The Dutch Caribbean Coastguard (Dutch: Kustwacht Caraïbisch Gebied) or DCCG is the coast guard of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in the Caribbean. The unit is a joint effort between all constituent countries within the Kingdom. Prior to the dissolution of the Netherlands Antilles, it was known as the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba Coastguard (NA&A CG).
- Detection and control: drugs, border control, customs control at sea, fisheries and environmental surveillance and monitoring of safe shipping.
- Services: continuous occupation and Rescue Coordination Center (RCC), handling of maritime distress and safety radio communications, search and rescue (SAR) and supporting maritime contingency.
DCCG is a partnership between Aruba, Sint Maarten, Curaçao, and the Caribbean Netherlands (Bonaire, Saba and St. Eustatius). The staff of the Coast Guard is composed of all constituent countries. DCCG is a kingdom organization directly under the State Council of Ministers of the Kingdom. The Commander of the Naval Forces of the Royal Netherlands Navy in the Caribbean (CZMCARIB) is also the commander of DCCG.
Ministries from the 4 parts of the kingdom determine the policy of the Coast Guard. To streamline policy formulationthe Coast Guard's Commission has been formed. This committee consists of officials from different ministries. The Coast Guard Commission also ensures budgets and annual reports. The judicial policy of the Coast Guard is determined by the 3 Ministers of Justice of the countries of the Kingdom. Controlling the Coastguard executive in judicial matters is done through the Procurators-General of the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba. The Secretary of Defense is on behalf of the State Ministers in charge of managing and controlling DCCG.
Coast Guard support centers
DCCG has 3 Coast Guard support centers: on Aruba, Curaçao and St. Maarten. From here, the Coast Guard patrol boats patrol in the waters around the islands. The flying units of the Coast Guard are stationed at the Hato military airbase in Curaçao. The Coast Guard Center / RCC itself is located in Curaçao, the naval base Parera.
DCCG has its own units and also makes use of defense resources (mainly from the RNLN, a ship and staff). DCCG has several private owned types of patrol boats, cutters and aircraft.
The three Coast Guard cutters, the Jaguar, the Panther and Puma, are Damen built Damen Stan Patrol 4100s. They are designed for service in the coastal waters of the Caribbean islands. The cutters are suitable for carrying out all coast guard tasks. With the onboard RHIB, boarding operations can be performed. The cutter is over 41 metres (135 ft) long, has a crew of eleven and a speed exceeding 26 knots (48 km/h).
Each boat has radar, infrared cameras, night vision binoculars, an ION-scan, a fixed 12,7mm Machinegun and a rotatable water cannon. Furthermore, they are equipped with photographic and video equipment to collect evidence.
The DCCG is planning on replacing the cutters by 2018.
The Inshores are mostly deployed within a mile from the coast. The boats of the type RHIB Sea 700 are in service in the Coast Guard since September 13, 1997. They have a curb and therefore very suitable for carrying out boarding operations on other boats without damaging them. In addition, the Inshores, with a speed above 40 knots (74 km/h), is very quick and well able to chase suspicious boats and arrest suspects. The Coast Guard has six Inshores.
The Coast Guard has twelve Super Rigid Hull Inflatable Boats, or SuperRhibs. These high-speed boats, capable of speeds in excess of 40 knots (74 km/h) and highly maneuverable, are very suitable for carrying out boarding operations. The crew of the SuperRHIB can be up to 6 people. The SuperRHIBs have a length of 12.2 metres (40 ft), a width of 3.3 metres (11 ft), a height of 3.3 metres (11 ft) and a weight of 6,000 pounds (2,700 kg). Whereas the Inshores operate mostly close to shore, the SuperRHIBs operate at much wider and longer distance at sea. The inboard diesel engines and the longer form of the hull allow the SuperRHIB to deal with even worse weather conditions while maintaining good sailing characteristics.
DCCG employs a Eurocopter AS355 helicopter for high speed chase, and search and rescue operations. The AS-355 helicopter is stationed at Hato Coast Guard Support Center. On October 14, 2011 the Dutch mod announced that the AS355's will be replaced by 2 new AW-139 helicopters by October 2012.
Since the autumn of 2007, the NA&A CG has two Bombardier Dash 8 Maritime Patrol Aircraft (designated MPA-D8). These planes are built to the specific needs of NA&A CG, based on the Coast Guard tasks such as Search And Rescue, fisheries and environmental monitoring. These two Dash-8 aircraft equipped with modern means of day and at night to obtain optimal results in the performance of its duties. These resources include specially designed for hatch'es dropping life rafts and drift / marker buoys, a high power searchlight in the nose of the aircraft with the aim to see and be seen in search situations, radar, and a communication and interlink software system. All these resources make it the ideal airplane is a coordinating role between various units and the RCC. Besides these functions, both MPA-D8 can be deployed before, during and after hurricane passages to move people and resources to those areas that need help. For these missions the D8s will be converted into transport aircraft configurations.
West Indies Guard Ship
The so-called West Indies Guard Ship (WIGS) is a ship of the Royal Netherlands Navy that rotates about every six months. It is usually a frigate but it can also be another naval vessel. This vessel usually carries a Westland Lynx helicopter for search and rescue tasks and pursuit of suspect vessels.
A special boarding team from the U.S. Coast Guard can be embarked on board the WIGS, authorized to carry out boardings beyond the territorial waters of the Dutch Caribbean islands. This cooperation between Aruba, Curaçao, the Netherlands, Sint Maarten, the United States, and other actors is formalized in the Joint Interagency Task Force South, situated in Key West, Florida, United States.
DCCG has approximately 160 personnel. Of these, 140 come from the Aruba, Curaçao, and Sint Maarten, and 20 from the Royal Netherlands Navy. These 160 consist mostly of personnel actually deployed to carry out operations and the occupation of the Coast Guard bases. In addition, there are about 15 employees who staff the Operations Center / RCC 24 hours a day.
- Netherlands Coastguard (Nederlandse Kustwacht) – a national organisation responsible for various services along the Dutch ocean coast line (mainly search and rescue services)
- Kustwacht Caraïbisch Gebied. Ministry of Defence official website (Royal Netherlands Navy section). Retrieved 2010-12-31.