The Dutch Caribbean Coast Guard (DCCG) was founded in 1996 as Coast Guard for The Netherlands Antilles & Aruba. Back then Aruba held a ‘status aparte’ as independent country within the Kingdom of The Netherlands. Since 2010 also Curacao and Sint Maarten became independent countries within the Kingdom of The Netherlands, thus forming the present Kingdom consisting of four independent countries (The Netherlands, Aruba, Curacao and Sint Maarten) and three special municipalities (Bonaire, Saba and Sint Eustatius).
The DCCG is the coast guard for the Caribbean part of the Kingdom. Therefore the DCCG provides services in the territorial waters around the countries Aruba, Curacao & Sint Maarten and the municipalities Bonaire, Saba & Sint Eustatius as well as in the adjacent zones and high seas of the Caribbean Sea.
The mission of the DCCG is to deliver maritime security & safety in the Caribbean area by executing law enforcement and search & rescue.
The DCCG has four operational substations (Aruba, Curacao (2x) and Sint Maarten), a staff entity (Curacao) and a central coordination center (the Joint Rescue Coordination Center on Curacao). Each substation has its own organic assets.
The DCCG consists of 241 personnel. 207 of them are local civilian personnel originating from one of the countries within the Kingdom, 34 of the 241 are Dutch military personnel. The military personnel predominantly mans the flying assets
Maritime police and service provider:
The DCCG is a civilian maritime police organization that is engaging in law enforcement (Counter Illicit Trafficking and General Policing) for about 80% of the time. In about 20% of the time the DCCG is safety provider (Search and Rescue (SAR)). Note that coordination of SAR in the area of responsibility is guaranteed 24/7 and year around.
The legal basis of DCCG is layed down in the ‘Rijkswet Kustwacht’. This act also encompasses the powers of DCCG personnel as maritime police and the organization and control of the DCCG.
DCCG personnel is fully empowered to act as maritime police in the territorial waters and the adjacent zones. Besides that all DCCG personnel holds Custom powers and are legally empowered to act as law enforcers on land (special agents of police) in the different Caribbean countries of the Kingdom and its municipalities.
The Kingdom of The Netherlands also signed and ratified the Treaty of San Jose. This empowers the DCCG to act against maritime drugs transport on the high seas.
The DCCG is one of the few Coast Guards in the region that has its own organic assets. Substation Aruba, Curacao and Sint Maarten each have a 40 meters STAN-patrol cutter, four Metal Shark Interceptors and two Inshore boats at their disposal, besides two land patrol 4×4 pick-ups. From substation HATO on Curacao all large flying assets are deployed. The DCCG leases two DASH8 MPA and two AW-139 helicopters to be able to guarantee year around availability. The JRCC is located on Curacao and delivers 24/7 coordination capability. The JRCC also delivers radar overwatch around the Islands of Aruba, Curacao and Bonaire. On Sint Maarten the DCCG uses three combined radar/camera systems that are locally operated.
Although the DCCG is a civilian organization, the ties with the Royal Netherlands Navy are close. 92 days per year the DCCG receives an Ocean Going Patrol vessel with NH-90 helicopter under tactical control. Under the Rijkswet Kustwacht these military assets get the status of Coast Guard Ship when TACON is swapped to the DCCG (and thus also the same powers as a Coast Guard unit).