The United States Coast Guard (USCG) is a branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven U.S. uniformed services. The Coast Guard is a maritime, military, multi-mission service unique among the U.S. military for having a maritime law enforcement mission (with jurisdiction in both domestic and international waters) and a federal regulatory mission as part of its mission set. It operates under the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) during peacetime, and can be transferred to the Department of the Navy by the President at any time or by Congress during time of war. Founded by Alexander Hamilton as the Revenue Marine first, and later as the Revenue Cutter Service on 4 August 1790, it is the United States' oldest continuous seagoing service.
U.S. COAST GUARD SHIPBUILDING
The Coast Guard's highest investment priority is recapitalizing the major cutter fleet. SCA Shipyard Members have built and are building the USCG's fleet of large and medium cutters, including National Security Cutters (Ingalls), Patrol Boats and Fast Response Cutters (Bollinger) and Response Boats - Medium (Marinette Marine, Kvichak Marine, ACE Marine).
For the Coast Guard and its sister sea-services, the art of naval ship design and construction is crucial to mission success. Working closely with the U.S. shipyard industrial base, the Coast Guard's naval engineers and acquisition professionals help to develop surface platforms that meet the needs of the service in the 21st century. The process of building an advanced ship, such as the National Security Cutter, is one that marries the time-honored traditions and lessons learned from centuries of naval architecture, with state-of-the-market technologies that deliver the mission capabilities demanded of today's complex operational environment.
U.S. COAST GUARD BUDGET
The Coast Guard is funded through the Department of Homeland Security, not the Department of Defense. Acquisition, Construction and Improvement (AC&I) provides for the acquisition, construction, rebuilding, and improvement of Coast Guard vessels. Funds appropriated for AC&I are managed by Coast Guard acquisition project managers who oversee these projects from pre-acquisition concept development to deployment and sustainment.
The "Vessel" sub-appropriation provides funding to recapitalize and/or improve the Coast Guard's fleet of aging boats and cutters. With many of the Coast Guard's cutters operating at or beyond their planned service life, these recapitalization and sustainment projects are critical to ensuring the continued mission effectiveness and readiness of the Coast Guard's surface fleet. The Coast Guard's fleet of boats and cutters supported within this program collectively perform all eleven statutory Coast Guard missions in the offshore, coastal and inland areas of responsibility.
U.S. COAST GUARD SHIP INVENTORY
Cutters: Today the USCG officially uses the term for any vessel which has a permanently assigned crew and accommodations for the extended support of that crew, and includes only and all vessels of 65 feet or more in length.
Boats: The Coast Guard operates about 1,400 boats, defined as any vessel less than 65 feet long, which generally operate near shore and on inland waterways.
For a portfolio of U.S. Coast Guard surface acquisition projects and program fact sheets, please visit the USCG Acquisition Directorate webpage.