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Coast Guard City


Coast Guard City Logo

The very nature of the Coast Guard’s mission creates a need for understanding between the Coast Guard and the local community. Coast Guard commands seek to develop the kinds of relationships that enable unit commanders to sense public attitudes and interests. In turn, many cities have made special efforts to acknowledge the professional work of the Coast Guard members assigned to their area. Making Coast Guard members and their families feel at home in their home away from home is an invaluable contribution to morale and service excellence. The Coast Guard is pleased to recognize Coast Guard Cities -- those cities that have extended so many considerations to the Coast Guard family.

On Feb. 23, 2017, San Diego was designated as the largest Official Coast Guard City. This honor is bestowed with approval from Congress by the Commandant of the USCG to the City of San Diego. The designation is predicated on San Diego’s ability to erect monuments to the Coast Guard, organize civic celebrations and offer special recognition and support U.S. Coast Guard morale, welfare and recreational initiatives. A Coast Guard City Designation is active for five years, at which time it is reevaluated based on the support rendered since designation.

USCG in San Diego

In 1935, the City of San Diego provided 23 acres for the Coast Guard to establish an air station.  Cdr. Elmer F. Stone, Coast Guard Aviator #1, was the first commanding officer in San Diego.

Since 1935, aircraft of all types have flown out of San Diego including seaplanes, helicopters and amphibious aircraft.  In the 1960s operational and support missions combined with the air station to include rescue boats with CG Cutters.  In 2004, the Coast Guard transferred to the Department of Homeland Security and the Coast Guard presence in San Diego was officially titled Sector San Diego.

In 2016, Sector San Diego prosecuted 444 search and rescue cases resulting in 111 lives saved, and 511 lives assisted!

Calendar of Events 2021

San Diego was designated a Coast Guard City in 2017. To celebrate, the City of San Diego, the Coast Guard and regional partners are hosting a series of events.

If you would like to submit a request to host an event commemorating San Diego as a Coast Guard City, please contact Walter Bishop at  WBishop@sandiego.gov.