June 28, 2013

Coast Guard Boats – An Overview of the Boats & Cutters That the US Coast Guard Uses

Of all the equipment used to safeguard the nation’s shores and inland waterways, Coast Guard boats are probably the most recognizable. These vessels are categorized into two basic classes that that define them as either boats or cutters.

Us Coast Guard Boats

All vessels that are less than sixty five feet in overall length are classified by the Guard as boats and they are usually found operating on or near waterways. These kinds of craft will include various rigid and inflatable lifeboats, surf boats and utility boats. These are used for a wide variety of duties ranging from rescue to security to navigational services.

One of the most common in this class would be the forty five foot long medium response boat, also known as the RB-M. This is a newer addition to the fleet that serves many functions in the areas of search, rescue and law enforcement. This is a versatile vessel that has numerous specialized capabilities for aiding the Coast Guard in executing vital safety and security missions.

Another important boat is the long range interceptor type. Referred to as the LRI, they will normally be equipped with radar, over the horizon navigation, armament and advanced communication equipment. They mainly are used as transportation for mission activity support in conjunction with rescue assistance and law enforcement boarding teams.

Among the most common of all are the twenty five foot, high speed Defender Class water craft. These were developed in response to the need for additional Homeland Security provisions. Used by maritime safety and security teams, they would be considered to be the ultimate armed waterborne security package.

A Cutter class vessel is basically any with an overall length of sixty five feet or greater. These generally will have sufficient accommodations for a crew to live right on board. Cutters will usually have smaller motor boats and inflatable boats on board that can be launched independently from the larger craft. Polar icebreakers would be an example of this type.

The National Security Cutter, or NSC, is the flagship of the Guard’s fleet. This is a massive four hundred and eighteen foot long vessel with capabilities to meet any maritime security mission duties. It is the largest and the most technically advanced cutter in the Coast Guard, used for law enforcement, security and national defense missions.

The one hundred and ten foot WPB patrol boat is actually in the cutter class because of its size. The American version is an adaptation of a vastly successful British designed patrol rig. It boasts an exceptional range and has outstanding maneuverability capabilities. They are known as the Island Class, and are all named after U. S. Islands, such as the Staten Island and the Key Biscayne.

An eighty seven foot ship that is frequently seen patrolling the coasts is known as the Marine Protector. It has a full compliment of computer enhanced radar and charting systems. It is distinctive in its ability to handle rough seas and afford highly comfortable living conditions for the crew. It also employs a pioneering stern launch and recovery system for deploying small inboard diesel powered boats.

Learn more, click here: http://www.uscg.mil/datasheet/

An Overiew of the Coast Guard Academy – History, How To Join, About The Education

The Coast Guard began as the Revenue Cutter Service, which can trace its origins to 1790 when Alexander Hamilton proposed its creation. This makes the USCG the country’s longest naval military branch in continuous service. Hamilton, the nation’s first Treasury Secretary, had conceived the role of the Revenue Cutter Service as an arm of the Treasury. The cutters would have the authority to intercept inbound ships and execute searches. The need to train officers to man the expanding fleet led to the establishment of the school that would eventually become the Coast Guard Academy.

Us Coast Guard Academy

The first schools were held on seagoing vessels during regular voyages. The schooner “Dobbin” became the first ship dedicated to training cadets. A class of eight cadets reported aboard the ship in December of 1876 and set sail for a six month training cruise.

By October of 1877, the need to provide a more extensive education led to a land-based institution established in New Bedford, Massachusetts. The school taught history, mathematics, physics, astronomy, English composition, the theory of steam engineering and French. Constitutional, revenue and international law were also studied. The institution placed a strong emphasis on physical fitness as well. Cadets combined classroom instruction with shipboard training in navigation and seamanship.

In 1910, the Revenue Cutter Service was given Fort Trumbull, in New London, Connecticut, for its training base. The land school became the U. S. Revenue Cutter Service Academy. In 1915, the Navy’s Life-Saving Services unit was integrated with the Revenue Cutter Service and the combined units were renamed the U. S. Coast Guard. As a result, the school became the United States Coast Guard Academy.

Although the USCGA is the smallest military academy, it is also the only one that does not require an appointment. Cadets apply directly and are accepted on the basis of merit. Currently, the only way to initiate an application is online at the official USCGA website. After completing the application, prospective cadets can access the forms needed to submit the required essays and letters of recommendation from teachers. Students must also pass a medical exam before receiving an appointment.

Applications are open to all U. S. Citizens between the ages of 17 and 22 as of July 1 of their first year of enrollment. Applicants must be single, have no dependents, and be free from financial debt. A high school diploma or GED is required before entering the academy. Certain non-citizens can be accepted as International Cadets if they qualify.

Cadets who are U. S. Citizens are not charged any fees for tuition or housing, but are required to post a $3,000 deposit upon enrollment. This fee is to cover the initial cost of uniforms, supplies, and a laptop computer. Cadets are paid $11,150 annually to cover their costs. Funds may only be spent according to the Superintendent’s directions. A monthly stipend is given to the cadets for personal use. International Cadets are subject to different terms regarding cost and pay.

The curriculum at the USCGA is highly focused on engineering, math, and science. The college offers a four-year Bachelor of Science degree in one of eight majors. Students select from civil, mechanical, or electrical engineering, government, management, marine and environmental science, naval architecture and marine engineering, or operations research and computer analysis. In addition to the degree, cadets graduate with a commission in the USCG at the rank of ensign and begin serving their five-year commitment to the service.

For more information, click here: http://www.cga.edu/

An Overview of the US Coast Guard

The United States Coast Guard, although one of the seven branches of the US armed forces, is in many ways unique from all other branches. One reason for this uniqueness is the fact that the USCG has two overriding missions.

Us Coast Guard

Maritime LawFirst and foremost is the mission of maritime law enforcement with jurisdiction in both domestic waters and international. Under this mission the USCG operates search and rescue missions, marine environmental protection services, and aides to navigation, living marine resources, ice operations, maintain the rivers, intercostals, and offshore aides to navigation.

Founded in 1790 by Alexander Hamilton the Coast Guard operates as maritime military and is the oldest continuous seagoing service in the US. The main roles of this seagoing branch of the military are Maritime Safety, Maritime Security and Maritime Stewardship. And with the motto “Semper Paratus” which is Latin for “always ready” or “always prepared” they take their job very seriously.

Department of Homeland Security

The other mission is a federal regulatory agency mission under the Department of Homeland Security as enforcement against terrorism and drugs. Last year alone the USCG was responsible for the removal of nearly 185 tons of cocaine and interdicted 5000 people attempting to immigrate to the US illegally. Under the homeland security heading the USCG missions are ports, waterways, and coastal security, drug and migrant interdiction, defense readiness, and law enforcement.

The multi- mission state of the USCG is not the only thing that makes it unique however. While other branches of the military are either fighting wars or training to fight wars, the USCG is here at home and deployed every day to deal with emergencies of all types on the waters of our nation.

The USCG operates under the Department of Homeland Security during times of peace but can be transferred under the Department of the Navy during times of war.

The USCG is often lauded for its flexibility which is another difference that makes it unique to other military branches. While other branches tend to be focused on training the USCG is focused on doing the job every single day. There is no “peace time” for the coast guard, they are always in action.

History

The USCG was at one time the United States Revenue Cutter Service which was established by Alexander Hamilton in 1790 as the first and only naval force to collect taxes.

One interesting fact about the USCG is that when they were first established as the Revenue Cutter Service in 1798 officers who were out at sea to collect taxes from a new nation of smugglers were told that they might as well rescue anyone in distress while they were cracking down on piracy.

In 1915 the Revenue Cutter Service merged with the United States Life Saving Service and became the United States USCG.

The United States Coast Guard is one of the oldest branches of the American military and is unique in a number of ways. The USCG is unique in that it emphasizes saving life and the environment while many of the other branches concentrate on war.

Additional information at: http://www.navcen.uscg.gov/

The Function And Purpose Of The United States Coast Guard

The United States Coast Guard is unusual in that although it is considered one of the five branches of the armed services it does not trace its chain of command through the Department of Defense. Instead it is a part of the Department of Homeland Security. As such it is responsible for protecting our shores and inland waterways.

Us United States Coast Guard

This includes more than just responding to military or terrorist threats. It was most recently in the national news as the primary force responding to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Viewers saw nightly reports of Coast Guard ships skimming oil, while others patrolled slick waters to keep fishermen away from the toxic spread. Coast Guard Commanders gave nightly briefings to the nation on containment plans. They fought the battle to save America’s fisheries and estuaries until the well was capped and they are still there today dealing with the aftermath.

Oil is not the only toxic invasion of America’s shores, however. This maritime organization is in the forefront of the battle to stop illegal drugs from entering this country by sea. In 2008 alone it confiscated one-hundred-and-eighty-five tons of cocaine from smugglers plying our southern waters.

Far to the north, the coast guard is responsible for smashing open a waterway through thick ice so commercial vessels can haul supplies and crude oil to and from our frozen off shore oil fields. These amazing, super-reinforced ice-breakers have been featured on the History channel.

Their northern exploits aren’t the only ones to be featured on reality television however. This is a search and rescue organization as well, and its advanced ships and aircraft contain advanced equipment to enable them to find distressed vessels and save sailors in even the roughest seas. These rescue craft have also been the subject of History and Discovery Channel coverage.

Although they operate mainly in America’s own waters, this military branch does occasionally venture out on overseas missions. They were responsible for patrolling and defending Iraq’s offshore oil wells until an Iraqi force could be trained to do the same job. They have also gone to other parts of the world on humanitarian missions. They delivered the first U. S. Aid to the Republic to the Republic of Georgia after the South Ossetia war in 2008.

More Mundane tasks such as inspecting merchant marine ships and port facilities for safety violations don’t get much coverage. These activities may seem unexciting but they are they are important nonetheless. Safety and compliance checks safe lives as surely as dramatic rescue operation.

Part of that checking requires the boarding of merchant ships either outbound or inbound with cargo. This becomes an interesting task if the vessel in question doesn’t want to be boarded. They turn back thousands of illegal immigrants each year and confiscates tons of undeclared cargo.

Many of these boardings involve illegal fishing operations. The Coast Guard is also charged with protecting this country’s fisheries. As a protector of fisheries, the they are also interested in the maritime environment. The Gulf oil spill wasn’t the only environmental disaster that it has dealt with. Every year they investigate and help overcome thousands of pollution incidents.

The Coast Guard doesn’t just operate in the oceans. Wherever America conducts maritime business, they are there to protect it. They tend buoys and signal lights on the Great Lakes as well as conducting regular patrols of those waters.

Whether they are responding to environmental disasters, keeping drugs off of America’s streets, or breaking through ice to open northern waterways, The United States Coast Guard is an important part of America’s security. They are capable of humanitarian, military, and rescue missions as well as mundane regulatory duties. This organization occupies a unique position as defenders of America’s shores against all threats whether they are military, criminal, or natural.

Additional resource links: http://www.nvmc.uscg.gov/NVMC/default.aspx