Preventing Terrorism New Mission For Coast Guard - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

12/06/04

Preventing Terrorism New Mission For Coast Guard

Raising of the colors and manning of the ships are all part of this honorary commissioning ceremony.

Monday, the Commanders of the US. Coast Guard Cutters Tornado and Shamal got the official okay.

"Admiral Collins, Admiral Crea, We're ready to go," says Tornado Lt. Commander Chris Hollingshead.

In January they'll take to the seas, joining the hundreds of other coast guard vessels hard at work.

"Last year was a record year in drug enforcement. We seized 240,000 lbs of cocaine," Coast Guard Commandant Admiral Thomas Collins says.

Search and rescue, migrant interdiction, and drug interdiction are just a few of the traditional coast guard duties.

"I'm sure most people here today can remember where they were on September 11th, 2001," says Shamal Lt. Commander Joe Raymond.

After sharing a brief story, Raymond told the crowd how the events of that day changed the course of the coast guard mission.

"We're looking harder for terrorist, we're looking for those threats that could potentially come to our shore," He added.

"Finding a potential terrorist threat, identifying it and intervening before it becomes a terrorist event, is critical for our national security and for the safety of the American public," Coast Guard Atlantic Area Vice Admiral Vivien Crea says.

And while their traditional duties are still important, the U-S coast Guard's priority is keeping terrorism at bay.

by Jaimee Goad

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