The U.S. Coast Guard announced today it received formal approval from the Department of Homeland Security to issue solicitations and award contracts to establish initial operating capability for the two-way, maritime data communications system known as the nationwide automatic identification system.
"The nationwide automatic identification system will greatly aid the essential process of identifying, tracking, and communicating with vessels approaching our maritime borders and is a centerpiece in establishing effective maritime domain awareness," said Rear Adm. John P. Currier, the Coast Guard's assistant commandant for acquisitions.
"This is an important milestone for the project as it marks the approval to begin contracting for the initial deployment of this powerful capability," said Capt. Kurtis Guth, automatic identification system project manager. "The nationwide automatic identification system will provide numerous key operational benefits to the Coast Guard, including improved maritime security, navigational safety, and vessel traffic planning. The speed, course and location data collected by this system from vessels carrying international automatic identification system equipment will be used to form an overarching view of maritime traffic within or near the U.S. and its territorial waters."
The nationwide automatic identification system is being developed in three acquisition increments primarily to accelerate deployment of mission critical capabilities. The Coast Guard partnered with the Naval Sea Logistics Center under the first increment to establish receive-only automatic identification system coverage in approximately 60 critical U.S. ports and coastal areas during the current fiscal year. The second increment will involve a full and open competition contract for the design, supply and implementation of a fully integrated system to provide nationwide reception and transmission capabilities. The third and final increment will involve contracts to provide long-range automatic identification system coverage out to 2,000 nautical miles from U.S. shores.