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Nationwide Automatic Identification System


Why this program?

The Nationwide Automatic Identification System (NAIS) has enhanced the Coast Guard’s maritime domain awareness (MDA) of vessels operating in or approaching the nation’s waterways, ports and infrastructure. The system was based on the Automatic Identification System which was sanctioned by the International Maritime Organization as a global standard for ship-to-ship, ship-to-shore, and shore-to-ship communication. Permanent NAIS systems have been installed at 134 sites across 37 sectors. On a daily basis, NAIS receives approximately 120 million messages and provides data feeds to over 80 Coast Guard and other government agency systems. NAIS transitioned to sustainment in August 2018; two contracts are in place to provide corrective maintenance as well as engineering support services for information assurance, system administration, grooming processes and detailed troubleshooting requirements.

NAIS contributes to a the concept of maritime domain awareness, which is a joint Coast Guard and U.S. Navy term for the effective understanding of anything associated with the global maritime domain that could impact the security, safety, economy or environment of the United States. By providing accurate information on vessel traffic to and from U.S. ports, NAIS helps to build a foundation of data that the government can use to develop effective maritime homeland security strategies.



  • Land, sea and space-based AIS radio frequency infrastructure capable of receiving and transmitting information from and to AIS-equipped vessels in U.S. coastal zones, waterways and ports
  • Integrated AIS data storage, processing and networking infrastructure


Acquisition Milestones

Dec. 2004 NAIS Program initiated
April 2006 Operational Requirements document signed
Sept. 30, 2010 Increment one achieved full operational capability
Proof of concept for increment three achieved
Aug. 14, 2014 Operational Readiness Review completed
Dec. 11, 2014 Purchased equipment to complete NAIS deployment
Dec. 18, 2014 Acquisition Decision Event Three (ADE-3)
July 24, 2015 Coast Guard Completes NAIS Along Coastline Of Contiguous U.S. With Great Lakes Install
July 5, 2017 Coast Guard Completes Western Rivers NAIS
May 24, 2018 Coast Guard Celebrates NAIS Full Operational Capability Milestone
Oct. 17, 2018 Coast Guard NAIS Transitions to Sustainment
Aug. 22, 2018 Coast Guard Celebrates NAIS Full Operational Capability Milestone