The U.S. Coast Guard is a unique part of America’s military. Originally founded on Aug. 4, 1790 by President George Washington’s signing of the Tariff Act, the service now falls under the Department of Homeland Security, but can also serve under the Navy as directed by the President. They serve not only America’s coastlines and inland waterways, but in international waters as well.
The Coast Guard has it’s own special needs program in support of Coast Guardsmen and their families dealing with autism.
Here are some interesting statistics from the Coast Guard website on the many missions the Coast Guard is involved with.
In 2011, over 43,000 active duty members, over 7,800 reservists, over 8,300 civilian employees, and almost 33,000 volunteer Auxiliarists:
- Responded to 20,510 Search and Rescue cases and saved over 3,800 lives.
- Removed over 166,000 pounds of cocaine bound toward the U.S. via the Transit Zone.
- Continued the deployment of six Patrol Boats and 400 personnel to protect Iraqi critical maritime oil infrastructure and train Iraqi naval forces.
- Provided security for over 230 military outload evolutions, which provided supplies to support Operation New Dawn and Operation Enduring Freedom.
- Conducted nearly 1,700 security boardings on High Interest Vessels bound for the United States.
- Interdicted nearly 2,500 undocumented migrants attempting to illegally enter the United States.
- Conducted over 10,400 annual inspections on U.S. flag vessels inspected and certificated in accordance with 46 Code of Federal Regulation (CFR) § 2.01-7.
- Conducted over 9,500 Port State Control safety and environmental exams on foreign vessels entering U.S. ports.
- Conducted over 6,200 Marine Casualty investigations, including over 4,200 marine casualties for vessels and more than 1,200 investigations for pollution from vessels.
- Conducted over 46,000 recreational vessel boardings, issued over 8,000 citations, and visited 1,150 recreational boat manufacturers in conjunction with state efforts to provide education and ensure compliance with federal regulations.
- Conducted over 5,500 fisheries conservation boardings.
- Expended $127 million of the $142 million appropriated under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
- Investigated and responded to over 3,000 pollution incidents.
- Verified more than 70,760 Transportation Worker Identification Credentials.
- Screened over 472,000 vessels, including 122,000 commercial vessels and 28.7 million crewmembers and passengers prior to arrival in U.S. ports.
Petty Officer 1st Class Kenneth Kimball stands ready to pass a bow line to the incoming 47-foot motor lifeboat crew at Coast Guard Station Merrimack River in Newburyport, Mass. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Luke Pinneo.
JUNEAU, Alaska – A Coast Guard Air Station Sitka aircrew aboard an MH-60 Jayhawk rescue helicopter perform a search and rescue demonstration to a crowd of onlookers in Juneau Harbor Saturday, May 14, 2011. The rescue crew demonstrated a search and rescue exercise for the 2nd Annual Juneau Maritime Festival celebrating the city’s maritime history, culture and commerce. U.S. Coast Guard Photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Walter Shinn.