I wanted to draw your attention to an article that appeared on the Navy Times website, “CG’s Deepwater Program Continues to Flounder,” by Alicia A. Caldwell – The Associated Press, Posted : Sunday Aug 21, 2011 13:45:51 EDT.
This story was not a Navy Times exclusive. Through the AP, it has been widely published. You may have seen a version of it on your local media. Unfortunately this article while perhaps “true” is written in such a way as to be misleading, irresponsible, and damaging because of what it left out. I have already posted my comments on the Navy Times Website.
“…the Coast Guard has two new ships to show after spending $7 billion-plus” gives the impression the Coast Guard spent $7B for two ships which is far from the truth.
The money in question has purchased six C-130Js, twelve HC-144 maritime patrol aircraft and 12 associated mission pallets, upgraded older C-130Hs and 102 H-65 helicopters. It has refurbished 16 medium endurance cutters and 13 patrol boats. It has upgraded C4ISR equipment. In addition two more large ships and at least four smaller 154 foot cutters are paid for and will be delivered soon.
For many the takeaway from the article is that the Coast Guard is incompetent and cannot be trusted. In fact the cost of the two ships mentioned is about the same as the lead ships of the Navy’s LCS classes in spite of the fact that the cutters are almost 50% larger.
The Coast Guard had to rebuild its procurement staff because previous economy measures had stripped it of it’s in house expertise when a previous administration decided that the Government should outsource its decision making.
I know this was an AP article, but I would expect more balance from Navy Times.
I hate to see these allegations go unanswered.