Wrapping it up: A look at the Coast Guard’s dual role in Fleet Week festivities

The Coast Guard’s dual role as an enforcer and participant during Fleet Week in the Bay Area is a testament to its unique missions evident during this weekend’s festivities.

Air Station San Francisco SAR Demo

While enforcing special local regulations by ensuring a 500-yard buffer between naval ships and those on the water, Coast Guard crews remain responsive to search and rescue, port security, maritime law enforcement and also maintaining the necessary aids to navigation needed to expertly guide thousands of mariners that have surged in San Francisco Bay and surrounding waterways during Fleet Week.

As a participant, the Port Angeles, Wash.-based Cutter Active sailed in formation along with Navy and Canadian ships in the Parade of Ships. A multi-mission MH-65C Dolphin helicopter demonstrated a search and rescue exercise preceding the Blue Angels’ performance. A Coast Guard contingent proudly represented the service Sunday during the Italian Heritage Day Parade.

The Coast Guard is the Bay Area’s largest military presence. More than 4,000 Coast Guard men and women are based in the Bay area stationed at boat stations, a buoy tender, air station, five cutters including the Coast Guard’s newest fleet of Legend-Class Cutters, the Cutters Bertholf and Waesche, training centers, pollution response teams and regional headquarters that coordinate operations throughout California and the entire Pacific. Coast Guard men and women here perform a variety of missions, including search and rescue, maritime law enforcement, inspections and fisheries, aids-to-navigation, port security and anti-terrorism patrols, illegal drug and migrant interdiction, and environmental protection.

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