Now in Our 15th Year
Over 6.2 Million Served

Armed Forces

Armed Forces

During his famous Gettysburg Address, Abraham Lincoln said that America is a nation “conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.” He proceeded to question whether or not such a nation “can long endure.” The testing ground for such a nation, as he observed, was not in the halls of academia or before the high courts. Rather, Americans prove defend their nation’s existence on the field of battle.

Since the conception of America, the United States military has stood as a line of defense between the American people and those who would see this great land conquered. During World War 2, it was the American military that crumbled the fascist war machines of Europe. Even today in Iraq and Afghanistan, our troops are fighting to rid the world of the disease that is radical militant Islam.

Edmund Burke once said “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” The United States military is our nation’s promise to both ourselves and our neighbors that evil will never triumph.

The men and women who volunteer to stand downrange of enemy fire deserve our prayers.

Featured Member of the Armed Forces for Prayer

Commander Alain V. Balmaceda, Deputy Commander of Patrol Forces Southwest Asia, U.S. Coast Guard

Alain V. Balmaceda is a native of California. He is a graduate of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy with a B.S. in Civil Engineering.

Upon graduation, he worked as a Deck Watch Officer and home reported in Key West, Florida, and Boston Massachusetts. He was a member of the commissioning crew and Plank Owner aboard the polar icebreaker, USCG Healy, on her maiden voyage across the Northwest Passage en route to a new home report in Seattle, Washington.

He went to the University of Illinois where he completed a Master of Science Degree in Civil Engineering. Following post graduate training, he was assigned to Civil Engineering Unit Oakland as a project engineer. He was later home reporting in Charleston, South Carolina, where activities were highlighted by record drug busts in the Caribbean Sea and direct relief efforts in support of the effects of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. More recently, he has been the Chief, Atlantic Area Readiness Branch.

The commander is married to the former Anne-Marie Craig, and they have two children.


Patrol Forces Southwest Asia, established in 2012 to support Operation Iraqi Freedom, is the Coast Guard’s largest unit outside of the United States. It assists with maritime security operations throughout the Fifth Fleet theater with six patrol boats, shore-side support, advanced interdiction team, and the maritime engagement team.

“The goal in our operations is actually twofold,” said Commander Alain Balmaceda, deputy commander of Patrol Forces Southwest Asia. It encompasses “building up the capacity of our partner nations here…as well as sharing our own tactics with our partner nations to help them provide a stronger force on the water.”

They may conduct the engagements in host nation countries using that country’s facilities or they invite partners to work at their own facilities at their warehouse in Bahrain. “With having unique skill sets like VBSS (visit, board, search, and seizure), if you don’t practice them, they become perishable,” Balmaceda said.