United States Coast Guard current and future acquisition programs as for spring 2019
United States Coast Guard current and future acquisition programs as for spring 2019

The United States Coast Guard uses cutters and small boats on the water, and fixed- and rotary wing (helicopters) aircraft in the air. The Coast Guard employs various small arms including handguns, shotguns, rifles, and machine guns.

Watercraft

Cutters

Originally, the Coast Guard used the term cutter in its traditional sense, as a type of small sailing ship. Today it officially uses the term for any vessel which has a permanently assigned crew and accommodations for the extended support of that crew, and includes any and all vessels of 65-foot (20 m) or more in length.[1]

Larger cutters (over 181 feet (55 m) in length) are controlled by Area Commands (Atlantic Area or Pacific Area). Smaller cutters come under control of district commands. Cutters usually carry a motor surf boat and/or a rigid-hulled inflatable boat. Polar-class icebreakers (WAGB) carry an Arctic survey boat (ASB) and landing craft.

Any Coast Guard crew with officers or petty officers assigned has law-enforcement authority (14 USC Sec. 89) and can conduct armed boardings.

The Coast Guard operates 243 Cutters,[2] defined as any vessel more than 65 feet (20 m) long, that has a permanently assigned crew and accommodations for the extended support of that crew.[3]

  Class is currently being built and currently active
  Class is currently being replaced
  Class is currently being built and not yet active
Name or Class Image Quantity Length Armament Notes
Polar-class 2 0 460' Building 2, 3 total on order. The Polar Security Cutter Program is to replace the Polar-class. To enter service in 2025.
Legend-class
USCG National Security Cutter BERTHOLF (WMSL-750).jpeg
9 418' Building 2. Designated to replace the Hamilton-class. Entered Service in 2008.
Polar-class
Polar Star 2.jpg
2 420', 399'
  • Various small arms
There are three WAGB's used for icebreaking and research though only two, the heavy 399-foot (122 m) Polar Star and the newer medium class 420-foot (130 m) Healy, are active.[5][6][7][8] Polar Sea is located in Seattle, Washington but is not currently in active service.
Heritage-class
Uscgc-argus.jpg

Digital Rendering

0 360'
  • 1 x MK 110 57 mm gun a variant of the Bofors 57 mm gun and Gunfire Control System
  • 1 x BAE Systems Mk 38 Mod 3 25 mm gun with 7.62 mm co-axial gun
  • 2 x M2 Browning .50 caliber (12.7 mm) machine guns mounted on a MK 50 Stabilized Small Arms Mount (SSAM)
  • 4 x crew-served M2 Browning .50 caliber (12.7 mm) machine guns
  • Various small arms
Building 2, 11 planned. Designated to replace the Famous-class and Reliance-class. To enter service in 2025.[9]
USCGC Eagle
EAGLE under full sail in 2013.jpg
1 295' None USCGC Eagle (WIX-327): Eagle is home ported at the Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut. It is used for training voyages for Coast Guard Academy cadets and Coast Guard officer candidates. USCGC Eagle was built in Germany as the Horst Wessel, and was taken by the United States as a war reparation in 1945.
USCGC Alex Haley
USCGC Alex Haley.jpg
1 283' Entered service in 1971 as USS Edenton.
Famous-class
Mohawk.jpg
13 270'
  • 1 × OTO Melara Mark 75 76 mm/62 caliber naval gun
  • 2 × .50 caliber (12.7 mm) machine guns
  • Various small arms
Entered service in 1983.
USCGC Mackinaw
USCGC Mackinaw.jpg
1 240'
  • 2 × crew-served M240B 7.62 mm machine guns
  • Various small arms
Mackinaw is a 240-foot (73 m) heavy icebreaker built for operations on the North American Great Lakes and home ported at Cheboygan, Michigan. Entered Service in 2006.
Juniper-class
USCGC Fir (WLB-213) and lighthouse.jpg
16 225'
  • 2 × .50 caliber (12.7 mm) machine guns
  • Various small arms
Entered service in 1996.
Reliance-class
USCGC Venturous WMEC-625.jpg
14 210'
  • 1 × OTO Melara Mark 75 76 mm/62 caliber naval gun
  • 2 × .50 caliber (12.7 mm) machine guns
  • Various small arms
Entered service in 1964.
Keeper-class
Joshua Appleby556 1.jpg
14 175' None Entered service in 1997.
160 foot-class Inland construction Tender
WLIC Saginaw.jpg
4 160' None Entered service in 1976.
Sentinel-class
Coast Guard accepts 44th fast response cutter.jpg
40 154' 64 planned. Designated to replace Island-class. Entered service in 2012.
Bay-class
USCGC Mobile Bay.jpg
9 140' 10 planned. Entered service in 1979.
Island-class
USCGC Knight island.jpg
49 110' (WPB): Eight additional 110-foot patrol boats were extended to 123 feet (37 m) but structural issues developed shortly after these conversions and the cutters were deemed unsafe to operate.[10] Entered service in 1985.
100-foot Class Inland Buoy Tenders
USCGC Bluebell - 2015 Rose Festival Portland, OR.jpg
2 100' None Entered service in 1945.
100 foot-class Inland Construction Tender
USCGC Smilax underway.jpg
3 100' None Entered service in 1944.
Marine Protector-class
USCG Sailfish Roosevelt Is jeh.jpg
67 87' Entered service in 1998.
Kankakee-class
Modern Greenbriar.jpg
2 75' None Entered service in 1990.
Gasconade-Class
Gasconade2.jpg
9 75'
  • Various small arms
Entered Service in 1964
75' inland construction tender
U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Hammer in Atlantic Beach, Florida.jpg
9 75' None Entered service in 1962
65' river buoy tender
UnitedStatesCoastGuardCutterOBION.jpg
2 65' None
65' inland buoy tender
USCGC Elderberry (Petersburg) 462.jpg
2 65' None Entered service in 1954
Small Harbor Tug
USCGC Bollard.jpg
11 65' None (WYTL): This is a class of eleven 65-foot tugs used by the United States Coast Guard for search and rescue, law enforcement, aids-to-navigation work and light icebreaking. Entered service in 1961.

Boats

The Coast Guard operates about 1,402 boats, defined as any vessel less than 65 feet (20 meters) in length, which generally operate near shore and on inland waterways. The most common is 25 feet (7.62 m) long, of which the Guard has more than 350;[11] the shortest is 13 feet (4 m).

378-foot High Endurance Cutter (WHEC) USCGC Hamilton (WHEC-715), commissioned in 1967 (U.S. Coast Guard Photo)
378-foot High Endurance Cutter (WHEC) USCGC Hamilton (WHEC-715), commissioned in 1967 (U.S. Coast Guard Photo)
The Coast Guard boat fleet includes
Name Image Length Notes
64-ft Aids to Navigation Boat
ANB-64.jpg
64'
64-ft Screening Vessel
Northern Vindicator 2015 150923-G-LB229-639.jpg
64'
55-ft Aids to Navigation Boat
ATON-55.jpg
55'
52-ft Motor Life Boat
44581.jpg
52' The Coast Guard currently has four of the 52-foot motor life boats, a craft designed from the ground up to serve in challenging surf conditions. All four craft are currently assigned to surf stations in the Pacific Northwest. Also known as "Special Purpose Craft - Heavy Weather (SPC-HWX)"
Buoy Utility Stern Loading
BUSL-49.jpg
49'
47-ft Motor Life Boat
Motor Life Boat.jpg
47' The Coast Guard's 47-foot primary heavy-weather boat used for search and rescue as well as law enforcement and homeland security.[12]
Response Boat Medium
Response Boat Medium 45 (2296554504).jpg
45' The Coast Guard has signed a multi-year contract for 180 Response Boat – Medium (RB-M) boats that were delivered starting in 2008 to replace the 41′ UTB boats. These aluminum boats are 45 feet (13.7 m) in length, with twin diesel engines (total 825 hp), are self-righting, have a four crew, six passenger capacity, are equippable with two .50 caliber machine guns, have an excellent fendering system, can achieve a top speed of 42 knots (78 km/h), and are capable of towing a 100-ton vessel in eight-foot seas. The boats were built by Kvichak Marine Industries of Kent, Washington and Marinette Marine of Manitowoc, Wisconsin.[13][14]
Near-Shore Life Boat 42'
39-ft Tactical Training Boat 39'
38-ft Training Boat 38'
Arctic Survey Boat
39
38' Only one of these vessels is used by the Coast Guard. It is kept on the USCGC Healy and is used for arctic studies.
36-ft Boarding Team Delivery 36'
Long-Range Interceptor
USCG long range interceptor launching from Bertholf.jpg
36' An 11-meter (36 ft) high-speed launch that can be launched from the rear ramps of the National Security Cutters.[15]
33-ft Law Enforcement
U.S Coast Guard (12384984095).jpg
33'
Trailerable Aids to Navigation Boat 29'
Response Boat- Small II
USCG 29-foot Response Boat-Small -a.jpg
29' A 29 foot replacement for the Defender Class, built by Metal Shark Boats.
Cutterboat- Over the Horizon
U.S. Coast Guard Over the Horizon (OTH) boat.jpg
25'
Transportable Security Boat
USCG transportable port security boats, at Guantanamo, circa 2015.jpg
25' 25-foot (7.6 m) boat, based on the commercial version of the 25-foot (8 m) center-console Boston Whaler, suitable for work in inland waters, easily transportable by trailer. These are primarily used by Port Security Units for force protection in naval support areas abroad, as well as, ports of embarkation/debarkation in expeditionary areas. Most recently these boats and units were deployed to Kuwait in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The durability, versatility, and mobility of these boats make them ideal for this type of operation.[16]
Response Boat- Small
USCG small boat RB-S 25583.jpg
25' A high-speed boat, for a variety of missions, including search and rescue, port security and law enforcement duties. The original 25-foot boats built by SAFE Boats International (Secure All-around Flotation Equipped) of Port Orchard, Washington are being replaced by 29-foot boats built by Metal Shark Boats of Jeanerette, LA.[17][18]
24-ft Shallow Water
081121-G-9155J-044.jpg
24'
24-ft Cutterboat - Aids to Navigation - Large 23'
Cutterboat- Large 24'-19'
22-ft Airboat
Red River flood 2010 and a USCG airboat.jpg
22'
20-ft Aids to Navigation Boat - Small
TANB-21.jpg
21'
20-ft Airboat 20'
18-ft Cutterboat - Aids to Navigation - Medium 18'
18-ft Airboat 18'
Cutterboat- Medium 17'
16-ft Aids to Navigation Boat – Skiff 16'
Cutterboat- Small 13'
USCG Auxiliary

Aircraft

A USCG HC-130 Hercules near Oahu
A USCG HC-130 Hercules near Oahu

The Coast Guard operates about 210 aircraft. Fixed-wing aircraft (such as Lockheed HC-130 Hercules turboprops) operate from Air Stations on long-duration missions. Helicopters (Aérospatiale HH-65 Dolphin, Sikorsky HH-60J Jayhawk, and Agusta MH-68 Stingray) operate from Air Stations, Air Facilities, and flight-deck equipped cutters, and can rescue people or intercept smuggling vessels. Some special MH- designated helicopters are armed with guns and some are equipped with armor to protect against small arms fire.

The Coast Guard flies several aircraft types:

Name Image Quantity Notes
Lockheed HC-130 Hercules
USCG C130 Hercules.jpg
27
HC-27J Spartan
Coast Guard introduces new C-27J Medium Range Surveillance airplane (26168246275).jpg
11 [19][20] Out of 14 on order.
CASA HC-144A Ocean Sentry
HC-144A USCG at Guantanamo Bay 2010.jpg
18 [21][22][23]
Gulfstream C-37A
United States Coast Guard C-37A (2).jpg
2 Aircraft as a VIP transport for high-ranking Coast Guard and Homeland Security officials.[24]
Airbus MH-65 Dolphin
USCG HH-65C.jpg
102
Sikorsky MH-60T Jayhawk
HH60 Retrieving rescue swimmer.jpg
42 [25]
RG-8A Condors
Schweizer RG-8A 85-0047 USCG Opa 11.11.89 edited-2.jpg
unspecified number
Boeing Insitu ScanEagle
US Navy 1005268-N-RC844-159 A Scan Eagle Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV).jpg
unspecified number [26]
HC-144A Ocean Sentry (CASA CN-235-300 MP Persuader).

The Coast Guard was to purchase the Bell Eagle Eye UAV as part of the Deepwater program, but this has been cancelled.[27] The Coast Guard is currently preparing to launch a small UAS competition for the Legend-class NSC and future Heritage-class cutter.[28]

In addition to regular Coast Guard aircraft, privately owned general aviation aircraft are used by Coast Guard Auxiliarists for patrols and search-and-rescue missions.

D9 airboat crews deploy for Hurricane Sandy
D9 airboat crews deploy for Hurricane Sandy

Land vehicles

Name Image Origin Quantity Notes
MWV
HMMWV
M1151.jpg
 United States limited unspecified number [29]
LSSV
MP MilCOTS.jpg
 United States unspecified number [citation needed]

Electronic Warfare Systems

Shipboard Weapon Systems

Name Image Notes
M153 CROWS II
The USCGC Sea Devil mounts a remote-controlled, gyro-stabilized machine gun on her bow.jpg
Sea PROTECTOR MK50 GWS
Mk 38 25mm autocannon
US Navy 111231-N-KS651-967 A Mk 38 MOD 2 25mm machine gun system aboard the amphibious dock landing ship USS Pearl Harbor (LSD 52) ejects casings d.jpg
Mod 1, Mod 2 and Mod 3
Mk 44 30mm autocannon
The amphibious transport dock ship USS Green Bay (LPD 20) fires a MK-46 30mm gun during a live-fire exercise (28540439144).jpg
[1]
Phalanx CIWS
Phalanx LPWS - 140301-A-ZA744-174.jpg
20 mm Block 1B Baseline 2
Bofors 57 mm gun
USS Freedom Mk 110 57mm gun (cropped).jpg
MK 110. A variant of the Bofors 57 mm gun and Gunfire Control System
OTO Melara Mark 75
Nansen-oto75mm-2006-07-03.jpg
76 mm/62 caliber naval gun

Decoys and Countermeasures

Name Image Notes
Mark 36 SRBOC
Mark 36 SRBOC on USS Stout.jpg
chaff countermeasures
Nulka
Nulka.gif
MK 53 Mod 10

Small arms

Model Image Caliber Type Origin Details
Pistols
M9
M9-pistolet.jpg
9mm Pistol  Italy Limited service
P229R-DAK
SIG SAUER P229R DAK (2011).jpg
.40 S&W Pistol  Germany Standard service pistol
Assault Rifles
M16A2
M16a2-final.png
5.56×45mm NATO Assault rifle  United States Limited service
M4
M4A1 ACOG.png
5.56×45mm NATO Assault rifle, Carbine  United States Standard issue service rifle. The Deployable Operations Group also employs the Mk 18 upper receiver[30]
MK18/CQBR
USCG MSRT.JPG
5.56×45mm NATO Assault rifle, Carbine  United States Standard issue service carbine. The Maritime Security Response Team also employs them
Shotguns
M870P
Maritime Safety & Security Team (MSST) 91106.jpg
12-gauge Shotgun  United States
Saiga-12 12-gauge Shotgun  Russia The Deployable Operations Group employs them
Machine Guns
M240
PEO M240B Profile.jpg
7.62×51mm NATO General purpose, medium machine gun  United States M240B variant is employed aboard surface vessels while the M240H is used aboard the MH-60 Jayhawk and MH-65 Dolphin helicopters. The M240 is also used on land by Port Security units[31]
M60
M60.jpg
7.62×51mm NATO General purpose, medium machine gun  United States Used on various boats such as the Defender-class boat[32]
Browning M2HB
Machine gun M2 1.jpg
.50 BMG Heavy machine gun  United States Primarily mounted on seagoing vessels. Some machine guns are used on land by Port Security Units[33]
Precision Rifles, Designated Marksman Rifles & Sniper Rifles.
MK14 EBR
PEO M14 EBR.jpg
7.62×51mm NATO Designated marksman rifle, Sniper rifle  United States Variant known as the M14 Tactical fitted with the Mk 14 Enhanced Battle Rifle stock, with a 22-inch barrel and a Smith Enterprise muzzle brake.
Mk 11
SR-25 pic02.jpg
7.62×51mm NATO Designated marksman rifle, Sniper rifle  United States Used by the Deployable Operations Group[30]
Barrett 50 cal/M82/M107
M107 1.jpg
.50 BMG Anti materiel sniper rifle  United States Used for Airborne Use of Force (AUF) missions
Robar RC-50 .50 BMG Anti materiel sniper rifle  United States
Grenade-Based Weapons
M203
PEO M203A2 Grenade Launcher.png
40mm Grenade launcher  United States Single-shot underbarrel grenade launcher[34]
Mk 19
MK19-02.jpg
40mm Automatic grenade launcher  United States Belt-fed
MK3 grenade
Concussion grenade being used to discourage swimmers -1.jpg
Concussion Grenade  United States Used as an anti-swimmer grenade. Being phased out and being replaced by a newer Anti-Swimmer Grenade.[35]

Communications

Rescue 21 Logo.
Rescue 21 Logo.

Coast Guard radio stations cover a wide geographical area using very high frequency and high frequency radios. There are eight major radio stations covering long-range transmissions and an extensive network of VHF radio stations along the nation's coastline and inland rivers.

The current communication system is the Rescue 21. Rescue 21 is an advanced maritime command, control, and communications (C3) system.

The OMEGA navigation system and the LORAN-C transmitters outside the USA were run until 1994 also by the United States Coast Guard, and LORAN-C transmitters within the US were decommissioned on June 1, 2010, with the exception of 5 CONUS LORAN-C stations that continue to be staffed due to international agreements.

See also

References

  1. ^ "10". USCG Regulations] (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2006-07-23. Retrieved 11 December 2006.
  2. ^ "Operational_Assets". US Coast Guard. Archived from the original on 16 October 2019. Retrieved 16 October 2019.
  3. ^ "United States Coast Guard Regulations, Chapter 10 – Classification and Status of Coast Guard Vessels" (PDF). 1992. COMDINSTM 5000.3B. Archived (PDF) from the original on 3 November 2013. Retrieved 6 August 2013.
  4. ^ Ong, Peter (2022-04-21). "USGC's Polar Security Cutters to Receive Mark 38 Mod 4 Guns". Naval News. Retrieved 2022-04-24.
  5. ^ "420-foot Icebreaker (WAGB)". Aircraft, Boats, and Cutters: Cutters. 28 June 2013. Archived from the original on 11 January 2010. Retrieved 14 November 2009.
  6. ^ "399-foot Polar Class Icebreakers (WAGB)". Aircraft, Boats, and Cutters: Cutters. 28 June 2013. Archived from the original on 10 January 2010. Retrieved 14 November 2009.
  7. ^ "Alaska Lt. Gov. calls for US icebreakers". Fairbanks Daily News-Miner. Associated Press. 30 November 2011. Archived from the original on 20 January 2012.
  8. ^ "Northrop Grumman to Supply Polar Ice Breaker Navigation Support for U.S. Coast Guard". 20 October 2013. Archived from the original on 21 October 2013. Retrieved 21 October 2013.
  9. ^ Ong, Peter (2022-01-13). "U.S. Coast Guard Provides Information on the Offshore Patrol Cutter". Naval News. Retrieved 2022-01-16.
  10. ^ "Our Opinion: Shipbuilding issues should be solved". The Mississippi Press. July 23, 2007. Archived from the original on January 24, 2013. Retrieved 2007-07-23.
  11. ^ "Operational Assets". U.S. Coast Guard. Archived from the original on 28 February 2018. Retrieved 8 August 2018.
  12. ^ "47-foot Motor Lifeboat".
  13. ^ "Keel Laying Ceremony Marks Production of New Response Boat" (Press release). United States Coast Guard. 2007-06-28. Archived from the original on 2007-10-11.
  14. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-10-15. Retrieved 2009-10-15.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  15. ^ "Long Range Interceptor".
  16. ^ "Transportable Port Security Boat". Archived from the original on 12 December 2012.
  17. ^ "Defender-class boat Response Boat". Archived from the original on 5 August 2012.
  18. ^ "28 DEFIANT » Metal Shark". Archived from the original on 2013-09-27. Retrieved 2013-09-24.
  19. ^ "USCG receives 11th regenerated C-27J". Naval Warfare International. 20 February 2017. Archived from the original on 27 February 2017. Retrieved 26 February 2017.
  20. ^ "USCG: C-27J Medium Range Surveillance Aircraft". Archived from the original on 2017-02-27. Retrieved 2017-02-26.
  21. ^ Air Forces Monthly. Stamford, Lincolnshire: Key Publishing Ltd. March 2013. p. 31.
  22. ^ "EADS North America Delivers 15th HC-144A Ocean Sentry to U.S. Coast Guard". June 7, 2013. Archived from the original on June 14, 2013. Retrieved June 9, 2013.
  23. ^ "Airbus Group, Inc. delivers U.S. Coast Guard with its 16th HC-144A Ocean Sentry Aircraft". January 22, 2014. Archived from the original on February 1, 2014. Retrieved January 23, 2014.
  24. ^ https://wayback.archive-it.org/all/20090227054603/http://www.uscg.mil/history/webaircraft/C_37A.pdf[bare URL PDF]
  25. ^ HH-60J Jayhawk Archived 2013-04-01 at the Wayback Machine at GlobalSecurity.org
  26. ^ Read "Leveraging Unmanned Systems for Coast Guard Missions" at NAP.edu. 2020. doi:10.17226/25987. ISBN 978-0-309-68521-4. S2CID 241597106.
  27. ^ "Bell Eagle Eye HV-911". USCG. Archived from the original on 2006-08-30. Retrieved 2006-08-25.
  28. ^ "US Coast Guard to Launch sUAS Competition". www.uasvision.com. 23 January 2018. Archived from the original on 25 January 2018. Retrieved 24 January 2018.
  29. ^ IHS Jane's Land Warfare Platforms Logistics, Support & Unmanned 2015-2016 AM
  30. ^ a b Joint Service Small Arms Systems Annual Symposium - 20 May 2008
  31. ^ "Port Security Unit 305 provides anti-terrorism force protection in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba". coastguard.dodlive.mil. Archived from the original on 26 August 2017. Retrieved 26 August 2017.
  32. ^ http://arquivo.pt/wayback/20091015144424/http://www.uscg.mil/acquisition/programs/pdf/rb-sfactsheet.pdf U.S. Coast Guard: Response boat-small fact sheet(PDF)
  33. ^ "Everyday heroes tasked with extraordinary duties". www.flickr.com. 22 July 2015. Retrieved 26 August 2017.
  34. ^ PA2 John Edwards and PA1 Kimberly Smith, PADET Atlantic City. "Learning to Shoot All Over Again". Coast Guard Magazine, Issue 2, 2006, pp. 4–19.
  35. ^ "Anti-Swimmer Grenade offers underwater port security". www.navair.navy.mil. Navair.navy.mil. Retrieved 28 January 2017.