Memorial Day

“Waters Deep” by Eileen Mahoney

“In Ocean waves no poppies blow
No crosses stand in ordered row
Their young hearts sleep beneath the wave
The spirited, the good, and the brave,
But stars a constant vigil keep,
For them who lie beneath the deep,
‘Tis true you cannot kneel in prayer,
On a certain spot and think he’s there
But you can to the ocean go
See whitecaps marching row on row;
Know one for him will always ride,
In and out with every tide,
And when your span of life is passed
He’ll meet you at the ‘Captain’s Mast’
And they who mourn on distant shore,
For sailors who will come home no more,
Can dry their tears and pray for these
Who rest beneath the heaving seas,
For stars that shine and winds that blow
And whitecaps marching row on row
And they can never lonely be,

For when they lived They choose the sea.”

It is Memorial Day. If you are looking for a reminder of Coast Guard history, you might want to check out some of the links on the Heritage page.

Rough Water Trials

800px-USS-Freedom-rear-130222-N-DR144-367

US Navy Photo. USS Freedom

Marinelink is reporting that LCS-1, USS Freedom, has completed “Rough Water Trials” (Seakeeping and Structural Loads Trials) off the coast of Oregon. A couple of thoughts.

Did we do these instrumented tests with either the National Security Cutter or a Webber class?

The Navy took quite a while before they got around to doing these and has already made a lot of decisions in the absence of test results.

Could This Be the Start of Something Big?

ice-breakers-540688_1280

We got word today of an interesting development in the Senate from frequent contributor Tups.

“Today, U.S. Senators Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Lisa Murkowski (R- AK) introduced the Icebreaker Recapitalization Act. The bill would authorize the U.S. Navy to construct up to 6 heavy icebreakers. The new icebreakers would be designed and operated by the Coast Guard. The Coast Guard is the sole service responsible for icebreaking missions.”

Here is the announcement of the bill.

The actual bill is here (pdf).

I note few things about how this bill and how it was written.

  • First it is a long way from funding a new icebreaker fleet.
  • Second funding through the Navy, while perhaps easier, will not help pump up the Coast Guard’s ship building budget so that adequate funding is seen as normal and expected.
  • Clearly they expect the ships to be built in Washington State.
  • The bill authorizes multiyear funding, but the program does not seem to meet the requirements of multi-year funding.
  • It only talks about up to six heavy icebreakers while the High Latitude Study also talks about medium icebreakers. In fact the most frequently sighted requirement is for three heavy and three medium icebreakers. This may be a ploy to insure that all the work goes to Washington, rather than being split between Washington and the Gulf Coast.
  • Even so, there is a requirement in the High Latitude study for six heavy and four medium icebreakers, under some circumstances. Series production of six heavy icebreakers might bring down the unit cost.