The United States Coast Guard (USCG) is one of the United States’ five military services and is tasked with the responsibility of enforcing maritime laws. Consisting of approximately 35,000 enlisted personnel and officers, the Coast Guard protects personal safety, the marine transportation system and the territorial properties of the US both from external and internal threats. It is also called upon to support the U.S. Navy in time of war.
The USCG falls under the jurisdiction of the Department of Homeland Security. Established in 1790 by Alexander Hamilton who was serving as Secretary of the Treasury at that time, the Coast Guard served as Revenue Marine Service. It was later renamed as Revenue Cutter Service, and later to Coast Guard when it was combined with U.S. Lifesaving Service in 1915. In 1967, it was transferred to the Department of Transportation and later to the Department of Homeland Security in 2003.
The Coast Guard enforces federal laws on U.S. territorial waters and administers laws as well as enforcing regulations that promote the safety of property and life along the United States coast. It also operates navigation equipment to maintain the safety of high sea vessels and ports in U.S. territorial waters.
To execute its mission, the Coast Guard has different operation bases. There are many Coast Guard bases in the U.S. and we’ll go over a few of them here.
Aviation Training Center Coast Guard
Location: Mobile, AL
Overall Mission: This is where junior officers are trained to become pilots for the aviation arm that support the Coast Guard mission. Although Coast Guard sources most of its pilots from the other branches of the military, it also runs its own pilot training program on this base.
ISC Kodiak Coast Guard Base
Location: Kodiak Island, AK
Overall Mission: It supports Coast Guard operations and objectives in the US including ice patrolling, conducting search and rescue mission in high seas, hunting oil spills, and carrying out law enforcement activities. It is the largest Coast Guard facility in the US in terms of acreage.
Coast Guard Station Valdez
Location: Valdez, AK
Overall Mission: This unit’s main focus is ice patrolling to observe any unusual changes that might be potentially dangerous. It was mandated to oversee the area after the luxurious ship, Titanic, hit an unusual iceberg and sank. In case of something unusual, they alert marine experts. This Coast Guard base also ensures environmental safety since Alaska is home to many oil companies. Therefore, they must always explore the area for any potential oil spills or any hazardous substances that may pose danger to marine life as well as humans in the area.
Location: Juneau, AK
Overall Mission: Their large focus is ice patrolling- they observe the area for any large ice flows and alert nearby ships. They also keep an eye on oil firms in Alaska for any oil leaks and spills. In case of such a scenario, they alert the relevant authorities for cleanup. This base also conducts search and rescue operation in nearby waters.
ISC Alameda Coast
Location: Alameda, CA
Overall Mission: This base supports provides a wide variety of services in support of Coast Guard activities throughout the West Coast. It provides housing facilities for different units around the country and maintains them to the highest standards. They also help new recruits and their civilian families adapt easily to military life.
Training Center Tracen Petaluma
Location: Petaluma, CA
Overall Mission: This is where young students take basic training in different courses such as storekeeping, health, IT, electronic technicians, food specialists, yeomen, etc. It is home to seven different schools. Students who graduate from these schools get deployed to different Coast Guard installations.
Research and Development Center
Location: Groton, CT
Overall Mission: This R & D Center offers solutions to the Coast Guard by coming up with technological inventions and projects that help USCG execute its mission. They conduct studies that cover operations of the armed forces including issues with oil spills, safety of the maritime environment, etc.
Coast Guard Academy
Location: New London, CT
Overall Mission: This academy trains some of the best male and female officers in the arts of honor, loyalty, and obedience. This helps to prepare them for integration into Coast Guard operations and training.
Coast Guard Headquarters
Location: Washington, DC
Overall Mission: It executes US Coast Guard main operations such as search and rescue mission such as responding to call from a lost sailor or an emergency on a ship. It also protects maritime borders and ensures environmental safety.
USCG Air Station Clearwater
Location: Clearwater, FL
Overall Mission: It is home to the largest busiest Air Station in the Coast Guard. It oversees air space and territorial waters around Florida to safeguard personal safety by helping to combat drug and human trafficking in US and international waters.
Coast Guard Air Station Miami
Location: Miami, FL
Overall Mission: They are responsible for carrying out defensive operations in Florida and conducting patrol sessions around the Caribbean and Puerto Rico. This base also counters drug traffickers by carrying out operations against drug trafficking. They also identify problematic cargo around Florida.
ISC Miami Coast Guard Base
Location: Miami Beach, FL
Overall Mission: They are responsible for the safety and inspection of ports, waterways, and coastal security in their area as well as drug interdiction, search and rescue when needed, migrant interdiction and general marine safety.
Coast Guard Station Maui
Location: Wailuku, HI
Overall Mission: The crew in this base provides law enforcement activities and safety operations around Wailuku and Hawaii. They collaborate with other institutions such as lifeguards, police, and fire service to perform their mission. They are also involved in maritime and environmental protection missions as well as search and rescue missions.
Coast Guard Station Honolulu
Location: Honolulu, HI
Overall Mission: Its primary mission is to provide maritime safety. They also support specified scientists and civilian contractors in the area.
Coast Guard Yard
Location: Baltimore, MD
Overall Mission: This base serves as the sole facility in Coast Guard branch that is responsible for the development of various ships. It also carries out comprehensive repair and renovations of ships.
Surface Forces Logistics Center
Location: Baltimore, MD
Overall Mission: This base evaluates the requirements of different installations and stations and procures proper equipment for them. It maintains Coast Guard units by taking care of their physical needs.
USCG Air Station Cape Cod
Location: Cape Cod, MA
Overall Mission: They carry out search and rescue mission in the area between New York and Canada border. They also carry out law enforcement operations above territorial waters in Cape Cod. The troops also deal with navigation installations and also protect and maintain the marine environment.
Sector SE New England
Location: Woods Hole, MA
Overall Mission: They carry out search and rescue operations in the area between Manomet Point, MA and Watch Hill Point, RI. This base also ensures maritime and environmental safety in its area of operation.
Training Center Cape May
Location: Cape May, NJ
Overall Mission: It hosts multiple schools for training and also acts as a Coast Guard recruiting center. It serves as a gateway to anyone aspiring to join USCG since it is where first training sessions are held.
Air Station Elizabeth City
Location: Elizabeth City, NC
Overall Mission: They are involved in search and rescue missions and also carry out training for aviation. It’s also home to the Coast Guard’s National Strike Force Coordination Center
ISC Cleveland Harbor
Location: Cleveland, OH
Overall Mission: The station supports many missions from search and rescue to recreational boating safety to ports and waterway safety.
USCG Container Inspection Training
Location: Oklahoma City, OK
Overall Mission: This base serves as a training center for young aspirants aiming to become container inspectors. The base inspects and regulates maritime shipments of containerized hazardous materials.
USCG Station Castle Hill
Location: Newport, Rhode Island
Overall Mission: They conduct ice patrols and also search and rescue missions because of the many individuals and tourists who come to this area. This base also protects the environment by being on the lookout for any oil spills.
USCG Station Point Judith
Location: Narragansett, Rhode Island
Overall Mission: It works with nearby stations to carry out search and rescue operations and ensure maritime safety.
National Maritime Center
Location: Arlington, VA
Overall Mission: This is the only center responsible for licensing the mariners. In other words, it hands out the needed credentials to all aspiring mariners. It supports and enforces laws of the Department of Homeland Security. The mariners get their qualification papers from this center.
National Pollution Center
Location: Arlington, VA
Overall Mission: It monitors and facilitates oil transportation across US waters. It also responds to spills in American Waters. In addition, this center assesses the financial value of oil in every ship carrying oil in US water for purposes of estimates in case of oil spills. This center also maintains the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund which caters to the operations relating to oil spills in US waters.
Location: Alexandria, VA
Overall Mission: This is where communication and navigation systems are stored. It is responsible for sending out information and signals to US Coast Guards patrolling US waterways.
USCG BASE PORTSMOUTH
Location: Portsmouth, VA
Overall Mission: They conduct search and rescue operations, ensure environmental protection, and general maritime safety.
Telecomo Systems Command
Location: Alexandria, VA
Overall Mission: They acquire modern telecommunication systems for the USGC including computers and voice devices. This center also develops technological systems that support the Coast Guard’s mission. In other words, it serves as a communication center for the USCG.
Training Center Yorktown
Location: Yorktown, VA
Overall Mission: It serves as a training site for the USCG in Virginia.
Vessel Document Center
Location: Falling Waters, WV
Overall Mission: They facilitate maritime commerce and also register all warfare vessels.
Operations Systems Center
Location: Martinsburg, WV
Overall Mission: This base serves as a software development center in support of the missions given to the Coast Guard. The Operations Systems Center also maintains and updates existing software with the latest technologies.
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