Coast Guard opens interagency operations center in Wilmington, NC

Coast Guard Sector North Carolina LogoWILMINGTON, N.C. – Members of Coast Guard Sector North Carolina’s Command Center activated a new interagency operations center here Thursday.

The operations center has been established in response to the Security and Accountability for Every Port Act, which required the Coast Guard to establish interagency operations centers in select ports.

“You cannot understate the importance of coordination and information sharing between response agencies,” said Capt. Anthony Popiel, Coast Guard Sector North Carolina commander. “The opening of the interagency operations center in Wilmington is an important step towards advancing both our response capabilities and our maritime domain awareness. We feel that we’ll be better postured to manage large scale incidents as well as day-to-day operations.”

The operations center in Wilmington will bring watchstanders from the Coast Guard, Customs and Border Protection and Immigrations and Customs Enforcement all under one roof. The Coast Guard staff will include 40 personnel, including the sector commander and members of the command staff, who were transferred from Coast Guard Base Fort Macon in Atlantic Beach, N.C. The base will retain 11 units and more than 300 Coast Guard active duty, reserve and civilian personnel after this reorganization is finalized.

Since noon Thursday, all coastal North Carolina Command Center operations previously coordinated from Base Fort Macon are being coordinated from the new operations center.

Sector North Carolina’s new 24-hour emergency phone number is 910-362-4015 and was activated at noon Thursday. Previously existing emergency numbers will be forwarded to Wilmington for a 1-year transitional period.

The Coast Guard has made preparations for a transparent transition of the watch to Wilmington, but reminds mariners to monitor VHF-FM Channel 16 for safety marine information broadcasts regarding updated communication information throughout the state.

The new nonemergency phone number for Sector North Carolina is 910-772-2200.

The new Sector North Carolina address is:
721 Medical Center Drive, Suite 100
Wilmington, NC 28401

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