Group Eastern Shore
U.S. Coast Guard Group Eastern Shore exists primarily to protect life and property in our waterways, enforce federal laws and regulations, maintain aids to navigation, and respond to threats to the marine environment. Although we are one of the smallest Groups in the Coast Guard, our area of responsibility (AOR) spans the ocean coasts of Delaware, Maryland, and most of Virginia.
The Group Command is located in the historic island community of Chincoteague, VA. It includes an Operations & Communications Center, Medium-Sized Dining Facility, Staff Offices, Intermediary Boat Maintenance Facility, and Work Shops. We are the host to 2 subordinate units (Station Chincoteague and Aids to Navigation Team (ANT) Chincoteague) and an Electronics Support Detachment. Station Ocean City (MD), Station (small) Indian River Inlet (DE), and Station (IMARV) Parramore Beach (VA) are geographically independent. Our Group active duty and reserve personnel work hand-in-hand with U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary personnel, including members of the Fifth District's Southern and Northern Regions (Division 12 South and North)). Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotillas on the Eastern Shore support vital public service missions, helping protect life and property at sea and educating both recreational and commercial boaters.
Our Communications & Operations Center is manned 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Operations personnel plan and coordinate our missions, providing tactical direction to stations, boats, aircraft, and cutters. Internal support is provided to our units by our Engineering and Administrative Departments, including naval and civil engineering, pay and personnel, work-life, unit finances, supply, and logistics.
In addition to our Unaccompanied Personnel Housing (UPH) facilities, we maintain 29 government-owned homes throughout the Eastern Shore. Medical and dental services are provided by a Health Services Technician (HS) or through contracted doctors.
In 1998, Group Eastern Shore units executed almost 900 search and rescue missions, saving 64 lives and assisting over 1,600 mariners in distress. In addition, Auxiliary and Active Duty members conducted over 200 Commercial Fishing Vessel (CFV) and Uninspected Passenger Vessel (UPV) exams and 811 Courtesy Marine Examinations (CMEs). These efforts helped promote our emphasis in preventive and educational programs for both our commercial and recreational boating communities.
Group Eastern Shore provides Command and Control, Engineering, and Administrative support to five subordinate units for the execution of assigned Search and Rescue, Maritime Law Enforcement, Port Security, Marine Environmental Response, Aids to Navigation, and other operational missions. Our area of responsibility extends from most of the coastal areas of the DelMarVa peninsula, including its protected bays, to 50 nautical miles out to sea. Our Group Operations Center (OpCen) maintains a 24-hour watch with an Operations Duty Officer (ODO), and a Telecommunications Specialist (TCOW). Under the direction of the Group's Operations Officer, the OpCen maintains operational control over all subordinate units, including:
- Exercises operational control over all U.S. Coast Guard units assigned to Group Eastern Shore.
- Integrates all Group operations to ensure the most efficient and effective execution of all our missions.
- Functions as SAR Mission Coordinator (SMC) for all Search and Rescue (SAR) cases occurring within our area of responsibility, or when directed by the Norfolk SAR Sub-Region Coordinator (Commander, Fifth Coast Guard District).
- When requested by Marine Safety Offices (MSOs) Hampton Roads and Philadelphia, provides port security assistance to the respective Captains Of The Port (COTP), supplying boats for escorts, monitoring, and other tasks such as Marine Environmental Response.
- Organizes and directs efficient Aids to Navigation (ATON) support.
- Ensures proper and efficient execution of all maritime communications responsibilities.
- Maintains both military and operational material readiness of all Group units.
- Sustains compliance with all applicable federal maritime laws and regulations through boating education, prevention, and enforcement.
- Maintains close liaison with assigned Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotillas and appropriate federal, state, and local search and rescue, law enforcement, and other public service agencies.
Group Eastern Shore is staffed by approximately 75 active duty, reserve, and civilian members.
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