The Targeted Response section of the United States Coast Guard is responsible for coordinating response to any vessel in distress. They’re responsible for monitoring weather conditions, and warning mariners of hazardous weather. The Targeted Response team is also tasked with executing the Department of Homeland Security’s Maritime Safety Offices (MSO) missions and implementing the Maritime Search-And-Rescue Plan (ASAR).
The Team Leader is charged with leadership and supervision on a daily basis, as well as working closely with other maritime agencies on behalf of all those who may be involved in search and rescue efforts.
The Team Leader also provides support and guidance to the Search and Rescue Team Specialists, who are critical to the success of any search and rescue mission. They organize, assign, and supervise specialized response resources for any search-and-rescue (SAR) operation.
The Team Leader works closely with other federal agencies such as the U.S. Coast Guard Investigative Service (CGIS), Law Enforcement Detachments (LEDETs), Justice Prisoner and Alien Transportation System (JPATS), Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC) state partners, as well as other federal agencies to coordinate all SAR activity into one seamless response system.
The Team Leader is also a member of the Chief Petty Officer Tactical Coordination Team (CPCTT), which works to integrate all military and civilian tactical resources including ships, aircraft, Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force, and Joint Interagency Task Forces (JIATF) to ensure a coherent response. The CPCTT also implements the “Coordinating Center” concept by integrating all information into one location. All tactical information from the Coast Guard, Department of Defense, and other federal agencies is sent to the commanding officer of an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter for additional decision making. This information is then distributed to the various search teams located on shore through the use of a ISR aircraft.
Team Leaders are responsible for the issuance of all Coast Guard Search and Rescue (SAR) assets. The Team Leader also aids in maintaining relationships with other SAR agencies such as U.S. Customs and Border Patrol, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Enforcement, International Maritime Organization (IMO), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), U.S. Navy, U.S. Air Force, and Department of Defense (DoD).
Team Leaders are also responsible for the development of Team Members and ensure that they are prepared to perform search-and-rescue missions in any environment. They help manage the execution of all search-and-rescue training within the Coast Guard’s Tactical Law Enforcement Teams (TACLETs), Tactical Aviation Rescue Swimmer Delivery System (TARSDAL), Tactical Law Enforcement Team Specialists (TEAMSTERS), and Search & Rescue Specialists (SAR Techs).
The Team Leader is the senior field-level officer in command of Search and Rescue Coordination Centers (SARCCs), Integrated Support Command Centers (ISCCs), Maritime Helicopter Support Facilities (MHSPs), or similar units. The Team Leader supervises all SAR unit activities to include coordination of search operations, rescue efforts, and medical care with other federal, state, and local agencies. The Team Leader supervises and coordinates the activities of all Coast Guard Search and Rescue Teams as assigned by their Area Commander for the purpose of locating and recovering specific individuals in distress at sea or ashore. The Team Leader conducts the operational, administrative, and personnel functions as tasked.
Coast Guard Search and Rescue Team Leaders are responsible for the coordination of search and rescue efforts. They schedule SAR flights and coordinate with all agencies in the area to which they are assigned to include.
Team Leaders are also responsible for determining SAR priorities within an area of responsibility (AOR). Each Coast Guard District, Region, or Area Commanders are responsible for assigning priorities that reflect their respective geographic areas. A caller’s need may be a local problem requiring only a Coast Guard response team. The call may also be spread over a wide geographic region requiring a combined Coast Guard-Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) response.