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CG Group Radio Stations and the VHF National Distress System

As part of the National Distress System, the Coast Guard operates approximately 48 Sector field offices, Section and Activity offices, whose responsibility include listening for distress calls over VHF maritime channel 16.  Approximately 15,000 to 20,000 distress calls are made over this VHF system each year.  On the Pacific, Atlantic, and Gulf coasts, these stations over radiotelephone High Frequencies.

In addition, there is an ongoing project entitled "Rescue 21". You may read about this effort from the Rescue 21 website.

Communication Stations

The Coast Guard also operates high seas communication stations used to communicate with ships throughout the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean and provide a variety of services to the maritime public. Services include watchkeeping for distress and safety calls, and maritime safety information broadcasts. Five transmit and receive facilities are remoted to two Communications Area Master Stations at Pt. Reyes CA and Chesapeake VA. The Communications Station in Kodiak AK operates independently. High frequency (HF) high seas communications facilities are located at Guam (partially remoted to Pt. Reyes), Kodiak AK, Honolulu HI (remoted to Pt. Reyes), Point Reyes CA, New Orleans LA (remoted to Chesapeake), Chesapeake VA, Miami FL (remoted to Chesapeake), and Boston (remoted to Chesapeake). CAMSPAC and CAMSLANT both have a toll-free telephone number for mariners to use when asking about safety services. CAMSPAC's toll free number is 877-662-4636 or 1-877-NMC-INFO. CAMSLANT's toll-free number is 1 800 742-8519.

Global Maritime Distress & Safety System

Coast Guard group stations, communications stations, and cutters are currently being fitted with the Global Maritime Distress & Safety System, developed by the International Maritime Organization as the new standard telecommunications architecture for ships.

Coast Guard Telecommunications Historical Photos and ID Patches

Photographs include USCG communications and radio station operations dating back over forty years, including distress watches, telephony and telegraphy operations, and air/ground as well as ship/shore communications. Newer systems such as Alaskan VHF national distress system remote sites, prototype digital selective calling, and the transportable multi-missions communications center are also included. There is also a section with images of Coast Guard Communications Station identification patches and logos.

USCG R & D Center Advanced Telecommunications Technology

A description of telecommunications-related projects from the Coast Guard Research and Development Center.

Other Communications Projects, Systems, Stations, Information & Links