The gap between homeland security and more traditional missions performed by the u.s. Coast Guard increased from 10 percent to 12 percent in 2009 over the previous year, but the service projects that gap will narrow in 2010.
The annual mission performance review by Department of Homeland Security's Inspector General (IG) office showed that the Coast Guard devoted 56 percent of its resource hours - the number of hours aircraft and vessels are in use - to homeland security missions. By far the greatest percentage was taken by ports, waterways and coastal security missions - 25 percent of all Coast Guard resource hours.
Other homeland security missions include illegal drug interdiction (11 percent), undocumented migrant interdiction (11 percent) and defense readiness (8 percent).
Non-homeland security missions garnered 44 percent of resource hours. Those tasks include aids-to-navigation (14 percent), living marine resources (13 percent), search and rescue (8 percent), and marine safety (7 percent) missions.
Homeland security missions took their highest share of resource hours in 2003 and 2004, when the service devoted 62 percent and 63 percent, respectively, to those roles.