September 11, 2001 : Attack on America
Coast Guard Strike Teams Assist With Biohazard Cleanup; October 23, 2001

October 23, 2001


Coast Guard Strike Teams Assist With Biohazard Cleanup

PORTSMOUTH, Va. – Fifty-eight Coast Guard Strike Team members managed by the National Strike Force Coordination Center in Elizabeth City, N.C., have deployed to the World Trade Center Site, Washington, D.C., and Boca Raton, Fla., to assist other agencies with response as a result of terrorist attacks.

This is the first time in the Coast Guard Strike Force’s history that they are assisting in the mission of biohazard cleanup.

The Coast Guard Strike Force, specialists in emergency and chemical response, were requested by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to assist with air monitoring, contractor oversight and operating washing stations in New York at ground zero and at the Staten Island Landfill evidence collection site. In Washington, Strike Force members are dressed in Level B response gear to help gather samples at the Capitol Building and the Hart Senate Office Building. Additionally, they are providing contractor oversight and are operating washing sites on scene.

In Florida, members of the Gulf Strike Team set up decontamination stations at the American Media building to help scrub down other responders after they come out of the building. They are also doing entries, air monitoring, site safety, and helping to staff the command post. Strike Team members will be working with Army Civil Support Teams to help clean the inside of the American Media building to make it habitable again for people.

Strike Teams are normally used for oil spill, chemical and hazardous materials response.

The Strike Force is made up of three teams: The Atlantic Strike Team in New Jersey, the Gulf Strike Team based in Alabama and the Pacific Strike Team in California. The three teams are managed by the National Strike Force Coordination Center in North Carolina.

In addition to assisting the EPA and setting up the waterways information line, the Coast Guard continues another of its many missions – Homeland Security.

The Coast Guard has been doing Homeland Security for more than 200 years – and with more than 360 ports and 95,000 miles of shoreline, the Coast Guard is on the front lines of Homeland Security.

Since September 11, the Coast Guard in the Atlantic Area has:

  • Boarded 4,529 commercial vessels,

  • Escorted 539 commercial vessel and 637 cruise ship transits,

  • Conducted 1,351 air surveillance patrols,

  • Presently has 74 security zones in place nationwide with 1,916 reservists on active duty in the Atlantic Area, an area covering 40 states east of the Rockies.

  • The Coast Guard continues its various other missions as well in the Atlantic Area, 880 Search and Rescue cases have been conducted with 49 lives saved, 254 migrants have been interdicted and 95 pollution cases have been overseen and/or cleaned up since Sept. 11.

    The Coast Guard intends to provide a high level of security for American mariners, ports, waterways and facilities while limiting any disruption to commerce and vessel traffic.

    U.S. Government Website

    September 11 Page

    127 Wall Street, New Haven, CT 06511.