KITTERY – The global war on terrorism continues to wage on various fronts around the world, even here at home. The U.S. Coast Guard has been a part of that war to protect America’s coastline against its enemies, ever since its transition to the Department of Homeland Security three years ago.

Among those making the nation’s waterways safe is Petty Officer 3rd Class Ethan Chittim, son of David Chittim and Penelope Jessop of Lewiston, who serves on board U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Reliance.

Chittim, who is one of 77 assigned to the cutter homeported in Kittery, works in the operations department.

“I am qualified to do many different operations for the ship,” said Chittim. “I stand watch on the bridge to ensure our course stays free of hazards. With everyone having collateral duties, I also help out as a boarding team member to enforce maritime laws.”

With continuous training, Chittim and his fellow Coast Guardsmen are prepared to carry out each assigned mission.

“In addition to homeland security, search and rescue is a mission that always takes precedence,” said Chittim. “Even if we are on a drug patrol we can get diverted to assist in a search and rescue case.”

By patrolling the waterways off the coast of Maine, the cutter and her crew are an essential force of homeland security. The Reliance crew is one of many steps taken by the Armed Forces to guard shorelines from possible threats.

“Many jobs have been created in the Coast Guard to support the call for more security for the United States,” said Chittim. “If our national security begins to diminish the nation could suffer from drugs being smuggled in or even another disaster like the Sept. 11 terrorist attack. By conducting homeland security patrols we can personally ensure our homeland is safe.”

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