Claims the Ninth NSC is just Pork–Washington Examiner

USCGC_Waesche_by_Yerba_Buena_Island

The WashingtonExaminer reports,

“The 2009-page $1.1 trillion omnibus spending bill before Congress this week includes a $640 million earmark for a Coast Guard ship the Coast Guard doesn’t want, but K Street does.”

They point to an earlier post that advocated a 9th NSC and this statement,

“The [program of record] provides the capabilities needed to execute our missions. While these assets have proven to be highly effective and capable, the Coast Guard has not identified a need for additional NSCs at this time,” said a Coast Guard spokesman Chief Warrant Officer Chad Saylor.

Presumably, CWO Saylor was just saying it was not in the budget or in the program of record. Saying the Coast Guard does not need or cannot use a ninth Bertholf class could not be more wrong.

The National Security Cutters have been repeatedly identified as replacements for the 378 foot WHECs. But even under the most optimistic assumption of the “Crew Rotation Concept,” eight NSCs are not enough to provide the same number of days away from homeport as twelve WHECs. Even assuming each NSC would be available 230 days a year, they could provide only 1840 days as compared to 2220 for twelve WHECs, each available 185 days per year. Even nine NSCs still leaves us 150 days short. To provide the same or more days away from homeport under the crew rotation concept, even if it worked would require ten ships and 13 crews.

The Fleet Mix study completed in 2009 and made public in 2012, indicated that the Coast Guard needs far more ships than included in the “Program of Record,” if it were to fully meet all our statutory missions.   Each of the four progressively larger force levels (each progressively larger than the program of record) was intended to address a mission short fall. In every case the desired force level for National Security Cutters was nine. 

 

9 thoughts on “Claims the Ninth NSC is just Pork–Washington Examiner

  1. yet another case of the Coast Guard shooting itself in the foot for equipment to meet their needs. I also saw several cases of this for the Polar Ice Breakers that are needed.

    Keep in mind that most ships at one time or another in their life need more than routine maintenance so having a bit extra capacity is prudent

    Please have someone take the CWO into the back room and give him a copy of the what the Coast Guard really needs report and don’t let him out of the room until he has it memorized. Please

  2. Just went to the website of the “Washington Examiner” it seems like a rag. Esp of note, there was no mention that the CWOs comment was made years ago. Definitely intentionally misleading.

    As for the CGs program of record and CWO’s comments, I assume the CG is/was being forced to play politics. If they asked for what they really need but was politically unpopular they might have lost support/allies. Perhaps a more politically savy inside the beltway commenter knows more. So , I THINK we can assume the CGs comments were just the pre-approved talking points.

  3. “Cochran disagrees with the Coast Guard on the Coast Guard’s needs — and that’s his right. Civilian control of the military is a crucial pillar of America’s republican democracy. But we also can guess, from the words of his friends like Lott and Feehery, that Coast Guard effectiveness isn’t Cochran’s only interest. He also wants federal money flowing into Mississippi.

    Of course, that money first flows through K Street. Trent Lott is a lobbyist for Ingalls, pulling in $20,000 a month working solely on “Issues related to Coast Guard National Security Cutter,” according to his firm’s lobbying filings. Barbour is also an Ingalls lobbyist, “Provid[ing] counsel and strategic advice on government activity affecting the defense industry,” according to his firm’s filing.”

  4. The comments were taken out of context. All one has to do is read the article cited by the Examiner to see that they are taken out of context.

    That said, the culture at the top of taking pride in making do needs to change. As a fiscal conservative I find it admirable, but it is not acceptable for obsolete and unreliable equipment to be used in life and death situations. If an engine breaks down on the way to a rescue , people can die as a result of that.

    The ninth NSC became more necessary because of the delays to the OPC program.

  5. What we should ask is, is the Coast Guard going to award a non-competitive contract for six more Webber class? And why haven’t we pursued a multi-year contract which would have made bidding more attractive for competing shipyards?

  6. The Examiner has been the conservative alternative newspaper to WaPo etc. since it was first publisher.
    What is so hypocritical about the comments is the USN got an additional $1.4B in SCN funds for the 13th LPD-17 which was IN FACT additional to USMC lift rqmts.
    So here we have again an imbalance is shipbuilding funding between the USN and USCG. I would note that most of the USN warships are OVER a billion bucks each!

  7. Pingback: Administration Considers Cancelling NSC#9 | Chuck Hill's CG Blog

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