In keeping with the traditions of the sea-going services, I generally start my day with a hot cup of coffee. For the past several years, I have been drinking from a mug with the crest of the USS Cole (DDG-67) on it. I received it as a gift when I was the Coast Guard's Seventh District Commander in Miami, Florida, and the Cole visited Fort Lauderdale prior to her deployment and port call in Yemen. It's a fine mug but more important, the Cole's legacy provides me with a clear reminder of one of the gaps in our nation's maritime homeland security strategy: the potential exploitation of small vessels by terrorists and smugglers of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), narcotics, illegal immigrants, and other contraband.
Friend or Foe? Tough to Tell
The Coast Guard Commandant says we need a new approach to counter the risks of the small vessel threat in our ports and on our waterways.
By Admiral Thad Allen, U.S. Coast Guard