Just Whose Coast Is The Coast Guard Guarding?
As misguided as some of those traditional missions might be, they at least involve operations in waters close to the United States. However, more and more of the Coast Guard’s time, budget, and personnel are devoted to operations far from America’s shores.
Late last month, a Coast Guard cutter, the USCGC Hamilton entered the Black Sea as part of the US Navy’s show of strength against Russia. According to a Navy press release, that part of the voyage took place “after Hamilton conducted logistics visits to Naples, Italy and Rota, Spain. The US Coast Guard is conducting a routine deployment in US Sixth Fleet, working alongside Allies, building maritime domain awareness, and sharing best practices with partner nation navies and coast guards.” That doesn’t sound like a mission that had any relevance to the defense of America’s coasts.