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Fourteenth District

The Fourteenth District is located in Hawaii and unit wise is one of the smallest districts in the Coast Guard. Available information on the district is thin, its area of responsibility is known to be the Hawaii area though tenant organizations of the district include a Marianas Section and a section pertaining to Far East operations, though it is unclear whether or not the District itself is in charge of those sections.

In addition to the Coast Guard's well-known search-and-rescue mission, district vessels and aircraft also provide a wide range of other services including the enforcement of the Fisheries Conservation and Management Act, which establishes a controlled fishing area within 200 miles of United States shores. In the Pacific Basin, Coast Guard vessels and aircraft patrol not only the waters around the Hawaiian Islands, but also Guam, Northern Marianas Islands, American Samoa, and other U.S. territories in the Pacific. Two Honolulu-based high endurance cutters also patrol the rich fishing grounds off the coast of Alaska. The Coast Guard is also the leading federal agency charged with the prevention of oil pollution of our waters. If an oil spill should occur, the Coast Guard coordinates cleanup efforts to minimize damage to the marine environment.

As marine safety is a continuing Coast Guard concern, a Marine Safety Office (MSO) is maintained in Honolulu which is responsible for port security, pollution investigation and the inspection and licensing of merchant vessels and port operations. The prevention of potential marine disasters is achieved by the thorough investigation of incidents such as groundings, explosions and collisions. Permanent marine inspection detachments are located in Singapore, American Samoa and Saipan. Marine safety personnel also inspect American-flag vessels in foreign shipyards - a job that takes them to Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Malaysia, Singapore, India, and other Asian countries. In addition to the many tasks listed above, the MSO also carries out duties of the Captain of the Port (COTP) as well.

Covering some 18 million square miles, the 14th Coast Guard District maintains several offices throughout the region. The District Office is located in the Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalanianaole Federal Building which overlooks Honolulu Harbor. Across from this location, on man-made Sand Island, is ISC Honolulu, with approximately 200 Coast Guard and civilian personnel, and Station Honolulu, which operates small boats in Oahu waters. Two section offices, the Marianas Section (MARSEC) office in Guam, and the Far East Activities/Marine Inspection Office East Asia (FESEC) office at Yokota Air Base, Japan, maintain operational control, logistics and administrative support for units assigned to the southwestern Pacific and the Orient.

In 1993, the remaining five loran stations in the Pacific were decommissioned or turned over to the Japanese government. After nearly 50 years the Coast Guard was out of the loran business in the Pacific (except for Alaska stations). With the introduction of the Global Positioning Satellite system, a more accurate and reliable navigation system, Loran Stations Gesashi, Marcus Island, Iwo Jima, and Hokkaido were turned over to the Japanese government, which continues to use the loran system. The 14th District also has one of only eight OMEGA stations throughout the world. Located in Kaneohe, about 10 miles from Honolulu, the district's OMEGA station provides low-frequency signals which enable air and sea craft to determine their positions worldwide.

Seven major lighthouses are maintained by the 14th District, all of which are located in the Hawaiian Islands. Located on Oahu are the Barbers Point, Diamond Head and Makapuu Point lighthouses, and on the island of Kauai, stand Nawiliwili Point and Kilauea Point lighthouses. Lahaina lighthouse on Maui casts its beam from the Lahaina boat harbor, while at the furthest end of the Kalaupapa peninsula on Molokai, stands the Molokai lighthouse. Three of the lighthouses - Diamond Head, Makapuu Point and Kilauea Point are listed on the National Register of Historic Sites. Communications Station Honolulu monitors long-range communications within the district.

One of the Coast Guard's primary missions, search and rescue, keeps 14th District's patrol boats underway or on constant ready status. Patrol boats include the 110-foot cutters Washington and Assateague homeported at Base Honolulu; the Kiska, in Hilo, on the Big Island of Hawaii; the Galveston Island, in Guam; and the 82-foot Point Evans, out of Nawiliwili Harbor, Kauai. Also performing law enforcement and SAR missions in 14th District waters are two 41-foot utility boats, and a 24-foot rigid-hulled inflatable, based at Station Honolulu on Sand Island. Additionally, two 24-foot rigid-hulled inflatable boats are based at Station Maui. Volunteer Auxiliary personnel, their aircraft, boats and radio equipment from all over the large district supplement the Coast Guard's full-time assets. The district also has an officer assigned in Pago Pago, American Samoa, who coordinates SAR activities with the territorial government there.

The Coast Guard has fought alongside the other branches of the armed forces in every military conflict of the United States. Historically, the Coast Guard has been responsible for the security of U.S. ports, convoy escort, anti-submarine warfare and combat search and rescue. In 1984, the secretaries of the Navy and Transportation signed a memo of agreement establishing maritime defense zones for the coasts of the United States. The Coast Guard's Atlantic and Pacific Area commanders take charge of all military forces assigned to port security and coastal defense during times of war. The 14th District Commander assumes these responsibilities for the Hawaiian Islands as the Commander of the Maritime Defense Zone Sector Hawaii.

The 14th District has two 378-foot high endurance cutters, both homeported at ISC Honolulu. The Rush and the Jarvis perform law enforcement, military readiness, and search and rescue duties throughout the Pacific. Most notable of their missions are the extensive law enforcement patrols off the Alaskan coast in support of the Fisheries Conservation and Management Act. There are three 180-foot buoy tenders which carry out aids to navigation work throughout the district. The Mallow and the Sassafras, both homeported at ISC Honolulu, perform ATON among all the Hawaiian Islands while the Basswood, homeported in Guam, maintains aids in and around the Mariana Islands, and the Caroline Islands.

The district's air wing is based on Oahu, having first been its present location at Naval Air Station, Barbers Point. Today, the Coast Guard air station maintains three C-130 aircraft and three HH-65 helicopters which are used primarily for SAR. The C-130s also make law enforcement and logistics flights throughout the district's area of responsibility.



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Page last modified: 12-08-2011 00:04:38 ZULU