About Us

Pacific Area (PACAREA) is the Coast Guard’s regional command element and force provider for maritime safety, security, and stewardship in the Pacific. PACAREA’s Area of Responsibility encompasses six of the seven continents, 71 countries, and more than 74 million square miles of ocean -- from the U.S. Western States to Asia, and from the Arctic to Antarctica.

The Coast Guard first established its presence in the San Francisco Bay Area in 1848. The Revenue Cutter Lawrence was dispatched to the area as the federal government's representative to sustain maritime order during the California Gold Rush. Today, PACAREA headquarters is located on Coast Guard Island in Alameda, California, across the bay from the Revenue Cutter Lawrence’s homeport of San Francisco.

“We protect those on the sea, we protect America from threats delivered by sea, and we protect the sea itself.” –Admiral Robert J. Papp, Jr., 24th Commandant, U.S. Coast Guard

The men and women of PACAREA conduct a vast array of daily operations in support of the Coast Guard’s statutory missions. PACAREA units can be found conducting search and rescue on the high seas, patrolling the Eastern Pacific to combat illicit smuggling, enforcing fisheries regulations in the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zones, and protecting our nation’s critical infrastructure.

PACAREA is made up of the 11th, 13th, 14th, and 17th Coast Guard Districts and employs more than 13,000 active duty and reserve members, Coast Guard Auxiliarists, and civilian employees.

PACAREA operational assets include:

  • 3 National Security Cutters
  • 8 High Endurance Cutters
  • 4 Medium Endurance Cutters
  • 3 Polar Ice Breakers
  • 29 Patrol Boats
  • 12 Buoy Tenders
  • 11 Sectors
  • 10 Air Stations
  • 13 HC-130 Fixed-Wing Aircraft
  • 26 HH-65 Dolphin Helicopters
  • 13 HH-60 Jayhawk Helicopters


PACAREA also oversees the Deployable Specialized Forces (DSFs), which include the National Strike Force, Tactical Law Enforcement Teams, Port Security Units, and Maritime Safety and Security Teams.