New unit to patrol shoreline of Mass.
Coast Guard action is part of national homeland defense. In a major boost to the state’s coastal security, Boston Harbor will soon host a new US Coast Guard Maritime Safety and Security Team consisting of 74 active-duty sailors, 33 reservists, and six new 25-foot patrol boats, officials said yesterday. At a projected cost of $7 million to $8 million a year, the new unit and its 45-mile-per-hour boats will guard tankers and freighters, monitor suspicious activity, and intercept drugs and terrorists, officials said. Boston, which was recently left out on other federal antiterrorism funding, will be one of six major US port cities hosting the new Coast Guard security team, according to the federal Deparment of Homeland Security. ”These are the first units created specifically for homeland defense,” said Petty Officer Amy Thomas, a spokeswoman for the Coast Guard in Boston. Officials said the teams are a key part of the Bush administration’s vision for a comprehensive, coordinated defense of the country’s coastlines and borders. Full Story