U.S. Coast Guard Recapitalization Briefing

Joseph Keefe
Thursday, October 13, 2011
Depicted: Coast Guard National Security Cutter

Uncertainty over budget talks leaves Coast Guard leadership to hedge their bets on future fleet mix, total numbers of hulls and operational capabilities.

 

On Wednesday, members of the media were invited to join Coast Guard senior leadership for a discussion about recent acquisition efforts and the status of recapitalizing the service’s aging fleet. The briefing, which took place at Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington, revealed little in terms of new developments but at the same time, underscored the increasing concerns amongst Coast Guard senior leaders that budget woes may soon force a scaling back of one or more aspects of their ambitious, multi-billion dollar recapitalization plans.

 

The briefing coincided conspicuously with ongoing U.S. Congress deficit reduction talks now underway in the nation’s Capitol. Rear Adm. John Korn, assistant commandant for acquisition and Rear Adm. Vincent Atkins, assistant commandant for capability talked about the performance of the newest Coast Guard Cutters and other aspects of the fabrication of National Security Cutters.

 

RADM Atkins began the press briefing by making the case that the Coast Guard’s recapitalization plan in its entirety was necessary and then explained why. Atkins told gathered media and those dialed in remotely that the Coast Guard’s operating costs were up dramatically while at the same time, sea presence was shrinking. He pointed to a fleet mix that, on average, was approaching 40 years in service and characterized it as “one of the world’s oldest coast guard fleets, but also one of its busiest.”

 

Atkins also outlined positive aspects of the recapitalization plan; notably the on-time, on-budget delivery of at least one hull. And, conceding some “first in class” delays for some cutters, he also pointed to the Coast Guard’s Acquisition Directorate, which has been up and running for five years and the “exponential increase” in acquisition specialists at DHS during that time frame. The Directorate stood up in the choppy wake of, and in response to the well-publicized Deepwater problems which came about largely as a function of the Coast Guard’s ill-advised decision, at the inception of the Deepwater program, to hand over the lead systems integrator role to contractors. The Coast Guard now insists that they are fully in charge of a much improved design and build program.

 

Coast Guard leaders also declined to discuss ongoing budget legislation or the possibility that funding for their programs could be slashed. In March, Coast Guard Commandant ADM Robert Papp, referring to the Coast Guard's growing mission sets, told Maritime Professional readers, “If the country wants us to do these things, it’s my responsibility to go to Congress and say, ‘we don’t have the resources to do that.’ Give me the resources and I’ll do the job. Or, give it to some other agency.” On Wednesday, Atkins told reporters, “Papp wants the hulls to support missions.” He conceded that this might involve reducing operational capabilities of these new hulls if the funding wasn’t there.

 

An ongoing “trade-off analysis” for Deepwater assets is also reportedly underway at Coast Guard headquarters. And, according to the Coast Guard, what’s essential, what isn’t and the future “fleet mix” is all still under review. All of that will be predicated on the outcome of the budget talks in Washington. Wednesday’s meeting suggested that the Coast Guard was clearly bracing for budget cuts, but the gathered flag staff would not elaborate further.

 

Hoping for as many as 8 National Security Cutters and 25 Offshore Patrol Cutters, the availability of funding may eventually force DHS to sacrifice requirements by changing the fleet mix, sacrificing operational capabilities, or both. In response to persistent questioning from reporters, Coast guard personnel declined to be more specific on Wednesday.   

Maritime Reporter August 2014 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

People & Company News

Dann Marine Repowers With Cummins Tier 3 Engines

Dann Marine Towing, LC., is a fifth generation family owned and operated tugboat company based in Chesapeake City, MD. The model-bow twin-screw tug Sea Coast was

Sulzer Shareholder has 5 pct Dresser-Rand Stake

Russian billionaire Viktor Vekselberg's Swiss investment firm Renova Group said on Friday it had a 4.99 percent stake in U.S.-based Dresser-Rand, which might become the object of a takeover battle.

MAN-Powered Cargo Vessel Meets Tier III

Classification society awards SCR system emissions certificate. MAN Diesel & Turbo has been awarded a Tier III - compatibility certificate by the DNV- GL classification

Shipbuilding

Ingram Barge Order 20 Tank Barges for 2015

Ingram Barge Company say they will be building 20 tank barges in 2015 to meet growing demand for chemical shipments. While most of the company’s recent tank barges have come through acquisitions,

ClassNK Issues New Rules for Inland Waterway Ships

Leading classification society ClassNK has released new technical rules and guidance for the survey and construction of inland waterway ships. As a result

Steel Cut for Third RCI Quantum-class Cruise Ship

The steel cutting for 'Ovation of the Seas', scheduled to be delivered in the autumn of 2016, took place at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany, where 'Quantum of the Seas',

Finance

Exxon: U.S. to Allow Wind Down Ops in Russian Arctic

U.S. oil major Exxon Mobil said on Friday the U.S. Treasury Department granted it a license to wind down operations on a drilling well in the Kara Sea in the Russian Arctic.

Sulzer Shareholder has 5 pct Dresser-Rand Stake

Russian billionaire Viktor Vekselberg's Swiss investment firm Renova Group said on Friday it had a 4.99 percent stake in U.S.-based Dresser-Rand, which might become the object of a takeover battle.

Source: Siemens Offering $6.1 bln for Dresser Rand

Germany's Siemens plans to offer more than $6.1 billion, or $80 per share, for U.S. compressor and turbine maker Dresser-Rand, Germany's Manager Magazin said on Friday.

Maritime Security

Seagull Maritime Response on Safety, Security

Key areas of concern for seafarer safety and security in both marine and offshore operations have triggered the release of six new and one supplementary titles

Russia: Exxon Still Drilling in its Arctic

ExxonMobil is still drilling in the Russian Arctic, a Russian minister said on Friday, in move that if confirmed will anger Washington after the U.S. administration

USCG Cutter in Oregon Spill Drill

The crew of Coast Guard Cutter Fir, a 225-foot buoy tender homeported in Astoria, Oregon, participated in a Spilled Oil Response System exercise near Blake Island, Washington, Wednesday.

Maritime Safety

Seagull Maritime Response on Safety, Security

Key areas of concern for seafarer safety and security in both marine and offshore operations have triggered the release of six new and one supplementary titles

Exxon: U.S. to Allow Wind Down Ops in Russian Arctic

U.S. oil major Exxon Mobil said on Friday the U.S. Treasury Department granted it a license to wind down operations on a drilling well in the Kara Sea in the Russian Arctic.

Russia: Exxon Still Drilling in its Arctic

ExxonMobil is still drilling in the Russian Arctic, a Russian minister said on Friday, in move that if confirmed will anger Washington after the U.S. administration

Government Update

Exxon: U.S. to Allow Wind Down Ops in Russian Arctic

U.S. oil major Exxon Mobil said on Friday the U.S. Treasury Department granted it a license to wind down operations on a drilling well in the Kara Sea in the Russian Arctic.

Sulzer Shareholder has 5 pct Dresser-Rand Stake

Russian billionaire Viktor Vekselberg's Swiss investment firm Renova Group said on Friday it had a 4.99 percent stake in U.S.-based Dresser-Rand, which might become the object of a takeover battle.

Russia: Exxon Still Drilling in its Arctic

ExxonMobil is still drilling in the Russian Arctic, a Russian minister said on Friday, in move that if confirmed will anger Washington after the U.S. administration

 
 
Maritime Security Maritime Standards Navigation Offshore Oil Salvage Ship Electronics Ship Repair Ship Simulators Sonar Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.4298 sec (2 req/sec)