Deployable Specialized Forces

The Coast Guard Compass has announced the issuance of an ALCOAST  that provides initial information on the results of a “Stem to Stern” review of Deployable Specialized Forces and includes a link that provides the ALCOAST in pdf format. If you would rather not download the pdf, Ryan Erickson has provided the entire  text of the ALCOAST at  1790.us.

Below are specific actions the Commandant listed to be taken:

A. I WILL SOON PROMULGATE THE DSF OPERATING CONCEPT AND SNMR
CONOP. ONCE RELEASED, THE DSF OPERATING CONCEPT WILL DESCRIBE HOW
DSF ARE ORGANIZED AND EMPLOYED IN SYNCHRONIZATION WITH OTHER FORCES
TO ACCOMPLISH OUR MISSIONS, IN ALIGNMENT WITH THE QHSR. THE SNMR
CONOP WILL DESCRIBE HOW DSF WILL BE EMPLOYED IN SYNCHRONIZATION
WITH OTHER FORCES TO MEET SHORT-NOTICE MARITIME THREATS TO THE U.S.
B. I AM ENGAGED WITH AND BRIEFING DHS LEADERSHIP AND THE
CONGRESSIONAL OVERSIGHT COMMITTEES ON THE INTEGRATION OF DSF INTO
THE MARITIME TRIDENT OF FORCES UNDER THE OPERATIONAL AND
ADMINISTRATIVE CONTROL OF THE AREA COMMANDERS. THIS PLAN WILL
ENSURE THAT EFFECTIVENESS OF FRONT LINE OPERATIONS IS FULLY
SUSTAINED. THIS IS NOT A RETURN TO THE PAST, BUT A RECOGNITION
THAT UNITY OF COMMAND DEMANDS THAT THE AREA COMMANDERS, AS SENIOR
OPERATIONAL COMMANDERS, BE RESPONSIBLE AND ACCOUNTABLE FOR LEADING,
MANAGING AND EMPLOYING OPERATIONAL FORCES. THIS FOLLOWS A
FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLE OF SERVICE DOCTRINE.
C. DCO SHALL PROMULGATE AND MANAGE POLICY, REQUIREMENTS AND
CAPABILITY DEVELOPMENT FOR DSF, CONSISTENT WITH HOW THOSE FUNCTIONS
ARE MANAGED FOR ALL CG FORCES.
D. DCMS SHALL BE RESPONSIBLE FOR CAPABILITY ACQUISITION AND
PRODUCT LINE MANAGEMENT FOR SUSTAINMENT SUPPORT THROUGH THE DCMS
ENTERPRISE, CONSISTENT WITH HOW THOSE FUNCTIONS ARE MANAGED FOR ALL
CG FORCES. FORCECOM AND SUBORDINATE UNITS, INCLUDING JMTC, SHALL
BE RESPONSIBLE FOR DSF STANDARDIZATION, TTP/DOCTRINE DEVELOPMENT,
TRAINING AND EVALUATION. JMTC WILL BECOME A CENTER OF EXCELLENCE
(COE) FOR DSF TO DEVELOP, ACHIEVE AND SUSTAIN STANDARDIZATION,
TRAINING AND PROFICIENCY OF DSF. THIS WILL INCLUDE CREATION OF A
NEEDED HIGH-RISK TRAINING PROGRAM AND TRANSITION PRIMARILY TO COAST
GUARD INSTRUCTORS.
E. THE COAST GUARD WILL ESTABLISH A SECOND ENHANCED TEAM
(MSRT) ON THE WEST COAST, DRAWN FROM EXISTING DSF RESOURCES. THE
ENHANCED TEAMS WILL CONSIST OF COAST GUARDSMEN WHO HAVE ACHIEVED
THE HIGHEST LEVELS OF PROFICIENCY AND EXPERIENCE FROM PRIOR
ASSIGNMENTS TO OTHER DSF UNITS. THE ENHANCED TEAMS SHALL CONDUCT
OPERATIONS TO COMBAT TERRORISM, ENGAGE IN INTERDICTION, LAW
ENFORCEMENT, AND ADVANCED TACTICAL MARITIME SECURITY OPERATIONS TO
ADDRESS KNOWN OR POTENTIALLY ARMED SECURITY THREATS, INCLUDING NONCOMPLIANT
ACTORS AT SEA, AND PARTICIPATE IN HOMELAND SECURITY,
HOMELAND DEFENSE, AND COUNTERTERRORISM EXERCISES IN THE MARITIME
ENVIRONMENT.
F. MSSTS WILL CONTINUE TO PROVIDE OPERATIONAL COMMANDERS WITH
PROFICIENT WATERSIDE SECURITY SECTIONS TO MEET EMERGENT AND PLANNED
MISSION REQUIREMENTS. SIMILARLY, NATIONAL STRIKE FORCE, TACLETS,
PSUS AND REGIONAL DIVE LOCKERS WILL CONTINUE TO PROVIDE DEPLOYABLE,
SPECIALIZED CAPABILITIES TO ENSURE OUR OPERATIONAL COMMANDERS AND
INTERAGENCY PARTNERS HAVE THE CAPABILITIES NEEDED TO MEET THE
NATIONS MARITIME RESPONSE REQUIREMENTS.
G. DCO SHALL IMMEDIATELY CHARTER AND LEAD A DSF STS
IMPLEMENTATION TEAM (I-TEAM) TO EXECUTE THESE DECISIONS AND WAY
FORWARD.
H. PERSONNEL SUPPORT COMMAND (PSC) SHALL ESTABLISH A
SELECTION AND SCREENING PROCESS FOR CERTAIN DSF BILLETS, TO INCLUDE
CENTRALIZED SCREENING BY PSC-OPM FOR ALL DSF COMMANDING OFFICER
POSITIONS. THIS FOLLOWS MY BROADER DIRECTION THAT PSC-OPM PREPARE
AND CONDUCT CENTRALIZED SCREENING OF CANDIDATES FOR ALL COMMANDING
OFFICER POSITIONS THROUGHOUT THE SERVICE, STARTING AFTER AY12.
I. PSC-EPM WILL IMPLEMENT 6 YEAR TOUR LENGTHS FOR ENLISTED
BILLETS AT SELECT DSF UNITS THAT REQUIRE SUSTAINED PROFICIENCY IN
ADVANCED TACTICAL OPERATIONS.
J. THE COAST GUARD WILL IMPLEMENT THE RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE
TACTICAL FLOTATION AND BUOYANCY WORKING GROUP, INCLUDING
STANDARDIZING THE TACTICAL OPERATOR EQUIPMENT KIT (INCLUDING
MAXIMUM WEIGHT) AND ADOPT A STANDARD AUTO-MANUAL SELECTABLE
TACTICAL FLOTATION SURVIVAL SYSTEM FOR DSF UNITS.

36 thoughts on “Deployable Specialized Forces

  1. We all read this over a week ago now. Talk about you guys being a day late and a dollar short of anyone else…

    • I don’t usually post on things in ALCOASTs, they are covered well elsewhere, but this does seem like a major policy decision and not everyone has had access to it.

  2. Good for you Jones, you already knew this. That does a lot of good for somebody that hasn’t seen this yet, doesn’t it? As long as you are taken care of, right? Although maybe you are so busy that reading twice is offensive to you somehow….

  3. Glad to see the intent to have extended tours formalized. Why lose that special training through the MRTS are expensive and I do wonder still are they worth the money when so many other organizations have teams like them of course their speciality is water operations. I am just concerned with the tight budget if you are paying for another team on the west who or what is getting cut.

      • They say specifically, “DRAWN FROM EXISTING DSF RESOURCES” but it does sound like they are being more tightly integrated with the rest of the Coast Guard, which seems like a move in the right direction.

    • Yes, saw it in a couple of places. One of those things that can go on forever. My only question, why did we wait until now.

      • First of all, the final decision isn’t the Coast Guard’s – it rests with the Department of Justice.

        Bringing a civil action is different from charging someone with a crime – actions often take much longer to bring, in part because of civil discovery practice.

      • I understand civil cases take long periods of time along with the challenges of trying to determine what and who did it. I also realize it is the department of the Justice that would take a lead role. But that does not change the fact that I still desire justice now and quickly. I feel a company did a poor job delivering a product they promised they could deliver. The Coast Guard paid the company did not deliver as promised. To me it is simple but of course law is far my complex then a simple blog posting. But in the end I still want justice and I want it sooner then later.

        Through I am sure what took so long was to determine what should be done is it “fraud” (lying) or civil case.

      • DOJ works at its own speed not that of the CG or the public thinks. Not to mention, rushing investigations is not a goos thing if you hope to get money back when wronged.

        I suspect Bollinger will settle before this goes to tral anyway.

    • I’ve read the Department’s brief. IMHO, Bollinger is pretty well screwed, and if they aren’t already trying to settle out of court, they are dumber than dirt.

      • Bollinger was served well before filing. I am actually surprised they did not settle before the DOJ filed. I suspect they will blink first now that it has been though. 😉

  4. I am just glad this will send a message of accountablity. Both parties are at fault but at present Bollinger is free of any thing. Hope the case is resovled quickely and the money can be put to use right away.

    I have been writing letters to all my elected officals to support increasing the Coast Guard budget.

      • Operating funds may have been OK, but cuts are coming and the AC&I budget will need to expand considerably if it is to fund the FY2012 Capital Investment Plan.

  5. Team America that is simply your opinion. But when I last checked the shape of the fleet it needs lots of work.Including the fact we cannot meet the needs of enough helicopter units, ice breakers and aging fleet. So I do not believe our budget is where it should be at this point.

    • Your statement implies knowledge and experience. I did not realize I was talking to some kind of expert on the material condition of “the shape of the fleet”. Which cutter are you currently assigned to? Or are you at SFLC or CG-4?

      Lots of self-professed “experts” here at CGBlog, sadly not too many with any recent actual CG experience though.

  6. Team America, just read the comments of the Commandant you self professed genius. Why can’t people have a different opinion from you without you being offended. Why was the Deep Water Project started to replace a bunch of ships in perfect shape. Why when we responded to oil spill in the gulf numerous ships had to return early to port. But your right we don’t need to replace the 210’s or 270. And hell we don’t need a new polar roller because both are in great shape. But your right Team America the shape of the fleet is great. We don’t need anything replacements the NSC are just for fun.

    • I agree with Team America. From your posts on here, you come across as an over zealous Coastie groupee, but with little knowledge of what we do other than what you have infered from reading online.

      Many inside the Coast Guard itself do not even see the need for a fleet beyond patrol boats anyway. Papp is a cutter type so that is what he advocates. Get another marine safety professional or an aviator or a shore forces type in the top slot next and watch what the Coast Guard advocates for change significantly. The “need” for a large deep draft cutter fleet is actually quite subjective. Not everyone in the Coast Guard goes to sea, nor is the service the same today as it was 40 years ago.

      BTW, dont even try to lecture anyone here about the Coast Guard response to DWH. If you had half a clue about what you want to tell us about ourselves, you would know that the senior leadership and management of that debacle was a embarrassment which we took a serious beating from both the Department and The White House for our inability to implement any sort of operational planning (nothing to do with cutters). DOD and The National Guard saved the Coast Guard’s bacon.

      • Jones, at least you have the courage to lay it out on the line – I admire your stance, even if I don’t agree with it.

        Setting the issue of the condition of the fleet aside, the Coast Guard likes to call itself the World’s Premier Maritime Service, does it not? How would the Service be able to make that claim with nothing larger than patrol boats? If you really think the private sector maritime industry has disdain for the Coast Guard now, just go ahead and decommission everything larger than a WPB, and see what happens then. In the eyes of many in the private sector, today’s Coast Guard is nothing more than than a group of well-intentioned but naive uniformed bureaucrats. Once the officer corps has no seagoing service whatsoever, it will will only get worse.

        Yes, the Service isn’t what it was 40 years ago – and it is heavily marine safety centric. Yet when DWH happened, given the tilt of the service towards marine safety, the Service should have shined, but as you correctly point out, it wasn’t the Coast Guard’s finest hour. How would shrinking the cutter fleet have helped that?

        ADM Papp – unlike his predecessors – understands that in order to survive, the Coast Guard must have a core competency that it is both competent in and that offers value added to the taxpayer. When you look around the world in both developed and developing countries, you see the evidence of the value that a coast guard with offshore capability brings to the table. How ironic it would be to see the organization that pioneered the concept walk away from it, which many in the service today would apparently – and sadly – relish.

      • In my interactions with professional mariners, they do not consider our cutterman to be remotely n the same league as they are. If we were to STCW ourselves (remember we said the implemaenation of those arduous, redundant and expensive regs were vital to “safety”) and stop using 20 bodies on the Bridge that it only takes two or three Merchies to do, maybe they would start to see us differently. In reality, I do not think having a deep draft cutter fleet does anything to improve our standing with the maritime industry because we are so insistant on exempting ourselves from the rules we mandate for the commercial sector.

        What is the percentage of Coasties in the self-professed Premier Maritime Service actually at sea? I suspect very few.

        I am not saying that I agree with doing away with a deep draft cutter fleet either, but taking into account just how much CG mission focus and culture have changed away from a seagoing service the past 40 years, it is not a surprise to me at all that there are significant elements within the service which are apathetic at best towards maintaining cutters.

      • I agree that civilian sailors will never accept Coast Guard as being in the same league as they are given the fact that the Coast Guard exempts themselves from the rules that they apply to others. But at least there are some people in the Coast Guard who have been to sea, and in that regard, have an appreciation and understanding of what mariners are faced with. Get rid of the cutter fleet, and the lack of respect currently afforded the Coast Guard by the private sector will only get worse.

      • Jones – While I somewhat agree with your statement that we require more people on the bridge to do the “same job” (more on this in a second) as a merchant vessel, it is that very fact that allows us to exempt ourselves (and the Navy) from STCW requirements. Merchant vessels exist to move goods from A to B in as efficient a manner as possible, and people cost money. The fewer people that a merchant vessel needs to sail with as crew means more profit per voyage. However, since these vessels are minimally (or I guess “optimally” is the current buzzword) manned, the Coast Guard (and to some extent the maritime industry) has determined that they need additional safety systems and crew training to be able to safely operate that vessel with only one or two people on watch.

        So far as military vessels (CG and Navy) are concerned, we really have little concern for efficiently operating our vessels – yes, increased fuel efficiency is always great, but operating a military vessel requires people, as many of the CG’s recent unsuccessful attempts to contract cutter maintenance and/or operate minimally- or optimally-manned vessels have proven. Beyond getting the cutter or combatant from A to B, we also have to perform our primary missions while at sea: boat lowering detail, law enforcement boardings, damage control, launching/recovering aircraft, and–most importantly for some–fighting the ship; all things that require a lot of people to be on board. Some of the biggest oil tankers out there are larger than an aircraft carrier and probably operate with only one or two people on watch – but I bet they aren’t too worried about operating an airport at the same time.

        Military mariners also have to accept the fact that neither the CG nor the Navy can afford to keep their seagoing officers and enlisted personal constantly at sea, so we lack some of the experience base of the merchant fleet. To mitigate this, we require our vessel to operate with more bridge personnel than a similarly-sized merchant vessel. This constant personnel turnover also requires additional people on the bridge as they train to replace those that are due to rotate.

        Frankly, I would like to see the CG require its Cuttermen to be licensed as professional mariners, and have looked into the process of obtaining a master’s license to complement my CG training and experience. Unfortunately, the cost and other requirements of what is essentially a “nice to have” license as a professional mariner are more than I can presently afford – especially since I have no plan to enter the merchant fleet when I eventually retire or separate from the CG.

        In the interest of full disclosure, I have no experience with the marine safety side of the Coast Guard, so I can only speak from my personal experience as an aspiring Cutterman.

  7. I like how their is a group on here more concerned with direct attacks. Instead of sticking to what and why. As for being a groupee well sorry my post are not more detailed. But I have served 7 years total in the Coast Guard. I do not fully agree with just patrol boats I think we need to have an array of assets to meet all that is expected from us. But even if you just look at our patrol fleet such as the 110’s. This fleet is not in great shape and needs replacement faster and beyond that I always felt the numbers of these were far to small and the current stack FRC are coming slowly and not in large enough qualities.

    As for DWH I agree it was poorly managed the Coast Guard in my opinion had proven it was not ready for this response and hence we need to work on those skill sets. I am not expert on all things Coast Guard but like any blog I would rather instead of just attacking or throwing out read this report tell me why you don’t think the fleet does not need replacement or why it is in good shape.

    But just for us to stand on each persons laurels without saying much more simply said numerous reports, the leader of our service feels the opposite.

  8. “Many inside the Coast Guard itself do not even see the need for a fleet beyond patrol boats anyway. ”

    Maybe those folks need to spend a little time in the Bering Sea or the Atlantic so they can understand just why something larger than patrol boats is required. The CG pulled the 210’s out because they couldn’t handle the weather.

    • Stan – my guess is that there are some in the Coast Guard who simply don’t believe the Coast Guard ought to be operating in “deep” water in the first place. But you are correct about the ill-fated 210 assignment in the Bering. It failed, and when the Coast Guard sent a 270 up to the Bering for a summer 1990 patrol, the consensus was yes, a 270 could do the Bering – in the summer.

      Earlier in this thread there was some discussion about the readiness of the current fleet. According CAPT Charles Cashin and ADM Papp, it evidently isn’t all roses.

      “”It’s cost us way more to keep (older ships) operational than it should,” Papp said. “We are far surpassing the amount that we get in our budget to do routine maintenance on these ships, so that comes at the expense of doing maintenance to our newer ships.”

      Capt. Charles Cashin, who will be the first commanding officer of the Coast Guard’s newest 418-foot cutter, the Stratton, said that “if you look at the broad picture, it’s easy to see we aren’t able to get the same number of ships under way as we used to two, four, five, 10 years ago.””

      Now, either ADM Papp and CAPT Cashin are telling the truth and the older ships are struggling, or the Coast Guard has a perfectly wonderful fleet and the ADM and CAPT are painting a worse picture just so that the Coast Guard’s budget requests are bolstered.

      • “Now, either ADM Papp and CAPT Cashin are telling the truth and the older ships are struggling, or the Coast Guard has a perfectly wonderful fleet and the ADM and CAPT are painting a worse picture just so that the Coast Guard’s budget requests are bolstered.”

        Perhaps a little of both, Mouse? I have never met a government bureaucrat who doesn’t say he/she needs more cash and resources.

  9. Interesting turns to this post. 1st, Merchant Mariners and Military Mariners are different. Doesn’t mean I accede to the license or not to license debate, but after 14+ years of sea duty I find it costly and cumbersome to pursue a commercial license. By the way, I’d argue I HAVE devoted my entire career to honing the skills required to operate and command vessels at sea. Additionally, I can accurately attest to the time and cost (both monetary and personnel) that we are incurring to maintain the current fleet. Every cutterman is pround of their accomplishemnts, finds a way to complete the mission given the constraints imposed, and doesn’t want to reflect the problems associated with the aging fleet. This isn’t due to career fear or worrying about being out of line with the organization line. Simply the way we were made. Our ship’s lasted this long primarily becuase of this (and perhaps because they were tremendously overbuilt compared to todays standards) Many of our already old ships will last plenty longer (given $, time and sweat equity) And those cutterman will tell that story. However, they need replacement. Reminding everyone, including our own, of the trails encountered while conducting CG missions in the Bering, EPAC, across the Atlantic and the North Atlantic, or pushing into the Arctic is critical to generating the support required for the recap plan. These missions are vital to our Nation. Frame the discussion to highlight this, and that the CG is the best(and only) organization to perform all 11 statuatory missions. Thanks.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s