The Coast Guard defends the values that the American flag stands for by defending the shores and keeping drugs from entering American territory. They even have different kinds of boats specifically designed to go after drug runners. However, they don’t just start questioning any vessel that enters American waters. They have to follow a procedure in order to determine whether they have to stop a specific boat or not. After all, their decisions will affect a lot of people. And if they make the wrong calls, they might just end up getting sued.
The vessels of the Coast Guard aren’t alone in the sea. They are assisted by helicopters that act both as spotters and rapid-intercept vehicles. The first thing they look for is a nautical flag that would indicate the kind of ship, the purpose of the ship, and even the nationality of the crew aboard the ship. The absence of this accessory could mean that the people aboard the ship are drug runners. This is when they have to intercept the vessel and start asking questions. If the boat evades capture, they turn to the use of force.
The Coast Guard isn’t all about simply stopping and intercepting. Sometimes, they have to disable the engines of a vessel in order to catch up to it. This is why they have HITRON. It is a unit that is composed of elite fireteams that are excellent marksmen. They can shoot the engine of a boat to keep it from going anywhere. This unit is honored in such a way that their military flag is flown ever time there is a successful intercept.