The U.S. Coast Guard is reported to be an increasingly integral component to the surveillance capabilities of the U.S. government. Kent Schneider, President and CEO of AFCEA, wrote for that organization's publication the following in April 2011:
As with all elements of the national security community, the Coast Guard is involved in the increasingly complex and dangerous cyber domain. As we all know, the cyber threat affects everyone in government, industry and the private sector. As a result, it is critical that the Department of Homeland Security—which has the overall federal lead for cyber security, responsibility for the security of the .gov environment, and the reach into industry and the private sector—works closely with the Defense Department, which is responsible for the security of the .mil environment and all defense networks. It now is the policy of the two departments to work together, and cooperation with the Department of Homeland Security is one of the highest priorities of the U.S. Cyber Command.
Because the Coast Guard has a foot in each department and operates in both network environments, it is uniquely positioned to help with interoperability and cooperation and to help achieve universal network situational awareness. If anyone asks the joint or service cyber commands or the Department of Homeland Security what the greatest challenges are in cyber security, they consistently will answer that lack of comprehensive and real-time situational awareness across the Internet and all enterprise networks is near the top of the list.
The Coast Guard has been instrumental in the past decade in furthering situational awareness in other warfighting domains. It has played a key role in achieving integrated maritime domain awareness as well as an integrated air picture. It will play a critical role in integrating the cyber domain awareness picture as well. Anyone working network management, network analysis, network operational control, and/or network situational awareness would be well served by including the Coast Guard in their dialogue.