By Debbie Gregory.
The National Coast Guard is the only military organization within the Department of Homeland Security. Since 1790, the National Coast Guard has protected our nation’s maritime interests and environment around the world. The presence and impact of the Coast Guard is local, regional, national and international. These attributes make the National Coast Guard a unique instrument of maritime safety, security and environmental stewardship.
The 129th Rescue Wing is a unit of California Air National Guard. They are stationed at Moffett Federal Airfield in Mountain View, California. On May 18, 2013, the 129th Rescue Wing reached its millennial milestone. While deployed to Afghanistan, the airmen and pararescuemen of the 129th saved an Afghan national policeman who had sustained a gunshot wound.
The National Coast Guard performs three basic roles, and are further subdivided into eleven statutory missions. They are: Maritime safety, Maritime security and Maritime stewardship.
The eleven statutory missions include homeland security missions and non-homeland security missions.
The homeland security missions protect ports, waterways, and coastal security. Their missions also include drug interdiction; migrant interdiction; defense readiness; and other law enforcement. Search and Rescue (SAR) is one of the National Coast Guard’s oldest missions.
For over 200 years, the Coast Guard has been the “law of the sea.” Maritime security requires experience and skills – seamanship, diplomacy, legal expertise and combat readiness. The Coast Guard is in the forefront of United States defense.
The Coast Guard is the lead agency protecting America’s seaward frontier against violations of our drug, immigration and fisheries laws, as well as to secure our nation from terrorist threats.
On January 29, 2003, General Richard Myers announced that the Coast Guard would be sending eight cutters to the Persian Gulf. The National Coast Guard became a part of the Persian Gulf War in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Coast Guard contributions to a wide range of missions, in support of in-theater combatant commanders, aligned with President George W. Bush’s National Security Strategy, which included defending, preserving and extending the peace.
The 129th Rescue Wing is part of an elite force of airmen who are specifically trained and dedicated to perform the mission of personnel recovery. Their motto epitomizes the airmen who serve: “These things we do, that others may live.”