Skip Navigation


Unit Information For Coast Guard Personnel

Activities Europe Welcome Aboard Package

Activities Europe is located in the beautiful province of South Limburg, one of the most picturesque parts of the Netherlands. Established in 1995 Activities Europe is primarily responsible for two vital missions, Marine Inspections and International Port Security. Together these two departments represent the Coast throughout Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.

Our Marine Inspectors conduct accident investigations, inspect U. S. flagged merchant ships and work with European Manufacturers of life saving equipment to earn U. S. Coast Guard approval. Our international Port Security Liaisons Officers (IPSLO’s) work with U. S. Embassy, foreign government officials and port representatives to improve security procedures, facilitate dialogue and share best practices with international partners in order to focus attention on enhanced port security worldwide.

Living abroad provides an excellent opportunity to experience the world in a whole new way; Schinnen, located in South Limburg is the southernmost of the twelve provinces of the Netherlands. It is located in the southeastern part of the country and is bordered by Germany to the west and Belgium to the east. Limburg’s capital is Maastricht. Maastricht had developed from a Roman settlement to a religious centre, a garrison city and an early industrial city. Nowadays, it is known as a city of history, culture, local folklore and education, and has the second highest amount (numbering 1677) of national heritage sites in the Netherlands (after Amsterdam).

The Dutch are avid cyclists and for those seeking a healthier alternative, extensive bike paths make it safe and easy to ride almost anywhere. Those interested in traveling further afield have convenient access to commuter and high speed trains, as well as nearby ferries and numerous airports. As a result, many of Europe’s greatest travel destinations such as London, Paris, and Rome, are only a few hours away.

Housing:  All housing is on the economy with the exception of E-6 members and below who must apply for release from government quarters. Suitable housing is reasonably available with monthly rents within the member’s allowances. You should expect to reside in either private leased or government leased Dutch housing. Purchasing a house is not recommended while touring in Schinnen. The easiest way to begin the housing process is to research via the internet prior to your arrival. There are a variety of Web sites you can visit to get an idea of what types of residences are available in what areas of the region. Some factors that you should consider while looking at houses are the proximity to work, public transportation and schools if you have children, as well as whether you prefer city versus country life.Due to the existing Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA), ACTEUR personnel are not allowed to live in Germany while assigned to the Netherlands     

Facilities:  Activities Europe is a tenant at U. S. Army Garrison Schinnen. The Garrison offers a full Exchange, Commissary, Care car center, Gym, Gas Station and Thrift store. The nearest military bases are NATO JFC Brunssum, in the Netherlands, NATO Airbase Geilenkirchen located in Germany, and U. S. Army Garrison Chievres, in Belgium. “Space A” flights are available through Ramstein AFB in Germany

Unit History

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.  In December of 2012, a decision was made to relocate Activities Europe from Rotterdam to its new location, in Schinnen, on U. S. Army Garrison Schinnen.


Download Plug-Ins: Some of the links on this page require a plug-in to view them. Links to the plug-ins are available below.
Click Here to Download Adobe Acrobat Reader Adobe Acrobat Reader (PDF)
Last Modified 4/1/2015