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Homeland security is one of the primary concerns of the United
States Coast Guard. It functions as both military and law enforcement
force. It functions under the Department
of Defense during wartime. In peacetime, it operates under the
United States Department of Homeland Security.
The US government formed the Department of Homeland Security
(DHS) after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. It works
for the protection of the American homeland and the safety of the
American citizens. It is a Cabinet department of the United States
federal government. This department came into shape from a conglomeration
of existing federal agencies. This conglomeration included the United
States Coast Guard too. It is the smallest of the seven uniformed
services of the United States.
The Homeland Security Act established this department
on November 25, 2002. It officially began operating on January 24,
2003. The aim of forming this department was to bring the agencies
responsible for the safety of the homeland under a single cabinet
agency. However, it kept a flexible policy for the United States
Coast Guard. This agency would be
under the new department only in peacetime. It would come under
the Department of Defense during
The duties and responsibilities of the United States Coast Guard
include search and rescue, marine environmental pollution control
and maintenance of inter-coastal and offshore aids to navigation
(ATON). Their five basic missions are- Maritime Safety, Maritime
Security, Maritime Mobility, National Defense and Protection of
the Natural Resources. The motto of this force is Semper Paratus,
which means "Always Ready." During peacetime, also they
need to stay alert for homeland security of America.
An act of the United States Congress instituted The United States
Coast Guard in 1915. Title 14 of the United States Code provides
the legal basis for this force. It states, "The Coast Guard
as established January 28, 1915, shall be a military service and
a branch of the armed forces of the United States at all times."
It came under the Department of Homeland Security
on March 31, 2003.