Safety regulations for all U.S. commercial
vessels, offshore structures, and recreational
Port safety and security, including ports, harbors,
and their approaches
The movement of vessels in ports and waterways
during crisis situations
Marine environmental protection to prevent and
contain spills of oil and other hazardous
Finally, because the Coast Guard is a military
serviceone that has ships, planes, and boatsit also
has a military readiness mission. The Coast Guard
works closely with the Navy, undergoes regular
refresher training for its major cutters, and participates
in joint operational exercises.
The Coast Guard by itself is among the largest
navies in the world, ranking 9th or 10th based on the
number of armed vessels. Figure 20-4 shows a 378-foot
Coast Guard cutter. The Coast Guard gives significantly
to the nations sea power.
The Coast Guard has continued to grow and
shoulder additional responsibilities. In the last 30 years,
it has gained responsibilities for polar and domestic
icebreaking, cleanup and protection of the marine
environment, and recreational boating safety.
With the start of World War II, the Coast Guard
assumed the responsibilities of in-port safety and
security and commercial vessel safety. In 1967, the
Coast Guard became part of the newly formed
Department of Transportation.
In wartime the U.S. Coast Guard has always served
with pride. Today, during a wartime condition, the U.S.
Coast Guard operates directly under the Chief of Naval
Operations. It still has the same mission as it did during
World War II, plus added roles. The Coast Guard
assumes convoy duties as well as antisubmarine warfare
missions. Its cutters are well suited for convoy duties as
they have a long cruising range and room for armament.
The air search and rescue section of the Coast Guard
flies rescue missions. It also flies reconnaissance and
antisubmarine aircraft. The Coast Guards mission in
wartime will strain its limited assets.
Figure 20-4.U.S. Coast Guardan element of sea power.