U. S. Coast Guard Base Milwaukee, initially adepot for the Ninth Light-House District, was constructed in 1907. Used to store, maintain and repair vessels and shore-based facilities, Base Milwaukee was part of Milwaukee’s Port District, located on the Kinnickinnic River connecting to Lake Michigan. In 1967, Base Milwaukee moved to the present day building for Sector Lake Michigan. Once there, Station Milwaukee and MSO Milwaukee followed suit and arrived in 1970, establishing Group Milwaukee.
Located just south of downtown Milwaukee, Sector Lake Michigan controls nearly all of Lake Michigan under command of District Nine for the U. S. Coast Guard. Established in 2005, the Coast Guard created Sector commands by integrating Groups, Marine Safety Offices, Vessel Traffic Services and, in some cases, Air Stations to more effectively manage the sweeping changes in our operational environment. Sector Lake Michigan is one of 35 newly established Sector commands throughout the country.
Sector Lake Michigan combines Group Milwaukee, Marine Safety Office Milwaukee, Marine Safety Office Chicago, and Group Grand Haven. Unifying Coast Guard operational command and control functions into Sector command places the full range of our missions under a single, local operational commander within a reasonably sized area of operations resulting in increased interaction and coordination of Coast Guard missions, the development of a common operating picture, and the rapid sharing of information and intelligence.
The legacy Group and Marine Safety Offices will form a generic organizational Sector model – which includes prevention, response, and logistics elements – that have been developed and can be modified to account for local factors such as geography and the complexity of the area of responsibility.