelson's Lagoon, Alaska, Nov. 16, 2018. ANT Kodiak crew members are required to be hoist-qualified in order to service aids in remote Alaskan locations like this one. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Lauren Dean.

Unique teams maintain Alaska’s commerce flow

To keep the system moving safely and smoothly, Coast Guard members in Alaska have the unique opportunity of maintaining navigational aids to ensure the consistent flow of goods throughout Alaska’s marine highway. Despite limiting factors, Aids to Navigation Team Kodiak crew members work diligently to ensure the navigational aids are maintained, re-built and serviced.


The Coast Guard Electronic Charts Team receives the Award for Excellence from Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen M. Nielsen at the DHS annual awards ceremony in Washington, D.C., Nov. 7, 2018. (From the left) Secretary Nielsen, Lt. Cmdr. Matthew Walter, Mike Sollosi, Courtney Mallon, Stephen Jones, Douglas Scheffler and Acting Deputy Department of Homeland Security Secretary Claire M. Grady display the DHS Award for Excellence. Department of Homeland Security photo by Tim Godbee.

Honor, Respect, Devotion to Duty: Electronic Charts Team

Congratulations to the U.S. Coast Guard’s Electronic Charts Team for your accomplishments and earning the DHS Award for Excellence! The team is part of the service’s efforts to make American waterways safer, more efficient and more resilient by helping the Coast Guard make a decision that allows mariners to meet legal obligations without paper charts. This decision is estimated to save the maritime industry more than 450,000 hours and $30.5 million a year over 10 years.


Research, Development, Test and Evaluation Spotlight: Symposium investigates energy and maritime risk

The Coast Guard is partnering with academia, industry and government to provide cutting-edge training, education and awareness to its workforce. To aid those efforts, the Coast Guard Research, Development, Test and Evaluation Program is co-hosting the annual Maritime Risk Symposium with Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the National Academy of Science – Transportation Research Board. This year’s event is scheduled to be held Nov. 14-16, at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.


Dr. Jason Gobat of the Applied Physics Laboratory at the University of Washington,, Oct. 3, 2018, about 715 miles north of Barrow, Alaska. Gobat is the lead engineer who designed, built and programmed a series of sea gliders, which are autonomous submarines used to measure water conductivity, temperature, depth, oxygen and other measurements in the Arctic Ocean. Once deployed, the sea gliders are controlled by pilots at the Applied Physics Lab at the University of Washington in Seattle. Approximately 30 scientists are aboard the Healy to study stratified ocean dynamics and how environmental factors affect the water below the ice surface for the Office of Naval Research. The Healy is one of two ice breakers in U.S. service and is the only military ship dedicated to conducting ice research in the Arctic. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Senior Chief Petty Officer NyxoLyno Cangemi.

From kitchen timers to autonomous Seagliders™

In September, Dr. Jason Gobat and a team of about 30 engineers and scientists deployed aboard the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Healy in support of a departmental research initiative for the Office of Naval Research. The project, led by friend and colleague Dr. Craig Lee, attempts to better understand how the Arctic ice, atmosphere and water interact. This team deployed sea gliders to help them measure water conductivity, temperature, depth and oxygen.


The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Healy (WAGB-20) in the ice, Oct. 3, 2018, about 715 miles north of Barrow, Alaska, in the Arctic. The Healy is in the Arctic with a team of about 30 scientists and engineers aboard deploying sensors and autonomous submarines to study stratified ocean dynamics and how environmental factors affect the water below the ice surface for the Office of Naval Research. The Healy, which is homeported in Seattle, is one of two ice breakers in U.S. service and is the only military ship dedicated to conducting research in the Arctic. U.S. Coast Guard photo by NyxoLyno Cangemi.

Coast Guard icebreaker crew completes second 2018 Arctic mission

The crew of the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Healy completed their second mission of their Arctic West Summer 2018 deployment Thursday, Oct. 18. Mission 1802 was a scientific mission to study stratified ocean dynamics in the Arctic (SODA) for the Office of Naval Research. Healy is one of two icebreakers in U.S. service that serves American interests in the region helping us better understand, plan and prepare for increased human activity.


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