USNI Support for the Coast Guard

The US Naval Institute has an opinion piece strongly supporting the US Coast Guard, written, perhaps surprisingly, by a retired US Navy Rear Admiral, Terence E. McKnight.

Being of a cynical nature, I suspected RAdm. McKnight might be employed by Huntington Ingalls (HII), since he was advocating more Bertholf class National Security Cutters, and he has advocated for other HII products in the past, but there is apparently no direct connection.

Since the first Offshore Patrol Cutter is not due to be commissioned until 2022 now (having slipped again), it certainly would not hurt to get a ninth NSC.

14 thoughts on “USNI Support for the Coast Guard

  1. Would it be beyond the pale to keep buying them while the OPC remains a paper project, but the NSC production line is still warm and the price for subsequent hulls and components can potentially be amortised? Total class of 12 with a couple based abroad? This is the usual economy of scale which the US military services as a whole have traditionally benefited from, to the envy of many foreign arms. As observed in the comments of a previous post, the USCG has no problems recruiting people, so finding crews would surely not present a problem.

    • The Fleet Mix studies have said the CG needs nine NSCs. The crew rotation concept, which the CG has yet to repudiate is predicated on three ships in each port. It looks like instead we will get four in Alameda, two in Charleston, and two in Honolulu. Even with crew augmentation these will not supply as many ship days on task as the twelve 378s did. Adding a ninth and stationing it in Hawaii would help a lot and make the idea of the crew rotation concept or simply crew augmentation in the 14th District make more sense.

  2. There has be some other motive for the support. The USNI has allowed some crappy books to be published about the Coast Guard.

  3. Can someone please explain to me why it takes the most powerful country on the planet a decade and a half to commission an OPV?

    ForPeteSake, it’s absolutely ridiculous.

    The procurement/development/bid system for the US Coast Guard is so screwed up it’s beyond repair. They have to start over and figure out a new way to do business.

    I agree with others though, if the OPC isn’t going to go into service until 2022, then keep building National Security Cutters. But buy a batch of 3 of them or something, instead of this piecemeal funding that screws up the pricing structure.

    • It isn’t just the Coast Guard’s failed procurement system that has created the current laughable state of the offshore cutter fleet. This is what happens when you put the Coast Guard in a department that is dysfunctional on a good day and only cares about our land borders and airports. The Coast Guard is never going to fare well in the battle for budget money inside DHS, so unless Congress wakes up and starts providing funding on its own, by 2025 the cutter fleet will be 8 NSC’s and 50+ Webber class patrol boats.

    • By some measures the CG acquisitions staff is excellent. It has won several awards, but I think the embarrassments of Deepwater may have made them cautious. Perfection as always, is the enemy of good enough.

      I do think the OPCs are going to be good ships, but they seem to be taking a very long time to become a reality.

      • I give you credit, Chuck, for believing that the OPC will in fact get built. I’m not buying it until I see DHS actually start supporting the OPC instead of giving it lip service.

  4. it does seem that the opc concept itself may be a 50 year old paper cutter before the first steel gets cut. I have to agree with others here, the dhs in general is a mess and our participation in it does us no favors.

  5. Yes the Coast Guard fleet is in horrible shape. The problem is that there
    was a program called Deepwater that was supposed to be fixing that. And
    that program started just after 9/11. The Coast Guard rightfully noted
    similar doom and gloom statistics back then to justify Deepwater. Only
    the difference then was that lack of funding was the real root cause.
    In the past 13 years the root cause of the current situation, which is
    far worse than before, is incompetent leadership in the USCG and the
    defense contractors. Deepwater was fully funded, post 9/11, for the
    first 10 years. That $17B 20 year program has become a more than $30B
    30 year program with only a fraction of what was supposed to be supplied
    by the money we the taxpayers spent.

    The most important tidbit of data the Admiral leaves out is that the
    defense contractors were an unconditional program wide performance
    guaranty that was meant to ensure the USCG and you the taxpayer would
    get what we paid for. The USCG and congress buried that guaranty. That
    guaranty would literally pay for most of the gaps we have now.

      • I do not know if the guaranty can still be exercised. I say try.

        I do not know if congress knows. I tried to tell a couple of them. Unfortunately I found out it existed after my hearing. Believe me had I known I would have raised it. (As well as the fact that Rep LaTourette’s wife worked for Lockheed at a lobbyist. During his unsuccessful efforts to minimize the issues I raised I would have gladly brought that one up)

    • Actually, Deepwater was underway well before 9/11. I went to work at a naval architecture firm in August 1999 that was part of a team (there were three competing) and they had been working for close to a year at that point. At the time of 9/11 we were in the proposal stage and the downselect happened in Spring 2002.

  6. Pingback: “Opinion: Coast Guard Budget Reductions Puts U.S. at Risk”–USNI | Chuck Hill's CG Blog

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