District 7's Headquarters is located in Miami, Florida and its area of responsibility includes South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, the Keys and the Carribean. Its missions include law enforcement, port security, drug interdiction, search and rescue, and marine safety.
District Seven is at the forefront of the counter narcotics effort, directing more than 90 percent of all Coast Guard drug interdiction operations since 1973. Our units conduct approximately 10,000 law enforcement boardings each year trying to stop the flow of drugs into the southeastern United States. We face three major challenges in our efforts: first, is the vastness of our area of operations, approximately 1.8 million square miles of ocean; second, is our target-rich environment, thousands of aircraft and vessels transit through our region on a daily basis. This creates our third challenge; sorting these targets to determine those of possible law enforcement interest. To assist in this mission, the Seventh District coordinates with a multitude of federal agencies and the Department of Defense, as well as thirty-one independent nations and dependent territories
Due to extremely poor economic conditions in several of the Caribbean countries, many people of these islands attempt to enter the United States illegally to obtain employment. Many migrants are loaded into secret compartments aboard freight carriers, while others board small unseaworthy boats and attempt to transit directly to the Southeast United States, or via staging areas such as the Bahamas or Puerto Rico. Because of this continuing problem, a Presidential Executive Order tasked the Coast Guard to interdict vessels suspected of carrying persons of foreign nationality seeking to migrate to the United States by sea who did not have the necessary entry documents required by U.S. laws. To accomplish this mission, the Coast Guard works closely with the Immigration and Naturalization Service, the U.S. Border Patrol, the U.S. Attorney's Office and local law enforcement agencies.
The Seventh District SAR program manager serves as facility manager for five group offices, one section office, four air stations, four bases and 20 multi-mission stations. Groups Charleston, Mayport, Miami, Key West, and St. Petersburg maintain operations centers that serve as SAR Mission Coordinators (SMCs) for cases within their respective AORs. Greater Antilles Section (GANTSEC) serves as SAR Coordinator for the San Juan Sector, maintains a rescue coordination center and serves as SMC within the GANTSEC AOR, including many foreign countries throughout the southeast Caribbean Basin. The Seventh District's four air stations are located at Borinquen, P.R., Clearwater, Fla., Miami, Fla., and Savannah, Ga. These units maintain 45 fixed and rotary wing multi-mission aircraft (almost 30% of the entire Coast Guard fleet) and operate aviation support facilities at Air Facility (AIRFAC) Charleston and two sites in the Bahamas for Operation Bahamas, Turks & Caicos (OPBAT). Eight Coast Guard Medium Endurance Cutters are berthed at, and are supported by, shore units within the Seventh District; 25 patrol boats perform a variety of missions within the district's AOR, including SAR and maritime law enforcement. Multi-mission stations maintain 32 utility boats and a fleet of smaller boats that provide an inshore SAR response.
Over 10,000 Coast Guard men and women patrol the Seventh District's (D7) 1.8 million square miles, making it one of the largest areas of responsibility in the Coast Guard with a climate ideal for year-round boating. Approximately 4,600 active duty, 250 civilian, 1,000 reserve, and 5,000 personnel patrol the District's area of responsibility which includes South Carolina, Georgia, most of Florida, the commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and most of the Caribbean. Coast Guard obligations in the region total in excess of $421 million annually, $155 million of that is paid to service members in the form of salaries which in turn directly impact the economies of the communities they serve.
D7 operations interface with 31 foreign independent nations and dependent territories while focusing on primary missions which include maritime safety, environmental protection, facilitation of commerce, drug interdiction, and migrant interdiction.
The six Marine Safety Offices are kept extremely busy. Seven of the 22 largest container ports in the United States and the number one cruise ship port in the world, Miami, are located in the Seventh District. As busy as the Marine Safety Offices are, operations remain the driving force in District Seven. The District constantly ranks first in many law enforcement categories including drug seizures, amount of drugs seized, migrants interdicted and number of Search and Rescue (SAR) cases.
Estimates are that 90 percent of all Coast Guard drug operations and 20 percent of all SAR cases occur in D7. For FY-1996, 92,772 pounds of marijuana and 63,659 pounds of cocaine were seized with a street value approaching one billion dollars. On an average day, D7 units save two lives and $690,000 in property. Illegal Cuban and Haitian migrants continue to attempt the dangerous voyage to the southeastern United States but have easily been outpaced by the number of Dominican Republic nationals attempting to enter Puerto Rico via the Mona Passage. Interdiction numbers for Dominican nationals are four times those of Cubans and Haitians combined, totaling over 4,000 per year. Significant impact on the social services system of the United States is protected by the Coast Guard's efforts in this area.
The Coast Guard Seventh District (D7) offices are located at the Brickell Plaza Federal Building in downtown Miami.
Regional Tactical Law Enforcement Team South (RT South) is co-located with the Civil Engineering Unit, Coast Guard Investigative Service, Personnel Reporting Unit, and Tactical Law Enforcement Team 7. RT South is located off of SW 117th Avenue and SW 156th Street. Physically they are adjacent to the Richmond Heights Housing Area. RT South is comprised of eight Law Enforcement Detachment (LEDET) Teams of seven members and a five member staff. The staff and three LEDETs are in Miami, two teams in Key West, two in Mayport, and one team in San Juan. The unit's primary mission is deploying aboard U.S. Naval, United Kingdom, and Dutch military ships for Counter narcotics and migrant interdiction. Secondary missions include training, assisting other federal and local law enforcement agencies, and augmenting Coast Guard units for special operations.
Group Miami is physically located on Causeway Island. The Group provides command, control and support for 17 South Florida units. Group watchstanders man a modern communications and operations center and manage search and rescue and law enforcement activities in the Group's area of responsibility (AOR). The Group's AOR extends from Melbourne Beach to Card Sound along the Florida coast and seaward into the Bahamas. Group Miami is the servicing facility for more than 1,500 aids to navigation throughout Florida's coastal and intercoastal waterways. These buoys, lights and markers are serviced and maintained by the Coast Guard Cutter Hudson, and Aids to Navigation (ATON) teams at Miami and Ft. Pierce, FL.
Marine Safety Office (MSO) Miami is physically located at Causeway Island. They are a Coast Guard Field Unit responsible for carrying out statutory duties established in law. Two of the most important duties are: (1) Officer in Charge Marine Inspection (OCMI); and (2) Captain of the Port (COTP). The Commanding Office of MSO Miami is the OCMI for a specific geographic area (the "zone") and the officers, enlisted and civilian personnel of the command are the agents through whom the Commanding Officer carries out the OCMI and COTP duties. MSO Miami faces unique mission requirements due to a number of factors. These include the heavy concentration of foreign flag cruise ships and the number of small foreign flag freight vessels which call in the zone. MSO Miami's area of responsibility also includes extensive environmentally sensitive areas. MSO Miami performs a wide range of mission-related functions which include: vessel inspections, investigations of marine casualties and instances of misconduct or negligence by licensed or documented merchant marine personnel, actions intended to prevent discharges of pollutants into the marine environment and actions to mitigate those discharges which do occur, and evaluation and issuance of Merchant Mariner's licenses and documents to those found qualified. The objectives of this command are to protect lives and property, to safeguard the marine environment through comprehensive accident prevention, and response efforts and to ensure that maritime commerce is carried out in an orderly and safe fashion.
Electronics Systems Support Unit (ESU) is physically located on Causeway Island. ESU is an independent Coast Guard command reporting to and receiving program guidance and direction from the Chief, Command Control and Communications Division, Maintenance and Logistics Command Atlantic, located in Norfolk, VA. ESU Miami consists of 9 officers, 81 enlisted and 19 civilians. They also have support detachments located in Miami, St. Petersburg, Mayport and Cape Canaveral, FL; San Juan, PR; and Charleston, SC. ESU Miami is responsible for providing timely installation, repair and maintenance of all communication systems, computers and electronics used aboard Coast Guard cutters and shore commands within the Seventh Coast Guard District. ESU Miami also provides continuous support and technical direction during all processes involving these systems.
The Civil Engineering Unit (CEU) is co-located with Coast Guard Investigative Service, Personnel Reporting Unit, Regional Tactical Law Enforcement Team South, and Tactical Law Enforcement Team 7. They are located off of SW 117th Avenue and SW 156th Street. Physically they are adjacent to the Richmond Heights Housing Area. CEU supports the Coast Guard through design, contracting, construction management, environmental compliance and remediation, planning and real property management services.
Naval Engineering Support Unit (NESU) is located on Causeway Island. They were originally commissioned on October 29, 1990. The unit's mission is to provide direct Naval Engineering support services to Coast Guard cutters homeported or operating in NESU Miami's area of responsibility and to provide the Seventh District Commander with Naval Engineering technical expertise and advise. This is accomplished with Port Engineers in Miami, 270' WMEC Maintenance Augmentation Team (MAT) and Weapons Augmentation Team (WAT) in Key West, FL, and a 378' WHEC MAT in Charleston, SC. NESU Miami has become a focal point of operations support over the last three years. Forming the core of Naval Engineering support during the Cuban Mass Migration in 1994, known as Operation Able Vigil, NESU Miami was the second recipient of the Rear Admiral Lucas Plaque for 1995, honoring the top Naval Engineering unit in the Coast Guard. With over one-third of the Coast Guard's 110' patrol boat fleet, NESU Miami via MAT Key West has brought its significant technical expertise in Paxman main engine changeouts to 110' WPBs from Woods Hole to Honolulu. There are currently 8 personnel assigned to the Miami office: Commander, Lieutenant Commander, Lieutenant, Lieutenant Junior Grade, 3 Chief Warrant Officers, and 1 civilian. There are plans in motion to add 100' WPB MATs in Miami and Puerto Rico that would be detached units of NESU Miami. The MAT in Miami would add approximately 10 enlisted billets to the NESU complement in Miami. These would be Machinery Technician (MK), Electricians Mate (EM), Damage Controlman (DC) billets, and possibly 1 Store Keeper (SK) billet.
The Communication Station (COMMSTA) Miami is located at 16001 SW 117th Avenue in Miami. COMMSTA Miami is a key member of the Coast Guard's Atlantic Area Communications Systems (LANTCOMMSYS) and one of four COMMSTA's on the east coast of the United States. They provide communication services to Coast Guard vessels and aircraft, to the Navy and other agencies, and to the maritime public. They are under the operational and administrative control of Commander, Atlantic Area. Their communication mission is controlled by Coast Guard Communication Area Master Station Atlantic (CAMSLANT), located in Chesapeake, VA. As part of COMMSYS 2000, all of COMMSTA Miami's transmitter and receiver assets are now remotely operated by USCG CAMSLANT. They also operate a Law Enforcement Support Team under direction of Commander, Atlantic Area. The station is located on 252 acres which includes transmitting and receiving antennas, transmitter buildings, a large recreation area, administration/operations building, and three tenant commands: Command, Control, Communications, and Intelligence East (C3I), U.S. Customs Aviation Operations Center East (AOCE), and Blue Lightning Operations Center (BLOC).
The Coast Guard Investigative Service (CGIS) is co-located with the Civil Engineering Unit, Personnel Reporting Unit, Regional Tactical Law Enforcement Team South, and Tactical Law Enforcement Team 7. CGIS is located off of SW 117th Avenue and SW 156th Street. Physically they are adjacent to the Richmond Heights Housing Area. The mission of CGIS is to provide professional investigative and security services to aid in preserving the integrity of our Coast Guard people, to protect the welfare of Coast Guard people, and to support Coast Guard missions worldwide. CGIS is a centralized federal investigative and protective program established to carry out the Coast Guard's internal and external criminal and personnel security investigations; to assist in providing internal security services; and to aid in maintaining the internal integrity of the Coast Guard. CGIS's function is similar to a police/detective agency in a civilian community.
The Personnel Reporting Unit (PERSRU) is co-located with the Civil Engineering Unit, Coast Guard Investigative Service, Regional Tactical Law Enforcement Team South, and Tactical Law Enforcement Team 7. PERSRU is located off of SW 117th Avenue and SW 156th Street. Physically they are adjacent to the Richmond Heights Housing Area. PERSRU handles all personnel-related matters such as: pay, discharge, retirement, advancement, allotments, pay inquiries, and re-enlistment. Any Coast Guard member needing assistance of a personnel-related matter should contact your immediate unit's personnel representative.
Richmond Heights Housing Area is home to the Seventh Coast Guard District Commander, Chief of Staff, and 98 other Coast Guard families. The housing area is located just off 152nd Street and 123rd Avenue. It is less than two miles from access to both 826 and the Florida Turnpike. The housing is centrally located being approximately 25 miles from Air Station Miami, District, and Causeway Island. Shortly after Hurricane Andrew in 1992, all housing units underwent a multi-million dollar renovation. Features of this area include: 24-hour/day manned security gate, roving security at night, fitness trail, storage areas, Recreation Center, Fitness Center, large pool, baby pool, Snack Bar, volleyball court, lighted basketball and tennis courts, MWR Ticket Booth, and Coast Guard Exchange/Commissary.
|Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list|