The 7th District U.S. Coast Guard (D7) is located in the Brickell Plaza Federal Building in Downtown Miami, Florida. It is commanded by a flag officer and is responsible for many Coast Guard assets throughout the Southeast United States. The area these assets cover include six sectors whose locations range from Charleston, South Carolina to San Juan, Puerto Rico, in addition to five air stations located from Georgia to the U.S. Virgin Islands. This location serves administrative, support, and command functions for the district. The location is near the newly developing Brickell City Centre complex, a billion-dollar multi-use development which will feature upscale shopping to residents and visitors.
The Coast Guard motto is Semper Paratus which means “Always Ready.” As a smaller branch of the U.S. Armed Forces and because they are called on to perform operations such as rescue at sea on a regular basis, the U.S. Coast Guard is a very busy branch. The Coast Guard 7th District Southeast is “responsible for Coast Guard activities throughout a 1.7 million square mile area including Puerto Rico, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and 34 foreign nations and territories.” The 7th District’s mission statement is “In a dynamic operational environment, the men and women of the 7th District safely and effectively assist mariners on the sea and diligently protect our environment while actively deterring and preventing threats from reaching our shores.” The 7th District Headquarters location consists of offices in downtown Miami, not far from Miami Beach. Located in the vicinity are U.S. Coast Guard Sector Miami, U.S. Coast Guard Base Miami Beach, as well as U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Miami.
Coast Guard Hardware
The 7th District has control over Coast Guard assets throughout the Southeastern U.S.A. and most of the Caribbean. The 7th District accounts for a major portion of the total Coast Guard’s drug interdictions as well as a large number of rescues at sea. The assets used to accomplish these missions include oceangoing cutters, smaller boats, airplanes, and helicopters. Among the classes of oceangoing vessels under the 7th District’s control is the USCGC Bernard C. Webber, named after United States Coastguardsman Bernard Webber. Webber, along with his lifeboat crew of 3, received the Gold Lifesaving Medal for their heroic actions in the rescue of crew from the SS Pendleton, a cargo ship that had broken in two at high seas leaving its surviving crew adrift. He and his lifeboat crew’s actions are regarded in the highest level of service in the history of the Coast Guard and were recently dramatized in the 2016 feature film, The Finest Hours.
The USCGC Bernard C. Webber (WPC-1101), along with five other vessels in its class, are based in Miami, Florida. The Sentinel-class cutter, also known as a Fast Response Cutter is one of the newest classes of cutter measures 154 feet long and has a range of 2,500 miles. Its compliment consists of 2 officers and 20 enlisted personnel. Along with its armament of a 25 mm auto cannon and multiple 0.50 caliber guns, it carries a radar equipped high-speed rigid hull inflatable boat called a Short Range Prosecutor that launches from the stern while the cutter at speed. This class of ship is part of a modernization program currently underway in the Coast Guard.
Facilities available at Coast Guard bases are generally limited to serve the size of the command’s needs. Personnel assigned to 7th District Headquarters, which is mostly office space, have access to nearby Coast Guard Base Miami Beach facilities at Causeway Island. This includes gym and recreational sports facilities, a Coast Guard Exchange shoppette, and an all hands club that serves breakfast and lunch, the Gator Den. A larger Coast Guard exchange is located at the Coast Guard Miami Air Base 14 miles north. Other military exchanges available are shoppettes at Homestead Air Reserve Base and at the CGX located in Jupiter, Florida. There are no military commissaries located in the Miami area, which many retired DoD Id card holders regret.
Summary of U.S. Coast Guard 7th District, Miami, Florida
U.S Coast Guard 7th District Station is in the fashionable Brickell neighborhood in Downtown Miami on Florida’s Gold Coast. Minutes away from Miami Beach, Florida, this is a desirable destination to serve at. Brickell is the most densely populated and fastest growing neighborhood in Miami. Due to a work environment consisting of mostly office space, this location does not have facilities on-site for recreation except for those stationed there. With a busy work area covering most of the Southeastern U.S.A. and the Caribbean, this base located in Downtown Miami is a rewarding destination to progress in a service-member's career.