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PORTS REMAIN OPEN UNDER TIGHT SECURTY
PORTSMOUTH, Va. - As part of todays military action, the Coast Guard is at a heightened state of alert protecting more than 300 ports and 88,000 miles of coastline, Americas longest border.
Vice Adm. Thad Allen, commander of the Coast Guards Atlantic Area, directed each of his operational commanders today to take all necessary steps to ensure the continued safety and security of our nations ports, waterways and coastline from Maine to Texas and throughout the Caribbean.
We are supporting the Presidents campaign against terrorism by maintaining a high level of security and awareness here at home, said Allen. Ive directed my district commanders to remain vigilant in continuing their efforts to maintain a heightened state of alert in our nations ports and waterways under Operation Noble Eagle.
While the ports remain open, the Coast Guard is ensuring the security of our nations 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 Americas ports and waterways as long as necessary.
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