Homeland Security Task Force – Southeast was established in 2003 by the Department of Homeland Security. This interagency task force is comprised of resources and assets from the U.S. Coast Guard, the departments of Homeland Security, State, Defense, Health and Human Services, as well as those from state and local agencies. These agencies provide the organizational framework to monitor migration trends to detect and respond to a maritime mass migration.
Operation Vigilant Sentry was first approved in 2004. It is the arm of the task force that deploys joint air and surface assets and personnel to address illegal maritime migration in the Caribbean corridor of the United States. The primary objective: to protect the safety of life at sea, and to deter and dissuade a maritime mass migration with our federal, state and local partners.
The director of Homeland Security Task Force – Southeast is the commander for the Seventh Coast Guard District. Migrant interdiction is one of the 11 statutory missions assigned to the Coast Guard by Congress, giving the military service the authority to take the lead role in the ongoing and historic migrant surge.