U.S. Coast Guard News

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WWII-Era Buoy Tender Celebrates 75th Year in Service

By U.S. Coast Guard News 2019-10-01 21:10:57

[By Walter T. Ham IV] When the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Smilax was commissioned in 1944, allied forces had landed at Normandy five months earlier and had another 10 months of fighting ahead before victory in Europe and the Pacific would bring World War II to an end. With nearly seven and a half decades of water in her wake, Smilax is the oldest U.S. Coast Guard cutter in service today and she turns 75 on November 1. The septuagenarian inland...

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The Dauntless and the Origins of U.S. Coast Guard Drug Interdiction

By U.S. Coast Guard News 2019-08-30 15:00:42

[By Capt. Daniel A. Laliberte, U.S. Coast Guard (ret'd)] On the evening of March 8, 1973, Coast Guard cutter Dauntless made the Coast Guard’s first seizure of a marijuana smuggler when it stopped the sport fisherman Big L at the western edge of the Bahamas. The case had begun two months earlier as a controlled-delivery operation of the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs, forerunner of today’s Drug Enforcement Administration. A BNDD agent known only as “Agent Cook,” from the Miami Field Office,...

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Master Chief McShan: Leader, Mentor, Trailblazer

By U.S. Coast Guard News 2019-08-13 21:55:09

[By Master Chief Vince Patton, Dr. David Rosen, DCCS Gordy Yowell (USCG ret) and AMCS Mark Thomas (USCG ret)] As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another - Proverbs 27:17 In January 2001, then-Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard Vince Patton quoted the scripture above to describe Coast Guard Master Chief Angela M. McShan, a 20-year veteran of the Service, the first African-American woman to achieve the enlisted rank of master chief and distinguished role model for the...

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The USCG's First Female Warrant Officer in Maritime Enforcement

By U.S. Coast Guard News 2019-06-18 21:25:49

[By PO2 Jasmine Mieszala] Chief Warrant Officer Amy Barringer made history June 1, 2019, when she became the first active duty female warrant officer in her specialty. Barringer began her career as a Coast Guard reservist in 2000. It was not long before she decided to switch over to active duty. After completing “A” School, Barringer graduated as a gunner’s mate third class. She spent many years building her career as a gunner’s mate at Small Arms Repair Facility Indiana, Coast...

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Buyer Beware: Hefty Fines for Noncompliant AIS Devices

By U.S. Coast Guard News 2019-06-17 18:05:26

[By Walter Ham] AIS is designed to prevent collisions and enhance situational awareness by exchanging real-time vessel navigation information. However, according to U.S. Coast Guard officials, AIS equipment that is non-compliant with adopted international standards can confuse, degrade or even disrupt other users’ systems. “In the last year, the Coast Guard has received various reports from perplexed AIS users who have seen various unknown and erratic targets appearing on their AIS,” said Jorge Arroyo from the Coast Guard’s Navigation...

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Ensign Duke and the Seizure of the Rum-Runner SS Greypoint

By U.S. Coast Guard News 2019-05-30 13:51:05

[By Capt. Daniel A. Laliberte, USCG (ret'd)] Ensign Charles L. Duke (left) joined the Coast Guard on Aug. 26, 1925, amid the service’s dramatic expansion during Prohibition. A previous four-year enlistment in the Navy Reserve near the end of World War I, three years in the Merchant Marine - which he left as a second officer - and three years of college ensured his selection to take the exam for commissioning as an ensign (temporary)....

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Inside the U.S. Coast Guard's Anti-Drug Boarding Teams

By U.S. Coast Guard News 2019-05-10 16:27:01

 [By Chief Petty Officer John Masson] For Petty Officer 3rd Class Denim Kurtis, law enforcement is a family affair. His mother is a deputy sheriff and his father-in-law is an investigator for the San Francisco district attorney’s office. So when Kurtis felt the call to serve his country, the Coast Guard’s maritime enforcement specialty was a natural fit. He initially joined as a reservist at a San Francisco-based port security unit before integrating into the active duty force almost three years ago. Today the...

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The U.S. Coast Guard's Response to Hurricane Florence

By U.S. Coast Guard News 2019-05-03 23:30:27

[By Lt. Cmdr. Ace Castle] On Friday, Sept. 14, 2018, at 7:15 a.m., Hurricane Florence made landfall at Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, with sustained winds of 90 mph. However, the flooding associated with Florence would prove more devastating than just hurricane-force winds. Hurricane Florence dropped more than 33 inches of rain in portions of North Carolina, causing widespread destruction that people could never have imagined. Florence created more challenges for Coast Guard responders than the usual storm response. With the...

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Adm. Fagan: USCG is Increasing its Arctic Capabilities

By U.S. Coast Guard News 2019-04-30 10:51:45

[By Senior Chief NyxoLyno Cangemi] Last Friday, the U.S. Coast Guard’s Pacific Area commander discussed the service’s new Arctic Strategic Outlook, Polar Security Cutters and innovation efforts to improve maritime domain awareness in the high latitudes during the Arctic Encounter Symposium in Seattle. “The tyranny of distance and the harsh Arctic climate pose significant challenges to agencies charged with providing maritime safety and security to all Americans, including the hundreds of villages and thousands of seasonal workers in the U.S. Arctic,"...

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Personal Histories from the Coast Guard's Hurricane Maria Response

By U.S. Coast Guard News 2019-04-19 10:50:19

[By J. Edwin Nieves, M.D., Coast Guard Auxiliary] In 2018, the Coast Guard Historian’s Office began documenting the eyewitness accounts of Coast Guard members following the disastrous 2017 hurricane season. During the season, the Coast Guard responded to three massive tropical events affecting central Texas, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands of St. Thomas, St. Croix and St. John. Separated by thousands of miles, each one of these areas has unique geographic and climate operating conditions. Of these, Hurricane Maria, which hit...

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