In 1973, the Coast Guard formed the foundations for the National Strike Force (NSF), a cutting-edge force of personnel and equipment whose purpose is to facilitate preparedness and response to oil and hazardous pollution incidents in order to protect public health and the environment.
Elizabeth City is home to the National Strike Force Coordination Command (NSFCC). The NSFCC coordinates activities of the three Strike Teams and supports the development of a publicly accessible database listing the available world-wide inventory of spill response equipment, oversees a national maintenance contract that is essential to the readiness of pre-positioned spill response equipment, and the implementation of a national level response preparedness exercise program. Strike Teams are highly mobile, rapid response teams located on the Atlantic, Pacific and Gulf Coasts, who specialize in supporting incident management, site safety, contractor performance monitoring, resource documentation, response strategies, and hazard assessment among other tasks.
Due to their cargo capacities, C-130 Hercules are often used to ferry personnel and equipment to various spills around the world. Our H-60 Jayhawks and C-130 Hercules are also used to investigate local reports of pollution. Aircrews are able to quickly find reported pollution, identify the source and measure the extent of the damage far better than any other asset. Using forward and side looking infrared radar, aircrews can locate, identify and measure the extent of pollution, both during the day and especially at night. Not all pollution incidents are known or reported though, and our aircraft routinely patrol local waterways to ensure they are free of pollution.