Naval operations supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom began with the U.S. Navy in the summer of 2002. The Navy drew on its plans for combat operations in Iraq, and in September 2002, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command requested U.S. Coast Guard support for combat operations.
Since 1982, LEDETs have evolved from a counterdrug unit under local Coast Guard command, to one of the service’s modern Deployable Specialized Forces with a global area of responsibility. Over the course of their history, the LEDETs’ role has expanded to carry out a variety of maritime interdiction missions, including counter-piracy, military combat operations, alien migration interdiction, military force protection, counter terrorism, homeland security, and humanitarian response. The LEDETs and their law enforcement mission form one more link in the long blue line.
Each and every day, the Coast Guard combats the illicit drug trade in a six-million square mile area, including the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico and Eastern Pacific. Cocaine seizures prevent drugs from reaching America’s streets, while delivering a blow to the wallet and influence of transnational organized crime groups. Without the Coast Guard and its partners, hundreds of millions of dollars would flow past U.S. borders and fuel these crime-terror-insurgency organizations.
Today, the Coast Guard is the nation’s oldest continuously serving sea-going service and conducts 11 different missions. One of those missions is Defense Readiness. Coast Guard Patrol Forces Southwest Asia is at the forefront of the Defense Readiness mission. Today, PATFORSWA’s mission is to train, organize, equip, support and deploy mission-ready Coast Guard Forces in support of U.S. Central Command, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command and national security objectives.
This blog continues our Coast Guard History Month theme “A unique instrument of National Security” by discussing the Coast Guard’s law enforcement responsibilities of alien migrant interdiction operations, counter-drug operations, and counter-terrorism operations. The United States Coast Guard is the nation’s leading maritime law enforcement agency and has broad, multi-faceted jurisdictional authority. Read the full post to learn more about the long history of the Coast Guard’s law enforcement role to include enforcing tariffs, suppressing piracy, freeing slaves, intercepting contraband and enforcing immigration laws.
As the Coast Guard celebrates 226 years of proudly serving America on Aug. 4, we will highlight our long history of ensuring national security throughout the entire month of August. This blog is part one of our history series which will be featured every Monday in August. Join the celebration on social media by using hashtags: #HappyBdayUSCG, #CheersUSCG and #CGhistory.
Units and personnel of the U.S. Coast Guard and its predecessor services have served with distinction in every major American conflict since the founding of the United States. The Persian Gulf War proved no exception to this rule.
Petty Officer 2nd Class Blake Wagner (left) and Lt. j.g. Eric Watkins of Pacific Area Tactics and Law Enforcement Team stand ready for training taking place on Coast Guard Island, Aug. 16, 2011. An Air National Guard aircrew assisted the MSST 91104 unit and four members of PACTACLET train for an upcoming deployment to the
Bales of cocaine, seized by a Coast Guard law enforcement team, are shown ready for transport off of the USS Oak Hill, Dec. 9, 2011. Working jointly with Oak Hill’s crew, the Coast Guard team, comprised of members from Pacific Tactical Law Enforcement Team, Tactical Law Enforcement Team South and Maritime Safety and Security Team
Members of a visit, board, search and seizure team assigned to USS Gettysburg and Coast Guard Tactical Law Enforcement Team South detain suspected pirates after responding to a merchant vessel distress signal while operating in the Combined Maritime Forces area of responsibility in the Gulf of Aden. Department of Defense photo by Mass Communication Specialist