The U.S. Coast Guard arrived permanently in Europe near the end of World War II at the request of the Department of State in order to handle a large influx of U.S. merchant ships and U.S. merchant seaman. Numerous Merchant Marine Details (MMDs) were established in British and European ports. After the war, the MMD functions declined, eventually leaving only MMDs in London, England; Bremerhaven, Germany; and Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
After the completion of Sea-Land’s fast SL-7 Type Fast Sealift Ships constructed in Bremen and Rotterdam in the mid-1970s, all remaining MMDs in Europe were closed and a Marine Inspection Office (MIO) was opened in Rotterdam in 1975. That office was the first MIO established outside the United States and its primary mission was to meet the needs of overseas construction of U.S. commercial vessels and Mobile Offshore Drilling Units (MODUs), and to provide overseas inspections of existing U.S. flag vessels. Another new Coast Guard command, Activities Europe (ACTEUR), was created in London in the middle 1960s to support the USCG’s international mission in Europe and to command and coordinate the many USCG LORAN stations located throughout Europe.
In June of 1982, MIO Rotterdam was closed due to budgetary reasons and the inability to expand its staff under existing treaties. The responsibilities for overseas marine inspection activities in Europe, Africa and the Middle East were transferred to Marine Inspection Office, New York. From June 1982 until July 1995, MIO New York carried out these duties with marine inspectors from New York City and two to three marine inspectors permanently stationed at ACTEUR London.
In the early 1990s, the USCG began to hand over its European LORAN stations to their “host” countries. With the loss of the LORAN stations there was a diminished need for ACTEUR London. In 1994, the decision was made to close the unit in London and establish a new command in Rotterdam, to be called Activities/Marine Inspection Office Europe. In June 1995, ACTEUR London was closed and on 11 July 1995, ACTIVITIES Europe was commissioned in Rotterdam. It is a tenant command in the 598th U.S. Army Transportation Terminal Group facility.