Coast Guard Will Establish A Water Security Zone For State Of The Union Address

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Alex DeMetrick has been a general assignment reporter with WJZ...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ)–Tuesday night’s State of the Union address may touch on security issues but for the Coast Guard, it’s a night of security, period.

Alex DeMetrick reports on the measures Coast Guard Station Baltimore is preparing.

Ever since the terror attacks of 9/11, this has been the drill for the Coast Guard as the State of the Union speech approaches: readying weapons, ammunition and boats to set a security zone on the water.

“And that’s going to limit any recreational or commercial traffic that’s going to be operating,” said Michael Keane, USCG Sector Baltimore.

Even though that security zone covers the Potomac and Anacostia rivers starting Tuesday at 4 p.m., it falls under Sector Baltimore’s area of operations.

“It provides a good, layered security zone and supports the Capitol Police and the Secret Service on a security mission,” Keane said.

It comes on a night when most of the nation’s elected leaders are all in one place, not that far from that water.

It’s a routine patrol area for Coast Guard crews year round, but efforts ramp up for the president’s speech.

The Coast Guard has a natural ally this year, one that’s been missing the last few State of the Unions.

“Right now, we have about 90 percent of the area iced over and it’s continuing to drop into the single digits tonight and tomorrow,” Keane said.

It’s something that should keep most boats at home but not the crews assigned to patrol.

The security zone will remain enforced until 2 a.m. Wednesday morning–the ice for a lot longer.

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