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 Today


The Maritime Industry's original and most viewed E-News Service

Maritime Reporter May 2016 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

People & Company News

NASSCO Lays Keel for Jones Act Tanker Liberty

U.S. shipbuilder General Dynamics NASSCO hosted a keel laying ceremony on Thursday, May 26 for the Liberty, one of three new ECO Class Jones Act tankers under a

DSC Dredge Receives President’s E-Star Award

DSC Dredge, LLC, based in Reserve, La., has received the 2016 President’s “E-Star” Award for exports.   In a ceremony held on May 16, 2016, at the U.S. Department

TT Club Reports Robust Financial Results for 2015

TT Club has announced its financial results for the year ended December 31, 2015, and AM Best affirms its A- (Excellent) rating for the 10th consecutive year.   Knud Pontoppidan,

Shipbuilding

NASSCO Lays Keel for Jones Act Tanker Liberty

U.S. shipbuilder General Dynamics NASSCO hosted a keel laying ceremony on Thursday, May 26 for the Liberty, one of three new ECO Class Jones Act tankers under a

SAFE Boats Delivers First CIV for Air and Marine Operations

SAFE Boats International (SBI), a manufacturer of aluminum boats located in Bremerton, Wash., has completed the first Coastal Interceptor Vessel (CIV) on contract from U.

Defense Appropriations Bill Includes $1 Bln for US Icebreaker

The U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee’s FY2017 Defense Appropriations Bill has included $1 billion in funding to accelerate construction of a new polar icebreaker for the U.

Finance

Defense Appropriations Bill Includes $1 Bln for US Icebreaker

The U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee’s FY2017 Defense Appropriations Bill has included $1 billion in funding to accelerate construction of a new polar icebreaker for the U.

Higher Capesize Demand Pushes up Baltic Index

The Baltic Exchange's main sea freight index, tracking rates for ships carrying dry bulk commodities, rose on Friday buoyed by higher demand for capesize vessels.

TT Club Reports Robust Financial Results for 2015

TT Club has announced its financial results for the year ended December 31, 2015, and AM Best affirms its A- (Excellent) rating for the 10th consecutive year.   Knud Pontoppidan,

Patrol Boats

SAFE Boats Delivers First CIV for Air and Marine Operations

SAFE Boats International (SBI), a manufacturer of aluminum boats located in Bremerton, Wash., has completed the first Coastal Interceptor Vessel (CIV) on contract from U.

MAN 28/33D STC Engines for Thai Navy’s New OPV

The Royal Thai Navy has ordered a new 90-m offshore patrol vessel (OPV) to be constructed at Mahidol Adulyadej naval dockyard in Sattahip.  The newbuilding, an improved River-class design,

Aquino: China Breaks South China Sea Deal

Philippine President Benigno Aquino on Thursday accused China of breaking a U.S.-brokered deal between the two nations on the Scarborough Shoal, an uninhabited rocky outcrop in the South China Sea.

Maritime Security

SAFE Boats Delivers First CIV for Air and Marine Operations

SAFE Boats International (SBI), a manufacturer of aluminum boats located in Bremerton, Wash., has completed the first Coastal Interceptor Vessel (CIV) on contract from U.

Aquino: China Breaks South China Sea Deal

Philippine President Benigno Aquino on Thursday accused China of breaking a U.S.-brokered deal between the two nations on the Scarborough Shoal, an uninhabited rocky outcrop in the South China Sea.

US, Thailand Naval Exercise in Andaman Sea

The U.S. Navy (USN) and the Royal Thai Navy (RTN) kicked off Exercise Guardian Sea, Andaman Sea comprising bilateral naval training drills that aim to enhance

Coast Guard

Details El Faro's Sinking Emerge from US Probe

U.S. investigators on Friday concluded two weeks of hearings into the sinking of cargo ship El Faro in a hurricane last fall that included reports the vessel had

Defense Appropriations Bill Includes $1 Bln for US Icebreaker

The U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee’s FY2017 Defense Appropriations Bill has included $1 billion in funding to accelerate construction of a new polar icebreaker for the U.

SCA Applauds Funding for New US Ships

The Senate Appropriations Committee this week acknowledged calls for increasing the Navy’s ship count, funding the construction of 10 new ships, as well as providing the U.

Maritime Safety

US Hospital Ship Aids South Korean Sailor

A U.S. hospital ship conducted a medical evacuation, or “medevac”, May 27 to assist an ailing Republic of Korea sailor aboard a Republic of Korea Navy (ROK-N) submarine.

IACS Recommendations for Emergency Response

Following a further round of discussions on 'Places of Refuge' at the IMO last week, prompted by a submission from the EU Member States, the European Commission,

P&I Club warns on Enclosed Space Entry & Testing

The London P&I Club says it continues to see cases of injuries and fatalities associated with entry into enclosed onboard spaces, including cargo holds on bulk

Government Update

Details El Faro's Sinking Emerge from US Probe

U.S. investigators on Friday concluded two weeks of hearings into the sinking of cargo ship El Faro in a hurricane last fall that included reports the vessel had

Defense Appropriations Bill Includes $1 Bln for US Icebreaker

The U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee’s FY2017 Defense Appropriations Bill has included $1 billion in funding to accelerate construction of a new polar icebreaker for the U.

DSC Dredge Receives President’s E-Star Award

DSC Dredge, LLC, based in Reserve, La., has received the 2016 President’s “E-Star” Award for exports.   In a ceremony held on May 16, 2016, at the U.S. Department

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Contracts Maritime Security Navigation Pipelines Port Authority Salvage Ship Simulators Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | 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: 0.3439 sec (3 req/sec)