Semper Paratus! This week, the U.S. Coast Guard celebrated its 225th anniversary. Secretary Johnson joined Commandant Admiral Zukunft, Master Chief Petty Officer Steven Cantrell and Postmaster General Megan Brennan to unveil a Forever stamp in honor of this important occasion. We thank the men and women of America’s Coast Guard for their honor, respect, and devotion to duty as they stand Semper Paratus, Always Ready to serve their nation.
Official DHS photo by Jetta Disco (who proudly serves in the U.S. Coast Guard) | Download High-Resolution Image (3417 x 2308)
Today, the U.S. Coast Guard celebrates 225 years of Service to Nation. Over the past 225 years, the service has grown and adapted to the changing needs of our Nation. As the Coast Guard looks to the future, we celebrate our legacy, partnerships and celebrate how far we have come as a service. Join us in celebrating the Coast Guard’s 225th birthday today and throughout the rest of the year using #CG225th!
From the first lifesaving stations on the shores of Massachusetts where crewmen rowed small, wooden boats into overpowering surf in hopes of rescuing people from storm-battered ships to the Coast Guard’s newest, largest and most technologically advanced 418-foot national security cutters designed to conduct multiple Coast Guard missions around the world, the Coast Guard has been there.
Brave Coast Guard men and women like Signalman 1st Class Douglas Munro, who died evacuating Marines from Guadalcanal during World War II, and Lighthouse Keeper Ida Lewis, who is credited with saving the lives of at least 18 people during her 39 years of service at Lime Rock Light in Rhode Island, have dotted the Coast Guard’s 225 years of service.
When President George Washington passed the Tariff Act on Aug. 4, 1790, he likely didn’t know that the bill submitted by Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton would create a service that would outlast the trials and tribulations of the nascent country, growing into the nation’s premier maritime law enforcement service.
With the passing of this bill, Hamilton was given the authority to build 10 cutters to protect the Nation’s lifeblood, our revenue. These 10 single-masted sailing ships, estimated to cost only $1,000 each, became known as the Revenue Cutters that marked the creation of our sea-going service.
The Coast Guard traces its roots to this day and celebrates the foundation laid by these early revenue cutters and the crews that selflessly served to protect our shores and guard the revenue that kept our country strong.
As the Nation grew, so did the Coast Guard. Over the past 225 years, Coast Guard missions have grown from enforcing revenue laws to ensuring maritime safety, security and stewardship along our shores and across the globe.
“The Coast Guard is more relevant today than at any time in our 225-year history,” said Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Paul Zukunft. “Transnational criminal organizations use drug profits to destabilize governments in our hemisphere. Our nation’s resurgence in American energy production has increased the flow of maritime commerce on our waterways. There is increased human activity in the Arctic and cyber threats endanger our digital systems. We are evolving to meet these challenges and invest in a 21st century Coast Guard that will continue our service to nation that is 225 years strong.”
The Coast Guard continues to celebrate the legacy of its formative services and the heroism of those who served. Our missions may have changed over the years, but one thing has remained constant: the selfless service of each and every person that takes the oath to protect their country as part of the U.S. Coast Guard.
Why do Coast Guard men and women choose to serve their nation? Watch the below video to find out! Join us in celebrating #CG225th today and throughout the rest of the year!
August 4th marks the 225th anniversary of the creation of the U.S. Coast Guard. Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson congratulates the men and women of the U.S. Coast Guard on this remarkable anniversary, and extends his gratitude for their unfailing service to this nation, in a new video message.
By signing the Tariff Act on August 4, 1790, President George Washington gave Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton the authority to build ten single-masted sailing ships, called revenue cutters, and were estimated to cost only $1,000 each. The U.S. Coast Guard traces its roots to this day and celebrates the foundation laid by these early revenue cutters and the crews that selflessly served to protect our shores and guard the revenue that kept our country strong.
Ever since, the mission of the U.S. Coast Guard has continued to expand and evolve. The service that began as the enforcers of revenue and piracy laws and rescued mariners in distress has become the defenders of America’s 95,000 miles of coastline, supporting nearly all of our nation’s maritime interests.
Today, the U.S. Coast Guard fights transnational criminal organizations, intercepts the illicit drug trade, facilitates the flow of maritime commerce on our waterways, guards the increased human activity in the Arctic, and monitors cyber threats that endanger our digital systems.
The Department of Homeland Security works to support these missions, and 225 years on, the men and women of the U.S. Coast Guard continue to live up to “semper paratus – always ready,” each and every day.
Congratulations Coasties, we salute you!
Secretary Johnson spoke to Congressional interns on Capitol Hill and shared his thoughts on the importance of public service as part of the Congressional Summer Intern Lecture Series. During his time as a student at Morehouse College, Secretary Johnson himself interned twice on Capitol Hill.
Official DHS photo by Barry Bahler | Download High-Resolution Image (2100 x 1397)
Today the Stop.Think.Connect. campaign announced the addition of several new members to its partner program. Over the last several months, the AARP, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), the United States Postal Service (USPS), and the Small Business Administration (SBA) have joined the campaign. This has enabled the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Stop.Think.Connect. to directly convey their online safety messages to AARP’s nearly 38 million members as well as millions more people through the campaign’s 180 partners.
The addition of AARP, VA, USPS, and SBA to the Stop.Think.Connect. campaign’s extensive partners significantly strengthens our ability to deliver critical cybersecurity messaging to help keep more Americans safe online. We are grateful for the support from these organizations and are confident that their partnership will benefit their members and customers by encouraging safer online behavior.
Stop.Think.Connect. partners represent a range of non-profit organizations; Federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial governments and agencies; as well as academic institutions. In 2015, more than 20 new partners have joined the campaign. Every campaign partner receives tools and resources to help their stakeholders understand online risks and promote safe online habits among Americans.
More about our new partners:
- With nearly 38 million members, AARP works to support its members regarding healthcare, retirement planning, affordable utilities, and protection from financial abuse.
- The Department of Veterans Affairs strives to provide our Nation’s veterans with the support, benefits, and services they have earned through their military service.
- The United States Postal Service employs over 600,000 Americans and provides trusted postal services across the country and internationally.
- The Small Business Administration helps Americans start and grow businesses, providing aid and counsel to and protecting the interests of small business owners.
The Stop.Think.Connect. campaign is a national awareness effort led by DHS, in partnership with the National Cyber Security Alliance and the Anti-Phishing Working Group. For more information about the Stop.Think.Connect. campaign, please visit www.dhs.gov/stopthinkconnect.
President Obama and I are committed to sensible and effective enforcement of our immigration laws to safeguard our borders and protect public safety and national security.
That is why, as part of the executive actions the President announced last November, we ended the controversial Secure Communities program. This was a program by which our immigration personnel lodged orders known as “detainers” to hold individuals in local jails, so that they could be handed directly over to federal authorities for enforcement purposes after their time in local custody. The goal of the program was to make it easier to identify and remove convicted criminals. But, in many instances the program led to the transfer of those who had been in this country for years, and had simply been picked up and charged with a minor offense, without a conviction. As a result, the Secure Communities program became embroiled in political and legal controversy. And, in reaction, a rapidly expanding list of city, county and state governments enacted laws and directives that limit or outright prohibit their cooperation with federal immigration enforcement personnel. The consequences nationwide have, regrettably, included notorious cases in which dangerous individuals on whom we placed detainers were released to the streets, and committed more serious crimes.
We have now acted to stop this ineffective program. We have ended the Secure Communities program, and are replacing it with a new “Priority Enforcement Program.” Our overarching goal, which we believe is shared by every governor, mayor, state legislature, city council and county commission, is keeping our streets safe. The President and I want to better focus our immigration enforcement resources on convicted criminals over undocumented immigrants who have been here for years, have committed no serious crimes, and, have, in effect, become peaceful and integrated members of the community. To do this, however, requires that we go where removable, dangerous criminals are most often found -- behind bars.
Our new Priority Enforcement Program is a balanced, common-sense approach to help us achieve this goal. It removes the controversy that consumed the Secure Communities program. With some limited exceptions, we are replacing detainers with “requests for notification” and are no longer requesting the transfer of someone based merely on a warrant or arrest—we’re going to stay focused on our top priorities, like those who have been convicted of serious crimes. The program will better ensure the premise of our criminal justice system, that individuals are innocent until proven guilty. For those who have been convicted of a serious crime, and are removable from the country, we want to deport them as soon as possible so that our communities are as safe as possible.
But, the federal government cannot make a success of this new policy alone. We need a partner in state and local law enforcement. It is for this reason that I and other officials of the Department of Homeland Security have set out across the country to meet with state and local officials, including those in law enforcement, to show them our new policy, and encourage them to work with us again. I am pleased by the vote by the Los Angeles Board of Supervisors, encouraging the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department to work closely with DHS and ICE to implement the new PEP program. We will continue to work with the Sheriff’s office and local elected officials in Los Angeles and across the country to implement PEP in a way that supports community policing and public safety while ensuring that ICE takes custody of dangerous individuals before they are released into the community. ICE is also committed to engaging with community members and providing the public with more information about the PEP program.
We must work together to enforce our immigration laws in a smart and cooperative way, in line with our enforcement priorities, and for the sake of the public safety we are all pledged to protect.
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This first appeared in Sheriffs Magazine.
Posted By: Soraya Correa, Chief Procurement Officer
Last month, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) formally committed to using the General Services Administration’s (GSA) One Acquisition Solution for Integrated Services (OASIS) contracts for the acquisition of the Department’s professional services needs in the future. By adopting OASIS as part of our strategic sourcing program, DHS will take advantage of the work GSA has done to improve the proposal evaluation and negotiation processes, ordering lead times, and promote transparency. OASIS will eventually replace the Department’s Technical, Acquisition, and Business Support Services (TABSS) contracts, which successfully meet the Department’s current needs but expires in two years. DHS programs can continue to use TABSS but can also begin using OASIS to meet their longer term needs. Leaders across DHS and GSA are committed to ensuring a smooth transition.
Efficiency and cost were the key factors in DHS’s decision to use OASIS in lieu of awarding new contracts to replace TABSS. At DHS, the use of strategic sourcing initiatives has helped save the Department hundreds of millions of dollars and contributed to the Department’s sixth-straight “A” grade on the Small Business Administration’s annual Small Business Procurement Scorecard.
Last week, the Department of Homeland Security and the Chemical Sector Coordinating Council co-hosted the 9th Annual Chemical Sector Security Summit in Alexandria, Va. More than 500 government and industry stakeholders attended sessions that focused on strengthening chemical security and resilience across the country. The annual summit brought together industry experts, owners, operators, and government officials to share best practices, lessons learned, and identify ways to enable risk-informed decision-making.
Highlights from this year’s summit included a keynote address from Amy Pope, Deputy Homeland Security Advisor and Deputy Assistant to the President at the National Security Council, where she discussed the vital role of the private sector in national and homeland security issues, both as owners and operators of critical infrastructure and as a fundamental part of the Nation’s economy.
The dynamic threat environment was a focus of day two, with presenters from the DHS Office of Intelligence & Analysis and the Industrial Control Systems Cyber Emergency Response Team (ICS-CERT) briefing participants on homegrown violent extremism, domestic terrorism, and cyber threats to industrial control systems. These briefings set the stage for the 2015 Chemical Sector Security Plan, which underscores the ongoing collaboration between government and industry to ensure chemical facilities are secure and resilient. The plan features voluntary risk management actions, information sharing activities, international engagement, and training and exercises. These initiatives and preparedness efforts describe actionable measures to manage risks and mitigate disruptions.
With the multi-year authorization established by the Protecting and Securing Chemical Facilities from Terrorist Attacks Act (CFATS Act of 2014), many of this year’s sessions featured discussions on the current success and continued maturation of the CFATS program, including a CFATS update by David Wulf, Director of the Infrastructure Compliance Security Division, which leads the implementation of the program. CFATS is an important part of our nation’s counterterrorism efforts as we work with our industry stakeholders to keep dangerous chemicals out of the hands of those who wish to do us harm. Since the CFATS program was created, DHS has actively engaged with industry to identify and work with high-risk chemical facilities to ensure they have security measures in place to reduce the risks associated with the possession of chemicals of interest. While there is still work to be done, DHS has approved site security plans for nearly two-thirds of the highest-risk regulated facilities.
We continue to take critical steps in bringing together public and private stakeholders with a vested interest in reducing the risks associated with the handling and storage of chemicals. A panel of representatives from the National Security Council, DHS, Environmental Protection Agency and Occupational Safety and Health Administration, highlighted this shared commitment and discussed progress against the Executive Order on Chemical Facility Safety and Security, focusing on how Federal partners have worked to strengthen community planning and preparedness; enhance federal coordination; improve data management; modernize policies and regulations; and incorporate stakeholder feedback and develop best practices.
This year's Summit once again brought government and industry together to share a diverse array of voluntary programs and resources in a way that I believe will lead to further progress and a safer nation. I want to thank all involved for a valuable and productive summit, and I call on government, industry, and individuals to continue to collaborate and innovate as we celebrate successes and confront new challenges.
On July 26, 2015 we celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) – the landmark civil rights law that broke down barriers to access and equality for individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life. The ADA’s impact is far reaching and extends to employment, schools, transportation, and a range of public and private services and programs.
At the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), equal opportunity and full inclusion is critical to fulfilling our core missions. Whether traveling through an airport, crossing into our country at a border, becoming a naturalized citizen, or rebuilding following a disaster, DHS is committed to providing equal access for individuals with disabilities in our workforce and our programs and activities. The Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (CRCL) leads our efforts with a focus on:
- Recruitment – We utilize Schedule A Hiring Authority, the Operation Warfighter program, and the Wounded Warrior program, among others, to assist in recruiting and hiring individuals and veterans with disabilities. We are pleased to have more than 11,000 employees with disabilities contributing to the homeland security mission each day.
- Accessibility – The DHS Disability Access Working Group shares and coordinates strategies for effective communication, program and physical accessibility, and reasonable accommodations. Accessibility improvements are underway at the DHS headquarters, which include installing additional ramps and curb cuts, enhancing automatic doors, and improving lighting and signage in buildings and on the grounds.
- Integration – DHS policy and implementing mechanisms ensure nondiscrimination for individuals with disabilities served by our programs. With guidance and oversight from CRCL, this year each DHS component will designate a disability access coordinator; initiate a self-evaluation of their programs and activities; and develop and implement a plan to strengthen integration and compliance with disability laws.
Additionally, we are proud of the work that is being accomplished across DHS components that include but are not limited to:
- FEMA’s Ready Campaign and the Ad Council have launched a new PSA showing people with disabilities taking charge to prepare for disasters. FEMA also leads the Interagency Coordinating Council on Emergency Preparedness and Individuals with Disabilities.
- TSA provides information and resources on screening to assist travelers with disabilities through its TSA Cares program. TSA also delivers training and technical assistance to its frontline workforce on successful interactions with individuals with disabilities.
- CRCL offers resources to assist personnel, contractors, and grantees in their interactions with individuals with disabilities that include the DHS Guide to Interacting with People Who Have Disabilities and Tips for Effectively Communicating with Protected Populations During Preparedness, Response, and Recovery.
- The DHS Office of Accessible Systems and Technology provides IT-related reasonable accommodations and support for DHS employees with disabilities and the public. It also operates the DHS Accessibility Helpdesk, which provides technical assistance to employees and customers.
Learn more about the Department’s work and progress by visiting our Disability Access webpage.
PHOTO OF THE WEEK: DHS Deputy Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Director Sara Saldaña, and ICE Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Executive Associate Director Peter Edge cut the ribbon on the newly expanded ICE Cyber Crimes Center in Fairfax, VA. The expanded center will provide ICE HSI with enhanced operational and training capabilities, helping to meet the growing cyber mission of the agency and fight cybercrime.
Official DHS Photo by Josh Denmark | Download High-Resolution Image (1200 x 800)