Unknown to many, US Coast Guard ships have been patrolling the Persian Gulf since 2003, with 6 110-foot Coast Guard cutters and about 300 personnel in the area.
The ships primary duty is deterring piracy, protecting local fishing fleets and their sailors, as well as traditional search-and-rescue operations. In addition to the ships, other USCG duties include supporting the US withdrawal from Afghanistan. Coasties inspect shipping containers for hazardous materials, poor packing, or numerous other problems - typically up to 90% of containers have at least one infraction. These inspections can save the Army up to $700,000 per month, as well as keeping the shipping operation moving smoothly.
This is stressful duty, however. In a stateside deployment, normal operations would occupy around 1,800 - 2,000 hours per year. In the Gulf, the average is around 4,300 hours per year - more than double the time. This is partially counteracted by the relatively short deployment duration - generally 18 months compared to a 36 month deployment stateside. Besides the pride felt by the Coasties who perform this demanding and important job, a final perk involves getting the very highest priority for your next tour.