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Overview of the United States Coast Guard

The U.S. Coast Guard is one of the five armed forces of the United States and the only military organization within the Department of Homeland Security. Since 1790 the Coast Guard has safeguarded our Nation's maritime interests and environment around the world. The Coast Guard is an adaptable, responsive military force of maritime professionals whose broad legal authorities, capable assets, geographic diversity and expansive partnerships provide a persistent presence along our rivers, in the ports, littoral regions and on the high seas. Coast Guard presence and impact is local, regional, national and international. These attributes make the Coast Guard a unique instrument of maritime safety, security and environmental stewardship.

Fiscal Year 2012 Performance Highlights

In 2012, over 43,000 active duty members, over 8,000 reservists, over 8,800 civilian employees, and over 30,000 volunteer Auxiliarists:

  • Responded to 19,790 Search and Rescue cases, saved 3,560 lives and more than $77 million in property.
  • Removed 107 metric tons 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.
  • Conducted 919 escorts and patrols to support 190 domestic U.S. military cargo out-loads.
  • Conducted 25,500 container inspections, 5,000 facility safety and marine pollution related inspections, and 1,195 cargo transfer monitors to ensure safety and environmental stewardship of the maritime domain.
  • Conducted 1,424 boardings of high interest vessels designated as posing a greater-than-normal risk to the United States.
  • Interdicted nearly 3,000 undocumented migrants attempting to illegally enter the United States.
  • Conducted over 3,700 safety and security exams on vessels operating on the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf.
  • Conducted over 11,600 annual inspections on U.S. flag vessels inspected and certificated in accordance with 46 Code of Federal Regulation (CFR) 2.01-7.
  • Conducted 4,603 investigations for reportable marine casualties involving commercial vessels.
  • Conducted over 49,000 recreational vessel boardings, issued over 12,000 citations, and visited 1,150 recreational boat manufacturers in conjunction with state efforts to provide education and ensure compliance with federal regulations.
  • Conducted over 6,000 fisheries conservation boardings.
  • Expended the remaining $23 million of the $142 million appropriated under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
  • Investigated and responded to over 3,300 pollution incidents.
  • Verified more than 70,000 Transportation Worker Identification Credentials.
  • Screened over 436,000 vessels, including over 117,000 commercial vessels and 29.5 million crewmembers and passengers prior to arrival in U.S. ports.


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Last Modified 3/20/2014