September 11, 2001 : Attack on America
Coast Guard at Heightened State of Alert 5:30 p.m.; October 7, 2001

Commander (Acp)
U.S.C.G. Atlantic Area
431 Crawford Street
Portsmouth, VA 23704

Time: 5:30 p.m.


Coast Guard at Heightened State of Alert


PORTSMOUTH, Va. - As part of today’s military action, the Coast Guard is at a heightened state of alert protecting more than 300 ports and 88,000 miles of coastline, America’s longest border.

Vice Adm. Thad Allen, commander of the Coast Guard’s Atlantic Area, directed each of his operational commanders today to take all necessary steps to ensure the continued safety and security of our nation’s ports, waterways and coastline from Maine to Texas and throughout the Caribbean.

“We are supporting the President’s campaign against terrorism by maintaining a high level of security and awareness here at home,” said Allen. “I’ve directed my district commanders to remain vigilant in continuing their efforts to maintain a heightened state of alert in our nation’s ports and waterways under Operation Noble Eagle.”

While the ports remain open, the Coast Guard is ensuring the security of our nation’s waterways and has increased both the frequency and vigilance of armed patrols. The Coast Guard is authorized to take all necessary actions to control the anchorage and movement of any vessel in the navigable waters of the U.S. and its territorial sea. The Coast Guard has increased the level of security at a number of major ports and is actively patrolling them in conjunction with federal, state and local law enforcement agencies.

Even as Coast Guard assets throughout the nation focus on heightened security at major ports, the Coast Guard continues to respond to mariners in urgent distress and to coordinate pollution response cases among its many other traditional missions.

“The Coast Guard continues to play an integral role in maintaining the operations of our ports and waterways by providing a secure environment in which mariners and the American people can safely go about the business of living and working freely,” said Allen.

Some 10,000 ships make more than 68,000 port calls in the U.S. each year.

The U.S. Coast Guard is one of the five branches of the U.S. armed forces and is subject to deployment as part of Operation Enduring Freedom as directed by the president. In accordance with national defense requirements, the Coast Guard cannot discuss any specifics of any such deployment, plans or actions.

As the lead agency in providing domestic security in the maritime domain, the Coast Guard will sustain a heightened level of vigilance in America’s ports and waterways as long as necessary.


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September 11 Page

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