Coast Guard Defines “All Hands On Deck”

USNI Proceedings – Ninety years after rescuing 43,853 victims of the Great Mississippi River Flood of 1927, the Coast Guard again surged to “all hands on deck” disasters, this time Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria. They were but the latest in an already lengthy list of disasters the Coast Guard has faced less than two decades into the 21st century, events that provide insight into the challenges the service must be prepared for in the coming decades. The Deepwater Horizon oil spill; the Haiti earthquake; Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Sandy, Gustav, and Ike; the 9/11 maritime evacuation of Manhattan—these and other massive, highly disruptive disasters required deep and extended commitments of Coast Guard capabilities, competencies, and authorities. They also sorely tested its capacity to sustain ongoing, normal operations.