The US Naval Institute’s 2016 Coast Guard Essay Contest winner, “White Hulls Must Prepare for Gray Zone Challenges,” by LCdr.Craig Allen, Jr., USCG is worth the read.
Much of the focus is on the PATFORSWA and LCdr Allen seems to know where of he speaks.
“Lieutenant Commander Allen is a cutterman assigned to the Office of Defense Operations at Coast Guard Headquarters. He previously commanded the Sentinel-class cutter USCGC William Flores (WPC-1103) and the USCGC Baranof (WPB-1318), an Island-class cutter forward deployed to Manama, Bahrain. He also served as the executive officer of the USCGC Tornado (WPC-14), a Cyclone-class patrol craft. Commander Allen is a 2014 graduate of the U.S. Marine Corps Command and Staff College.”
But as he points out. These “Gray Zones” are not limited to SW Asia. We see them in South East Asia, East Africa, West Africa, and even in Central and South America.
While the post concentrates on crew preparation, I think its appropriate to point out an observation by Vice Adm. Joseph Mulloy, deputy chief of naval operations for integration of capabilities and resources, that attacks like those on the USS Mason, where a non-state actor employed cruise missiles are likely to become more common.
Maybe adding a CIWS (preferably the SeaRAM) to the OPC might not be a bad idea.