The United States Coast Guard

As a law enforcement agency, a member of the Intelligence Community, and a branch of the U.S. Armed Forces, the Coast Guard must contend with a wide variety of threats and challenges in its operations. RAND's multidisciplinary research contributes to the Coast Guard's ability to fulfill its current missions, address difficult problems through data-based decisionmaking, and guide its strategic foresight initiatives to meet emerging challenges.

The Challenge

Throughout its history, the Coast Guard has adapted to meet the evolving needs of the nation. RAND research efforts support the Coast Guard in enhancing its readiness, capabilities, and effectiveness as a multi-mission service—from search and rescue operations to drug interdiction, marine environmental protection to coastal security.

The crew aboard a 47-foot Motor Lifeboats from Coast Guard Station Umpqua River conduct heavy weather surf training in Winchester Bay, Oregon. Photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class David Weydert/U.S. Department of Defense

The crew aboard a 47-foot Motor Lifeboats from Coast Guard Station Umpqua River conduct heavy weather surf training in Winchester Bay, Oregon.

Photo by David Weydert/U.S. Coast Guard

USCG Futures

RAND work supports efforts to shape the future of the Coast Guard. Researchers support USCG's strategic foresight initiative as part of Evergreen V with scenario development, workshops, and an after-action summary of results. As part of this effort, researchers developed the first-ever game designed for the service—Paratus Futurum (Latin for "ready for the future). The game helps Coast Guard personnel weigh the long view of changes in the operating environment alongside existing or nearer-term demands.

Mission Support

By employing the interdisciplinary research and analysis capabilities within the Homeland Security Research Division, we help DHS and Coast Guard leaders, policymakers, and key stakeholders to make informed decisions about the most pressing issues facing the organization. Our competencies and capabilities include:

  • Analyzing and optimizing Coast Guard resource allocation decisions, and assessing acquisition requirements and processes
  • Assisting the Coast Guard in developing long-term strategic plans as part of USCG's Project Evergreen initiative
  • Developing metrics, methodologies, and systems for measuring performance across Coast Guard programs
  • Assessing the impact of new and emerging technologies on Coast Guard missions
  • Understanding workforce challenges such as recruiting and retention, career progression, assignment processes, and training
  • Conducting capability and capacity assessments for operations in challenging environments like the Arctic and the Indo-Pacific

For more projects, see our full list of work on The United States Coast Guard.