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My Coast Guard
Commentary | Jan. 8, 2024

From Mission Analysis Report to action: Reshaping Coast Guard maritime enforcement

By Jason Allred, MyCG Web Editor

USCG Law Enforcement – Rising to the Challenge of New Threats 

Recently, Rear Adm. Jo-Ann Burdian, Assistant Commandant for Response Policy, and Master Chief Petty Officer Ryan Patterson, Maritime Enforcement Rating Force Master Chief, shared insights from a study of the current threats facing our law enforcement (LE) teams and how well positioned Coast Guard personnel are to meet those threats. The completion of the LE Threat Environment Mission Analysis Report (MAR) has set the stage for both near term improvements and longer-term projects to ensure Coast Guard boarding officers and boarding team members can safely and effectively meet the threat while conducting their LE missions.

To maintain the MAR’s momentum, Rear Adm. Burdian chartered a “One Year Sprint,” led by experienced operators, including commanding officers and officers-in-charge, to make impactful changes in the coming year. 

Examining Our Capability to Meet the Threat 

In any given year, the Coast Guard conducts roughly 75,000 LE operations through more than 400 LE-designated units, with about 7,000 certified boarding officers and boarding team members. Almost every Coast Guard member will be stationed at an LE unit at some point in their careers.

The LE Threat Environment MAR looked at the capability of Coast Guard LE personnel to conduct the mission in the current threat environment across all aspects of the LE program, including policy, training, tactics, techniques and procedures (TTP), and equipment.

Meeting the Threat with Capabilities for Our People Conducting the Mission 

The MAR found that the threat environment has increased for Coast Guard LE operations, particularly in our drug and migrant interdiction missions. Across the LE program, the LE MAR found opportunities to better equip and prepare our LE teams to meet the threat. These include near-term actions such as authorizing weapon-mounted lights, authorizing alternate LE operational clothing, requiring LE team members to carry Individual first aid kits (IFAK), and a new on-demand “C” school to train personnel in migrant interdiction operations during maritime migration surges.

There are also longer-term changes in the works, including additional mission-specific “C” schools, body worn cameras for LE personnel, regionally based support for unit LE programs, and even an assessment to make sure we have the right rates and expertise at the right units for the current LE workload. 

You Have a Role - Field Engagement is the Key 

A crucial component of this initiative has been the involvement of Coast Guard operators in the field. Senior officer and enlisted leaders conducted listening sessions with members from 175 units across every Coast Guard district to hear firsthand how they feel about their LE work in the current threat environment, confirming some of the MAR’s research and adding additional items for the team to consider. Following completion of the MAR the one year sprint continues to engage the field via a panel of commanding officers and officers in charge to leverage their expertise as they lead current LE operations. Finally, the CG_Ideas@Work! web site has the “LE Policy, Equipment and Tactics” campaign for Coast Guard members to continue to share their ideas to help us succeed in our LE mission in today’s threat environment. 


In the News  

Do you qualify for an exemption for Basic Boarding Officer Course and/or Boarding Officer Practical Course? 

Coast Guard authorizes alternate uniform and weapon-mounted lights for law enforcement 


ALCOAST 345/23 

MAR Info 

MAR Results Video