In the August 2010 edition of the U.S. Coast Guard Acquisitions Directorate, Master Chief Ayer offered some simple answers to some frequently asked questions:
Q. I heard the Coast Guard is are going to stop building National Security Cutters (NSCs)?
A. The Coast Guard plans to build eight NSCs. The contract for NSC4 is currently
Q. The Coast Guard’s current fleet of Response Boats-Small (RB-S) is wearing out. Do we have a
plan to replace them?
A. Yes, we do. An RB-S replacement project was chartered in January 2010. The current schedule calls for placing the first production order in late fiscal year 2011 and delivering the first RB-S in fiscal year 2012.
Q. Is the Coast Guard going to start building new ice breakers (WAGB, WTGB)?
A. For right now, no. We are currently conducting a service life extension of CGC Polar Star and have been directed by Congress to conduct a business case analysis to explore the potential for constructing a new icebreaker. There is no program of record yet.
Q. I like the 41-foot utility boat (UTB). Why doesn’t the Coast Guard just build new ones instead of the more expensive Response Boat-Medium (RB-M)?
A. The RB-M was designed to accomplish different missions than the UTB. Since we designed the UTB in the 1970s, our jobs have changed significantly and our platforms need to change with them. By the way, I like the UTB too; the hot cups make great ramen.