Rescue 21 Deploy Map (75k SAR)

The U.S. Coast Guard recently reached a milestone of 75,000 search and rescue (SAR) cases using the capabilities of the Rescue 21 command, control and direction-finding communications system. Designed and deployed by the USCG and General Dynamics, Rescue 21 is operational in 32 sectors covering more than 296k Sq nautical miles.

More than 75,000 life-saving search and rescue cases have been processed by the U.S. Coast Guard using Rescue 21 since 2009.

The U.S. Coast Guard is declaring ‘Sea Area A1’ service in certain areas off the coast of the United States based on the performance of the General Dynamics-built Rescue 21 system. The declaration is in accordance with provisions of the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea and follows testing and analysis by the Coast Guard, validating that Rescue 21 provides more than 90 percent coverage for Very High Frequency (VHF) radio distress communications and digital selective calling.

Sea Area A1 comprises more than 215,000 square nautical miles including the nation’s eastern, western and Gulf coastlines (excluding Alaska) and extends 20 nautical miles out to sea. In addition to Sea Area A1, Rescue 21 also keeps watch over public and commercial mariners navigating national waterways and the Great Lakes.

Coast Guard Watchstanders Use Rescue 21
U.S. Coast Guard Watchstanders use Rescue 21 to locate and communicate to distressed mariners. (Photo Credit: U.S. Coast Guard)

“Rescue 21 is the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s first national public safety network that has helped to save thousands of lives, millions of dollars in property, while providing emergency backup communications for local, state and national first responders following a disaster,” said Chris Marzilli, president of General Dynamics Mission Systems. “The collaboration between General Dynamics and the Coast Guard continues to keep this system operating at peak performance, maintaining and continuously improving the system to reduce system cost while increasing its efficiency and highly reliable performance.”

The declaration states: “By harnessing state-of-the-market technology, Rescue 21 enables the Coast Guard to execute its search and rescue missions with greater agility and efficiency, which helps save lives and property at sea and on navigable rivers.”

Fully operational in 2012, Rescue 21 is the Coast Guard’s digital command, control, communications and direction-finding system that provides life-saving location and related emergency information from mariners in distress. More than 75,000 search and rescue cases have been processed by the Coast Guard using Rescue 21. The system also supports Coast Guard missions on behalf of the Department of Homeland Security including drug interdiction and the identification and pursuit of potential threats to national security.

General Dynamics (NYSE: GD) combined the resources of Advanced Information Systems and C4 Systems as “General Dynamics Mission Systems” on January 1, 2015. For more information about General Dynamics Mission Systems, please visit and follow us on Twitter @GDMS.

Note to Editors: For the official declaration of the U.S. Coast Guard’s Sea Area A1 go here.

Media Contact: Carol Smith
General Dynamics Mission Systems
office: 480-441-0342
cell: 480-734-5922