How often are U.S. Coast Guard units or individuals sent abroad?
It depends on your definition of 'abroad.' Most larger Coast Guard cutters (Medium Endurance, High Endurance, and the new National Security Cutters, just to name a few) constantly go into international waters on patrols to conduct LE (law enforcement, counter narcotics, counter migrant, etc.) missions and the like. In terms of going to waters off of another continent, besides North America or South America, not very often at all. Realize that the majority of Coast Guard missions are intended to be domestic and therefore almost all of the Coast Guard's resources are located and used within the borders and waters of the United States. That being said, there are many specialized units that comprise the new "Deployable Operations Group" (DOG), which was formed post-9/11 in order to create CG forces that could operate alongside the U.S. Navy in International Waters. One of the main ways that these forces (namely MSST, LEDET, and MSRT Teams) are used is on Navy destroyers and cruisers in places like the Arabian Gulf and the Indian Ocean/Somali coast. The Navy has a lot more ships capable of going out to sea for months at a time than the Coast Guard does. However, international code provides that the U.S. Coast Guard is the only federal entity that can board an internationally flagged vessel in international waters. That means that when the Navy sees a suspicious vessel, they can hoist the Coast Guard Ensign and send a boarding team with CG/USN personnel to inspect the vessel. These teams that comprise the DOG are mainly used for conducting operations that insure maritime commerce in unstable waters. Most members of units in the DOG (PSUs, MSST, MSRT, LEDET, etc.) currently end up spending a good portion of their careers overseas. However, if you are not a part of these units and are stationed at an afloat or shore unit you will not spend any (if a little) time in areas like Iraq, unless it is for humanitarian relief efforts, etc. Mainly cutters will deploy to places like the Arctic and Caribbean for missions and they might have an aviation detachment onboard. During the invasion of Iraq and after 9/11, several Coast Guard units, including cutters and a helicopter, were deployed to the Arabian Gulf in order to make sure that the maritime areas remained stable and so that commerce (oil) could safely pass through. This answer is based on the current world situation.