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

People & Company News

QinetiQ Signs Contract with ASV

QinetiQ, as part of a new Marine Surface Target Service, has signed a contract with Autonomous Surface Vehicles (ASV) for the supply and operational support of autonomous surface target vessels.

GTT Wins DSME Order for 9 More Icebreaking LNGCs

Gaztransport & Technigaz (GTT), a designer of membrane containment systems for the maritime transportation and storage of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), announced

Bollinger to Build 6 More FRCs for the USCG

Bollinger Shipyards, Inc., Lockport, Louisiana, announced the award of six additional USCG Sentinel Class Fast Response Cutters (FRCs). The U. S. Coast Guard

Shipbuilding

GTT Wins DSME Order for 9 More Icebreaking LNGCs

Gaztransport & Technigaz (GTT), a designer of membrane containment systems for the maritime transportation and storage of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), announced

Volvo Penta Diesel Sterndrives for Metal Shark Patrol Boats

Metal Shark now offers Volvo Penta diesel sterndrives in its 29 Defiant patrol boats for customers requiring optimum performance, durability and maneuverability.

More VDR Orders for Danelec in China

Danelec Marine has received orders to supply Voyage Data Recorders (VDRs) and Electronic Chart Display and Information Systems (ECDIS) for 18 offshore support vessels in China.

Finance

House Subcommittee Hearing Highlights “Dismal State” of U.S. Icebreaking Capability

At the July 23, 2014, hearing of the House Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation on “Implementing U.S. Policy in the Arctic” the committee chairman, Rep.

Thome Is the First to Sign up to IMPA Act

Leading integrated ship management service provider Thome Ship Management has become the first ship management company to join IMPA ACT, the responsible supply chain management initiative,

Legislation Grants Funding for EU's EMSA

EU Council Adopts Regulation on EMSA Funding The European Union Council adopted a regulation yesterday to finance the actions of the European Maritime Safety

Patrol Boats

House Subcommittee Hearing Highlights “Dismal State” of U.S. Icebreaking Capability

At the July 23, 2014, hearing of the House Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation on “Implementing U.S. Policy in the Arctic” the committee chairman, Rep.

Volvo Penta Diesel Sterndrives for Metal Shark Patrol Boats

Metal Shark now offers Volvo Penta diesel sterndrives in its 29 Defiant patrol boats for customers requiring optimum performance, durability and maneuverability.

Andrew Weir to Support UK Navy in Antarctica

Andrew Weir Shipping Ltd. announced that it has been awarded the contract for the support and maintenance of HMS Protector (A173), following a competitive tendering process.

Maritime Security

House Subcommittee Hearing Highlights “Dismal State” of U.S. Icebreaking Capability

At the July 23, 2014, hearing of the House Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation on “Implementing U.S. Policy in the Arctic” the committee chairman, Rep.

Mediterranean Boat People Numbers Near 100,000

Almost 100,000 boat people have made the dangerous journey across the Mediterranean to Europe this year, a roughly 60 percent increase on the whole of last year,

Bollinger to Build 6 More FRCs for the USCG

Bollinger Shipyards, Inc., Lockport, Louisiana, announced the award of six additional USCG Sentinel Class Fast Response Cutters (FRCs). The U. S. Coast Guard

Coast Guard

House Subcommittee Hearing Highlights “Dismal State” of U.S. Icebreaking Capability

At the July 23, 2014, hearing of the House Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation on “Implementing U.S. Policy in the Arctic” the committee chairman, Rep.

Bollinger to Build 6 More FRCs for the USCG

Bollinger Shipyards, Inc., Lockport, Louisiana, announced the award of six additional USCG Sentinel Class Fast Response Cutters (FRCs). The U. S. Coast Guard

Alaska Welcomes USCG Admiral Papp Arctic Assignment

Alaska Senate Majority informs that it welcomes news that Admiral Robert J. Papp Jr., the 24th Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard since May 25, 2010, has been appointed by the U.

Maritime Safety

House Subcommittee Hearing Highlights “Dismal State” of U.S. Icebreaking Capability

At the July 23, 2014, hearing of the House Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation on “Implementing U.S. Policy in the Arctic” the committee chairman, Rep.

Mediterranean Boat People Numbers Near 100,000

Almost 100,000 boat people have made the dangerous journey across the Mediterranean to Europe this year, a roughly 60 percent increase on the whole of last year,

Hall Joins Bouchard Transportation

Retired Active Duty Coast Guard Commanding Officer Brian Hall has joined Bouchard Transportation Co., Inc., the nation’s largest independently-owned oceangoing petroleum barge company,

Government Update

House Subcommittee Hearing Highlights “Dismal State” of U.S. Icebreaking Capability

At the July 23, 2014, hearing of the House Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation on “Implementing U.S. Policy in the Arctic” the committee chairman, Rep.

Iraqi Kurdish Oil Nears US Port Despite Concern in Washington

A tanker carrying crude oil from Iraqi Kurdistan is just two days away from arriving at a U.S. port, according to ship tracking satellites, despite Washington's

China Issues New Rules on US DDG Imports

China's Import Inspection Authority, AQSIQ, is now requiring U.S. distiller's dried grains imports to be officially certified free of the MIR 162 GMO trait, the U.

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Security Navigation Pipelines Pod Propulsion Port Authority Salvage Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction 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: 0.3935 sec (3 req/sec)