Coast Guard units based in New Hampshire serve out of the Portsmouth Harbor Station in New Castle where they have access to three cutters and six smaller boats. Protecting the state’s waterways, conducting over 70 search-and-rescue operations annually, and inspecting maritime cargo are just some of the key missions fulfilled by these dedicated members.
Basic Training and Qualifications for Coast Guard Jobs
Candidates are eligible to enlist starting at the rank of ensign if they can meet Coast Guard requirements by earning a bachelor’s degree. This can be in any subject and after completing 17 weeks of Officer Candidate School, these new enlistees will begin training for their careers as officers, which correspond with their demonstrated skills and study in a variety of job fields:
- Environmental Contamination Officer – Biology, Marine Biology, and Chemistry degrees
- Engineers in electronics, computers, communications, and mechanics
- Network Management Officers – Computer Science, IT, and technology degrees
- Legal Officers for those holding law degrees
- Command Staff Officers – Business and Administration degrees
- Intelligence Officers – degrees in Mathematics and the sciences
Anyone can be eligible to join the Coast Guard who is between the ages of 17-27 and has a good record of personal history. At this basic level training for Coast Guard careers is provided to fulfill four key missions after those accepted for enlistment complete eight weeks of basic training:
- Administration and scientific positions
- Aviation support positions
- Deck and ordinance positions
- Engineering and hull positions
Examples of New Hampshire Coast Guard Duties
Located near Canada and major shipping routes along the eastern seaboard, Coast Guard units based in New Hampshire can come across anything while conducting their duties. Drug smuggling and weapons traffickers are not unheard of, and recent examples of missions accomplished include:
- After reports that a disabled Portuguese tanker crashed into a bridge in Portsmouth, Coast Guard environmental cleanup crews and rescue units were dispatched to assess the situation. Upon examination, all evidence pointed to no environmental or human harm.
- A 210-foot Coast Guard Cutter was recently deployed to sea for two months as part of a fisheries law enforcement patrol. Over the course of the operation the New Hampshire crew participated in five security boardings of commercial vessels, two search and rescue missions, and numerous commercial fishing vessel boardings.
- Coast Guard Station Portsmouth recently launched a 25-foot speed boat to provide medical assistance and firefighting capabilities for a recreational vessel that was reportedly on fire on the Cocheco River near Strafford. Children and adults were rescued from the boat which ultimately burned to its water line.
- In a show of support for their local community and to fulfill the Coast Guard’s mission of environmental protection, units from a Portsmouth-based cutter recently picked up debris and litter along a nearby shoreline. In total, 140 pounds of trash was collected.