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The Future of the Coastguard - Essay Example

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The research traces the history of the coastguard, focusing primarily on the United Kingdom in light of the fact that it is home to the first coast guard services in the world, provides examples of different coastguards, highlights the service's missions and objectives, clarifies the importance of the aforementioned and looks towards the future…
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The Future of the Coastguard
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Download file to see previous pages Apart from that, its function as a search and rescue service and as an environmental monitoring and protection one, cannot be underestimated or undervalued. The coast guard is essential in the life of any coastal or island country and its importance is expected to increase.
While there are hardly any who are not aware of the presence, aims and objectives of all of the army, the navy and the air force, only a handful of people have a similar awareness of the coastguard. Although some countries, such as the United States, Canada and Japan, define the coast guard as a division of the national military, its importance is generally underestimated (LaGuardia-Kotite and Ridge, 2006). Popular understanding of the coast guard is that it acts as a vessel and life rescue service and, in some instances, to monitor fishing across the national coastlines and waters. This understanding barely touches upon the duties, responsibilities, aims and objectives of both civilian and military coast guard services, nor does it even hint at the fact that the coast guard, in the first and last, is primarily responsible for coastal and port security. In other words, the responsibilities and functions of the coast guard directly tie in with national security (LaGuardia-Kotite and Ridge, 2006).
This research paper, which shall highlight the multiple functions of the coast guard s...
n, shall, hopefully, illustrate that insofar as coastal countries are concerned, the coast guard plays an invaluable and vital role; a role which directly contributes to increased national security.
Historical Background
The Coast Guard first emerged in the early nineteenth century and in direct response to an ever growing need to protect coastal areas from smugglers, not to mention rescue services for vessels and fleets in distress (LaGuardia-Kotite and Ridge, 2006). While there is, currently, hardly a coastal country which does not have a coast guard service, tracing its history in the United Kingdom is particularly informative, not just because the first coast guard service emerged in that country but because both civilian and military division of the UK coast guard functioned, and to a degree continues to function, as the model for the same in coastal nations across the world (Thoreaux, 2006).
Prior to expanding upon the genesis of the coastguard and over viewing its historical evolution in Britain, it is interesting to point out that the United States Coastguard strenuously maintains that the historical roots of this service lie in the United States (Beard, 2004). According to this argument, the outbreak of conflict between the United States and Britain regarding the colonisation of North America, is directly responsible for the evolution of the coastguard. In 1740, with the outbreak of the aforementioned war, military commanders realised the imperatives of stationing men along strategic coastal areas for "look-out" duties (Beard, 2004, p. 78). These men were supposed to keep watch over the impending arrival of enemy vessels and to warn the army (Beard, 2004). Insofar as the function of these men was the protection of coastal areas against the possible ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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