The Haitian Coast Guard has Endured Many Changes

The Haitian Coast Guard (HCG), a division of the Haitian National Police, operates as a police department at sea, while performing coast guard operations. Two decades after the Haitian Navy became obsolete; the HCG was organized with two small defense boats and an American yacht. Over the years, the U.S. leased the HCG several sea vessels. When any of the vessels were destroyed in conflict, the U.S. sent replacements.

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During Duvalier's reign in 1970, newer vessels, leased by the U.S. to Haitian Coast Guard, experienced revolts aboard ship, and bombed the Presidential Palace in the capital of Port-au-Prince. Forced to retreat to Guantanamo Bay, the U.S. reclaimed the vessels, but then returned them to Haiti, much to the elation of Duvalier. He designated the HCG as the Haitian Navy and tried to develop it into a more formidable operation, but failed. The U.S. continued leasing vessels to the HCG as well as reclaiming boats with expired leases.

By 1980, the Haitian Coast Guard possessed a tug boat, less than a dozen patrol craft, and the yacht. The HCG Navy employed 45 naval officers and 280 enlistees, stationed at Port-au-Prince. During the 90s, the HCG, now the Haitian Navy, was acquired by the National Police and given back their original name.

Today the HCG protects Haiti's coastal waters and its operations while off-coast. The HCG also:

• Oversees adherence to regulatory requirements for fishing and navigation operations.
• Enforces the law against drug trafficking and other crime operations.

The senior command of the Haitian Coast Guard includes Commandant of the Coast Guard, Assistant Commandant, and Operations Manager.

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