View Full Version : How will the US Coast Guard's mission change...
12-02-2002, 10:09 PM
Now that it's part of the Homeland (?) Department ? There's a CG station near me and I hear that their responsibilities will focus much more on investigating potential threats instead of rendering assistance at sea. Does anyone know more (definitively)?
12-08-2002, 03:47 PM
Good article today:
Article ran : 12/08/2002
New role for Guard undefined
By ERIC STEINKOPFF
DAILY NEWS STAFF
There are no immediate plans to increase missions or manning at Coast Guard Group Fort Macon as a result of the president’s new Department of Homeland Security, said a Coast Guard Atlantic Area Command spokeswoman.
“There are not a lot of specifics on changes to the missions,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Kimberly Wilder, a public affairs specialist in Portsmouth, Va. “The president has 60 days to submit it and we don’t know what that is yet.”
Wilder does not expect changes in the overall scope of the Coast Guard’s missions of search and rescue, law enforcement, maritime safety, environmental protection, as well drug and immigration operations.
But the new act under the new Department of Homeland Security is expected to solidify unofficial relationships that already exist between the Coast Guard and U.S. Customs, Immigration, the Drug Enforcement Agency and Navy.
Although they don’t routinely work together on a daily basis, when a Coast Guard cutter stops a foreign vessel from entering U.S. water, Immigration is concerned about the people on board, Customs has jurisdiction over the goods and DEA seeks to stop the flow of illegal drugs.
At times, the Coast Guard will deploy some of its people aboard U.S. Naval vessels to assist in a law enforcement role at sea.
One change since Sept. 11, 2001, is joint service training at the Coast Guard Special Missions Training Center aboard Camp Lejeune, a unit that began with six people in 1997 and has mushroomed into a training force of approximately 74 active and reserve Coast Guard personnel.
Whether or not the Coast Guard will add more personnel is another unknown.
“We don’t know about the numbers (of people) yet,” Wilder said. “There will probably be a transition plan for more personnel or funding.”
Wilder said that the Coast Guard is always willing to change training if needed, such as the relatively new 100-person Maritime Safety and Security Teams created specifically to protect ports anywhere in the United States with the help of six small boats, depending on the threat.
“We do not anticipate a slowdown in our missions,” Wilder said. “These are the basic fundamentals of what makes us the Coast Guard.”
U.S. Sen. John Edwards, D-N.C., said the Coast Guard will continue to play an important role in defending U.S. borders against terrorism.
“Now we need to follow through and make sure that Guardsmen get the support and resources they need to do us proud in their new role,” Edwards said.
Some initiatives were conceived before Sept. 11, 2001, simply because of the sometimes-awkward relationship of the Coast Guard under the U.S. Department of Transportation, but since the terrorist attacks, there has been more support for coastal security.
Although the Coast Guard will maintain its mission of rescue and patrol, it will also have a greater role in defense of the nation because of the war on terrorism, said U.S. Rep. Walter B. Jones, R-N.C.
Jones described the Coast Guard’s new affiliation under the U.S. Department of Homeland Security as “a really good fit.”
“Their role is going to expand and we expect more people and more money to go to the Coast Guard in the future,” Jones said.
“They will have a permanent home, their mission will expand, their importance will increase and no longer will they have to scramble for funding.”
12-08-2002, 04:01 PM
If this ***new***role for the US Coast Guard is going to affect the more traditonal role of Lifesaver to the nation and all who are in our waters. I am glad I was in when I was!
I didn't want to be a policeman nor Seal but rather a Lifesaver.
Oh, I am well aware of the CG's role in war times but that was a bit remote in the late 1950's and in the Ready Reserve.
I can see the limited money that the CG gets now being devoted to the police part at the expense of the Lifesaving part.
Perhaps it is time to bring back the US Lifesaving service and split the CG in two.
Those folks that work the stations and went through all that specialized training ie: Cape Disappointment Coxwain school and the Rescue Swimmer school, along with their dedication to that role deserve the best equipment they can have and they sure as hell don't need guns and bulletproof vests to jump from helo's into freezing water to rescue some pilgrim slowly sinking into hypothermia.
Jes' my opinion for what it's worth. :rolleyes:
12-08-2002, 04:12 PM
Well, Dave, I see your point. But this is my take on it. We have the National Guard on land, and maybe this is our National Guard by water. The lifesavers are still there. The Guard numbers were down around 8,000 as of the first of last year. The role of towing is gone except in emergency. We don't have boats being stranded on the beach reefs now for Norm to be called into action with his cannon, either. Just thought I would let you know about that. ;) Splitting it is another issue that will just create rivalry amoung some of its rank and file. KISS. Remember?
12-08-2002, 04:45 PM
'erster' the largest CG base is in Kodiak, Alaska!
S&R and Fisheries Patrol almost exclusively.
Drug stuff, or so I have been told is lower in SE Alaska waters, the greater Baranoff Island area. Sitka is biggest city in area.
Still don't like it but, that's me. :(
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