Deepwater Industry Affirm Commitment to Coast Guard Modernization Program

Thursday, April 19, 2007
Representatives from Integrated Coast Guard Systems (ICGS)presented testimony on the Integrated Deepwater System program before the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. Leo Mackay, Lockheed Martin Coast Guard Systems vice president and general manager, and James Anton, Northrop Grumman Ship Systems vice president of Deepwater program, highlighted recent successes and outlined ongoing progress throughout the program. "The capabilities we are providing through Deepwater are already enabling Coast Guard operational facilities and units, ashore and at sea, to perform more effectively, providing increased readiness, enhanced mission performance and a safer working environment," said Mackay. "As Adm. Thad Allen has stated, both industry and the Coast Guard have taken steps to improve management, oversight and performance to ensure that the Deepwater program of tomorrow will be fundamentally better than the Deepwater program of today," he said.

Mackay cited positive customer feedback regarding the nearly complete HH-65 helicopter re-engining program, the successful legacy cutter command and control upgrades, the recently opened National Security Cutter training center, and continued deliveries of the HC-144A maritime patrol aircraft, as examples of Deepwater accomplishments which are already making a productive impact throughout the Coast Guard. Anton highlighted progress in National Security Cutter construction. "The National Security Cutter continues to set new standards in lead ship quality and efficiency that routinely outperform other programs," he said. Anton also confirmed that industry is actively applying lessons learned across the board. "We are always working to improve the way ships are built," he added. "We stand ready to work with the Coast Guard and Congress to ensure that much needed Deepwater capabilities are delivered to the fleet."

He also responded specifically to the situation involving eight 123' patrol boats which the Coast Guard plans to decommission. "We agree with the Coast Guard's recent announcement that significant analyses have not predicted nor identified the specific cause to the issues that have been experienced by the eight 123' vessels," said Anton. "ICGS has and will continue to work with the Coast Guard in seeking to determine the root cause of the issues and a path forward to assist the Coast Guard with its mission needs." The industry team again affirmed that program decisions are made with continuous Coast Guard oversight and involvement and emphasized the importance of government-industry partnership as the program has expanded to meet the service's post-9/11 missions.

"The Deepwater program uses the depth of capabilities and experience of its industry partners to provide solutions in accordance with Coast Guard requirements," said Mackay. "The results so far indicate that Deepwater has made a difference in the effectiveness of the Coast Guard with regard to numbers of drug seizures, migrant interdictions and lives saved." Industry leaders acknowledged that the Integrated Deepwater System is evolving, and they reaffirmed their commitment to work with the Coast Guard to meet changing requirements. "We remain dedicated to delivering maximum value, based on solid analysis and proven design standards, to the customer," said Anton. "ICGS remains ready to support the reorganization of the Coast Guard to ensure the contract meets its evolving needs and provides best value to the American taxpayer."

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