The August edition of US Naval Institute Proceedings has a short article by retired Captain Lawson Brigham under in the “Nobody Asked Me But…” section that list of ten suggested steps “to ensure that our many polar maritime interests are given proper attention.”
He touches on the need for Arctic Patrol ships but this is not really about hardware justification. These proposals impact virtually every mission area. I think it’s worth a read.
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What the Coast Guard should do and what it will do are two different things. Vessels for arctic patrol may just have to get in line behind the inefficiency of Deepwater– the first disaster that had blowout preventer problems.
Deepwater is some $3.8 billion dollars OVER budget and the project is not close to being completed. There is no reason to believe the Coast Guard will close the budget or time gap and things will only get worse.
Captain Brigham noted “The Coast Guard has the responsibility and the professional polar expertise to engage actively in these pursuits, and all of us expect no less.” Some true, some wishful thinking. The Coast Guard has had problems with Canada on the Great Lakes and action in the Arctic Region will kindle a rebirth of those problems; just on another front. So unless the U. S. can create another treaty on the order of the 1817 Rush-Bagot (the U. S. longest lasting treaty), there will be problems getting any of the ten initiatives close to fruition.
Captain Brigham has been writing articles on these topics for decades. I’ve always enjoyed his commentary.