The U.S. Coast Guard took delivery of its first fast response cutter, the Bernard C. Webber, Friday in Miami. Webber is the first of 58 planned Sentinel Class patrol boats replacing the Coast Guard’s venerable but aging Island Class patrol boat fleet.
“Consistent with the Sentinel Class name, the cutter Webber will guard our coasts and its citizens and protect the nation’s vital maritime interests,” said Rear Adm. Karl Schultz, Coast Guard director of governmental and public affairs.
Posts Tagged ‘Coast Guard’
Top 10 facts about the International Ice Patrol
by: LT Stephanie Young
Shipping areas in the North Atlantic have always been hazardous to navigate. The hazards of the North Atlantic captured global attention in April 1912 when the RMS Titanic sank after it struck an iceberg. The incident prompted maritime nations with ships transiting the Grand Banks off Newfoundland, Canada, to establish an iceberg patrol in the area. Since 1913, the U.S. Coast Guard has been tasked with the management and operation of the patrol. Except for the years of World Wars I and II, the ice patrol has been active each ice season since its inception.
A member of MSD Cincinnati’s Disaster Area Response Team tosses a sandbag to Senior Chief Petty Officer Darren Cliffe as the two men attempt to help save a house from rising floodwaters in Brookport, Ill. Their DART has been working with local and federal agencies to assist in flood response in communities throughout Southern Illinois. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Isaac Pacheco.
As communities along the Mississippi River system continue to be impacted by record high waters, Coast Guard men and women are deployed in support of Federal, state and local agencies throughout the Midwest while the South remains on alert as rising waters threaten major flooding in the days ahead.
Coast Guard disaster area response teams – or DARTs – have rescued a total of 28 people and assisted four others in evacuating flood zones since the Mississippi River response began.
In one instance, Livingston County Emergency Management and Coast Guard crews worked to rescue three people who were trapped in their home by rising waters. A Coast Guard HH-65 Dolphin rescue helicopter and a shallow water rescue boat from Marine Safety Detachment Nashville’s disaster area response team were dispatched. The three were evacuated by rescue boat from the porch of their house, which had water at the doorsteps.
Nashville’s disaster area response team is just one of six DARTs deployed or on standby to lend support in the region with the special capability of conducting operations in shallow water and urban environments. The other DARTs include: Marine Safety Unit Paducah staged in Golconda, Ill.; MSD Cincinnati and MSD Nashville standing by in Paducah; Sector Upper Mississippi River staged in New Madrid, Mo., and Dexter, Mo.; and Sector Ohio Valley staged in Fulton and Obion Counties, Ky.
Earlier this week, the Coast Guard stood up a Maritime Transportation System Recovery Unit in response to rising water levels on the inland river system that have impacted commercial traffic.
The MTSRU, comprised of experts in maritime mobility, incident response and port operations, works with stakeholders to restore the commercial capacity of a waterway following a natural or manmade disruption. The MTSRU will work to support recovery efforts and ensure recovery is a critical element of planning at all levels. MTSRU members also identify communication mechanisms and informational requirements to facilitate the recovery of waterway traffic flow.
As flooding remains a threat to the region, the Coast Guard continues to work closely with the Army Corps of Engineers, as well as local and state partners, to ensure the safety of lives and property.
The Coast Guard has established multiple safety zones and implemented vessel restrictions in several locations as a result of high water throughout the inland river system.
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Thanks to hit television shows like NCIS, military investigative services have gained fame and public recognition in recent years. But, investigations aren’t new for the Coast Guard.
Originating in 1915 under the Chief Intelligence Officer, Coast Guard Investigations remained relatively unknown to the general public until the enactment of prohibition. From then on it grew in personnel and responsibility becoming Coast Guard Investigative Service (CGIS) in 1996.
Under the authority of Title 14 of the United States Code, CGIS is a federal investigative and protective program established to carry out the Coast Guard’s internal and external criminal investigations; to assist in providing personal security services; to protect the welfare of Coast Guard people; to aid in preserving the internal integrity of the Coast Guard; and to support Coast Guard missions worldwide.
Yesterday (September 28, 2010), 18 of the Coast Guard’s newest CGIS special agents graduated from the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) in Glynco, Georgia. This graduating class is the largest and one of the last comprised of all Coast Guard agents. Typically, FLETC classes are made up of trainees from the Coast Guard and other agencies, but this one was entirely CGIS.
Depending on their previous level of experience and training, CGIS agents attend a three month basic criminal investigations course before they attend two months of Coast Guard specific training. After receiving their Coast Guard Special Agent Credentials at the ceremony today, the group of about half active duty and half civilian will depart FLETC and report to various duty stations all over the nation.
Today, CGIS has a total of about 90 active duty military and civilian special agents and 150 reserve special agents. Military agents come from any of Coast Guard specialties and ratings and must apply based on an annual solicitation. Civilian agents typically apply to join CGIS from other federal, state or local law enforcement agencies. CGIS reserve agents serve in the Coast Guard Reserve Investigator rating.
“The U.S. Coast Guard’s demand for outstanding investigative services, coupled with the world-class training our new agents received at FLETC and the tremendous diversity of experience and capabilities they bring, will continue to raise the importance and visibility of CGIS within the Coast Guard as they go to their assignments around the country,” said Mr. Bill Tarry, Deputy to the Assistant Commandant for Intelligence and Criminal Investigations.
Congratulations to the newest agents of CGIS!
If you are interested in applying for CGIS or finding out more information, click here.
United States Coast Guard
Written by: LT Connie Braesch
I was able to participate in this afternoon’s media briefing by Assistant to the President for Homeland Security John Brennan and U.S. Coast Guard Commandant Admiral Thad Allen. Adm Allen has been named the National Incident Commander for the response to the BP / Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
With the declaration that the oil leak at the Deepwater Horizon accident site is a “Spill of National Significance” (SONS), a number of Federal processes began. Coast Guard Commandant Admiral Thad Allen’s appointment as Incident Commander was not an accident. Allen told us in his introduction that he held that same post for a SONS exercise in New Orleans in 2002 that dealt with a simulated wellhead blowout. He also said that the last SONS exercise was held a month ago, in Maine.
Allen described the current situation for the media. At this time there are three leaks in the remaining piping. There is a crimp in the piping just above the casing for the well that may be restricting the outflow from the well. It is impossible to make an accurate estimate of the leak’s volume. It is much more important to assess how much oil is reaching the surface over the next weeks.
At the time of the brief, Adm. Allen told us that no heavy oil had reached the beaches. The weather is pushing the slick towards the Louisiana coast but that may change. He said “Mother Nature has a vote”.
Current weather conditions at sea are restricting the use of aircraft to spread dispersal agents. Wind and wave conditions are not suitable. Two Air Force C-130 aircraft have been working along with commercial aircraft. The Air Force can seed dispersal agent over 250 acres at a pass. Allen indicated that a request for two additional aircraft has been made to the Air Force.
An experimental attempt to introduce dispersal agent at the leak site appears to have had some success, according to Allen. Cofferdams around the leaks with the oil being pumped to the surface are another option being considered.
I asked about altering the outflow of the Mississippi to increase the water flowing in to the Gulf. Admiral Allen told us that this was under consideration for Mobile Bay if the slick should reach that area. It is an option for the Mississippi.
The Admiral told us that shipping routes to and from the various ports in the region, known as fairways, have not yet been affected. Planning is underway if the slick should begin to affect those routes.