The Coast Guard has not published its “Fleet MIX Study” though we have had some indication of the results of an early iteration. A GAO report gave us this:
Table 1: Alternative Fleet Mix Asset Quantities According to Coast Guard’s Phase 1
Fleet Mix Analysis, Surface/Aviation Platforms
————————Program of record/Fleet mix 1/Fleet mix 2/Fleet mix 3/Fleet mix 4 (objective)
NSC 8 9 9 9 9
OPC 25 32 43 50 57
FRC 58 63 75 80 91
HC-130 22 32 35 44 44
HC-144 36 37 38 40 65
HH-60 42 80 86 99 106
HH-65 102 140 15 188 223
UAS, Land-Based 12 19 21 21 22
UAS, Cutter-Based 18 15 19 19 19
Source: December 2009 Coast Guard data.
Later, I looked at the requirement for large cutters based only on the size of the EEZ and continental shelf size that seemed to indicate we need a lot more emphasis in the Pacific.
In a comment on that post, “Desk Riding Cutterman” gave us his interpretation of the number of ships the Coast Guard needs on patrol for various missions “based on my personal ranking of each mission area and an assumption that our fleet is not limited by the proposal make by ICGS nearly 10 years ago.”
“Generally you have the following needs:
D1: 2.0 for SAR coverage
D5: 1.0 for LMR/SAR/PWCS
D7: 4.0 for Florida Straits and Windward Pass plus other threat areas and LMR enforcement
D8: 1.0 for LMR enforcement
D11: 0.5 for CONUS enforcement and Southern WOC fisheries
D13: 0.5 for CONUS enforcement and Northern WOC fisheries
D14: 1.0 for Western fisheries
D17: 2.0 for offshore SAR (1.0 during summer) and berring fisheries
1.0 for RIMPAC and High seas drift net operations with Asian partners
2.0 for DOD deployments (AFRICOM, CENTCOM, and PACCOM)
6.0 for JIATF (3.0 in each theater)
I’d like to open up a discussion to talk about this. If you don’t have an all inclusive answer that’s OK, but what are the important consideration?
- What do we need?
- What do we need to be doing we are not doing now?
- Are there any excess capacity?
- What are the consequences of inaction?
- What are the missions? Priorities?
- Do we need ice capable arctic patrol vessels? How many?
- Asset types?
- Aircraft numbers/mix/location appropriate?
- Geographic distribution?
- Tradeoffs? Numbers vs capabilities?