What Jobs Does the Coast Guard Do for Homeland Security?

Coast Guard JobsIt has been more than a decade since the Department of Homeland Security was formed, with the past ten years resulting in many Coast Guard jobs for Homeland Security departments that did not exist prior to the formation of this agency. The Coast Guard has been perhaps the branch of the military most impacted by the formation of the Department of Homeland Security, with new responsibilities and access to new information that has broadened the scope of their responsibilities relating to national security and overall defense of the nation’s waters.

The Coast Guard: What Does it Protect?

The Coast Guard is perhaps the most obscure of the military’s branches, but that doesn’t make it any less essential to national defense and the prevention of terrorism on American soil. The Coast Guard is specifically responsible for protecting the nation’s waters from terrorist threats and from threats to national defense, but it’s also responsible for defending the nation’s maritime borders, protecting the sea itself from intrusion or other biological threats, and responding to DHS bulletins regarding threats made to American waters. It enacts these responsibilities in several new ways, thanks to the formation of the Department of Homeland Security.

Access to National Intelligence Information

Prior to the inception of the Department of Homeland Security, the Coast Guard actually did not have access to national intelligence information concerning terrorist threats or national security issues. Instead, the Coast Guard simply responded to executive or Congressional directives governing its deployment and position. Now, the agency receives regular intelligence briefings and acts based upon those briefings to protect American waters. The agency is therefore more nimble in practice and now plays a larger role in securing American borders and warding off suspected terrorists or terrorist plots.

Defense of America’s Maritime Borders

The Coast Guard is charged with securing the nation’s maritime borders, including those along the east and west coasts, as well as along the Gulf Coast near Cuba. If the Coast Guard notices any unapproved vessels making an approach for the United States coastline, their job is to simply prohibit access to U.S. waters and turn the craft around. If the craft makes it to American soil, the Coast Guard will often work with the Border Patrol and the Department of Homeland Security to arrange for deportation of the individuals back to their country of origin. This prevents terrorists from entering the United States by water, and is crucial to shoring up national security.

Deployment of Boats and Other Craft

The Coast Guard will, at the request of the Department of Homeland Security, mobilize its fleet in order to protect a specific area of the American coastline if it has been determined that the area may be the target of a terrorist plot or attack. In this way, the Coast Guard’s responsibilities closely resemble those of the Navy. Even so, this is a very rare request and on that has so far not been used by DHS officials.

Related Resource: Master’s in Homeland Security

A New Coast Guard for the Homeland Security Era

The Coast Guard has been significantly expanded in recent years, both in terms of its personnel and its responsibilities when keeping the coast safe form external threats. As a result, the Coast Guard jobs for Homeland Security range from border protection to defense and many other tasks.