The Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star breaks through Antarctic ice en route to the National Science Foundation’s McMurdo Station on Jan. 15, 2017. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Chief Petty Officer David Mosley)

Here’s How the Government Shutdown Is Affecting the U.S. Coast Guard

Unlike other branches of the U.S. military, the U.S. Coast Guard is feeling the sting of the government shutdown. Since the Coast Guard is within the Department of Homeland Security instead of the Defense Department, tens of thousands active-duty, reservist and civilian personnel are not getting paid to ensure the maritime safety, security and stewardship of the nation.

“The Coast Guard continues operations authorized by law that provide for national security or that protect life and property during partial government shutdowns; however, there are some impacts to our day-to-day operations,” the Coast Guard said in a Friday statement. “The Coast Guard stops or curtails mission activities that do not fall into those categories.”

“Coast Guard uniformed personnel will continue to perform their duties during a partial government shutdown and will provide essential services such as search-and-rescue, port and homeland safety and security, law enforcement and environmental response.”

Of the Coast Guard’s 50,861 on-board employees, 44,298 must continue working without pay until an appropriations bill is passed and signed, according to a DHS directive released on Dec. 17.

READ: Coast Guard to Receive December Paychecks; No Guarantee of 2019 Pay During Shutdown
MORE: 
Unhappy Holidays: Coast Guard Only Military Branch Facing No Pay During Shutdown
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Shutdown Lifeline: Coast Guard Groups Praise Bipartisan Senate Introduction of ‘Pay Our Coast Guard Act’

Once funding is approved, all Coast Guard military and civilian employees will receive back pay within three to five days.

Among the duties that cannot be performed during the shutdown are training, recreational boardings and safety checks, issuing license renewals and other merchant documentation, fisheries enforcement patrols and routine equipment maintenance.

More on the Government Shutdown: 

Multimedia journalist James Cullum has reported for over a decade to newspapers, magazines and websites in the D.C. metro area. He excels at finding order in chaotic environments, from slave liberations in South Sudan to the halls of the power in Washington, D.C.

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