Navy Times is reporting Coast Guard efforts establish a presence in the Arctic are getting some support from USNORTHCOM.
“The Defense Department will help bolster the Coast Guard’s presence in the Arctic, the commander of U.S. Northern Command told the Senate Armed Services Committee.
“Army Gen. Charles Jacoby and Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Bob Papp signed a white paper March 13 that addresses capability gaps in infrastructure, communications, domain awareness and presence in the Arctic.”
Good to see a Combatant Commander (COCOM) supporting Coast Guard programs that serve his Area of Responsibility (AOR). This is in contrast to USSOUTHCOM’s silence regarding Coast Guard needs when it came to providing ships for drug interdiction.
The Navy Times article focuses on the proposed new ice breaker, but there appears to be more to it than that. Certainly there is a need for defense infrastructure in the Arctic and the Coast Guard may be seen as caretakers for facilities that could be augmented in times of crisis. Perhaps putting words into action, DARPA is working on systems that might facilitate “Domain Awareness” in the Arctic.
(It had looked like the Canadians were ahead of us in Arctic operations, but apparently they do not see it that way.)
The world is divided into six COCOM Areas of Responsibility. Coast Guard personnel serve in all of them. Coast Guard units are either permanently or frequently assigned to at least five of them. Hopefully Coast Guard participation is sufficiently valued that they will occasionally speak on behalf of the Coast Guard.
“The world is divided into six COCOM Areas of Responsibility.”
I would not be surprised to see a reduction of these in the future and a return to the CINC format as the armed forces reduce in size.