- Bath, Me–Major Naval shipbuilder
- Groton, CT–Submarine base
- Hudson River complex, New York, NY/Elizabeth and Bayonne, NJ–a major cultural target, #3 US Port by tonnage, #2 Container port, #4 Cruise ship port (NYC) and #13 cruise ship port (Cape Liberty, NJ), Strategic Seaport (Elizabeth)
- Delaware Bay–Strategic Seaport (Philadelphia) –two FRCs at Cape May
- Chesapeake Bay Complex, VA–Base for aircraft carriers and submarines, Major naval shipbuilder, #14 port by tonnage, #7 container port; plus water route to Washington, DC (major cultural target) and Baltimore, MD–#9 port by tonnage, #10 container port, #12 cruise ship port, Strategic Seaport (Norfolk and Newport News)
- Morehead City, NC–Strategic Seaport –two FRCs at near by Atlantic Beach
- Cape Fear River–Strategic Seaport (Sunny Point and Wilmington, NC)
CCGD7–Two NSCs, 18 FRCs (six in Key West in addition to those indicated below)
- Charleston, SC–#9 container port, #15 cruise ship port, Strategic Seaport –two NSCs
- Savannah, GA–#4 container port Strategic Seaport
- Jacksonville complex, FL (including Kings Bay, GA)–SSBNs, Navy Base Mayport, #14 cruise ship port, Strategic Seaport
- Port Canaveral, FL–#3 Cruise Ship port
- Port Everglades/Fort Lauderdale, FL–#13 container port, #2 Cruise Ship port
- Miami, FL–#11 container port, #1 Cruise Ship port–six FRCs
- San Juan, PR–#5 Cruise Ship port, #15 container port–six FRCs
- Tampa, FL–#7 Cruise Ship port
- Mobile, AL–major naval shipbuilder, #12 port by tonnage
- Pascagoula, MS–major naval shipbuilder –two FRCs replacing Decisive.
- Gulfport, MS–Strategic Seaport
- Mississippi River Complex, LA–#14 container port,#10 Cruise Ship port (NOLA), #1 port by tonnage (South Louisiana), #6 port by tonnage (NOLA), #8 port by tonnage (Baton Rouge), #10 port by tonnage (Port of Plaquemines)
- Lake Charles, LA–#11 port by tonnage
- Sabine Pass complex (Beaumont/Port Author/Orange, TX)–#4 port by tonnage (Beaumont), Strategic Seaport (both Beaumont and Port Author)
- Houston/Galveston/Texas City, TX–#2 port by tonnage (Houston), #13 port by –tonnage (Texas City), #5 container port (Houston), #6 Cruise ship port (Galveston)–Three FRC going to Galveston when Dauntless departs.
- Corpus Christi, TX–#7 port by tonnage, Strategic Seaport
CCGD11–Four NSCs, two (assumption) FRCs
- San Diego–Base for aircraft carriers and submarines, major naval shipbuilder (NASSCO), Strategic Seaport
- Los Angeles/Long Beach/Port Hueneme, CA–A major cultural target, #5 port by tonnage (Long Beach), #9 port by tonnage (Los Angeles), #1 container port (Los Angeles), #3 container port (Long Beach), #9 cruise Ship port (Long Beach), #11 cruise ship port (Los Angeles), Strategic Seaport (Long Beach and Port Hueneme) –FRC(s)at San Pedro
- San Francisco Bay complex–A major cultural target, #6 container port (Oakland), Strategic Seaport (Oakland and Concord) –Four NSCs
CCGD13–Two FRCs planned for Astoria, OR
- Puget Sound Complex, Seattle/Tacoma, WA–Base for aircraft carriers (Bremerton), SSBNs (Bangor), and submarines, major naval bases, #8 container port (Seattle), #10 container port (Tacoma), #8 Cruise ship port (Seattle), Strategic Seaport (Indian Island and Tacoma, WA)
CCGD14–Two NSCs, Six FRCs, Two in Honolulu, + Four planned
- Honolulu/Pearl Harbor–Major Naval base, including submarines–Two NSC, Two there now, Two FRCs + a third planned
- Apra, Guam–Submarine Base, Strategic Seaport–Three FRCs planned
CCGD17–Six FRCs, Two in Ketchikan, + Four more planned
- Anchorage, AK–Strategic Seaport
Next we will talk about where the remaining NSCs and FRCs, and where all the OPCs might be going.
Bertholf Class National Security Cutters:
In 2000 the twelve 378s were distributed ten to the Pacific and two to the Atlantic. Homeports in 2000 were Charleston (2), Seattle (2), Alameda (4), and Honolulu (2). The program of record was for eight National Security Cutters, but ten have been funded and it appears there may be an eleventh. Homeports for the first eight include four in Alameda, CA, two in Charleston, SC, and two in Honolulu, HI. I don’t expect that there will be any other homeports assigned. It is likely that numbers nine and ten will go to Honolulu and Charleston, bringing them to three each. This will give LANTAREA more very long range assets both to support drug interdiction and capacity building in West Africa.
Number eleven will probably go to the Pacific. Alameda could probably accept it, but I suspect a growing recognition of responsibilities in the Western Pacific will mean, if procured, it will go to Honolulu, if not initially, at least by 2035. .
Offshore Patrol Cutters:
I don’t think OPCs will go to the same ports as the NSCs. Based on where other WHECs or multiple WMECs were based (and an unused naval base at Corpus Christi), likely homeports for OPCs include:
- Boston, MA
- Portsmouth, VA
- Key West, FL
- St. Petersburg, FL
- Corpus Christi (Naval Station Ingelside), TX
- San Diego, CA
- Kodiak, AK
If we assume at least three ships in each, that accounts for 21. What of the remaining four? They could be added to the ports above or perhaps added to other ports.
I think a case can be made for putting a higher percentage of the large cutters in PACAREA. After all, less than 16.2% of the US Exclusive Economic Zone is in LANTAREA’s area of operation.
Currently there are only four medium endurance cutters in the Pacific and 24 in the Atlantic. There are only 25 OPCs in the program of record. Obviously this will not be a one for one replacement
In the year 2000 PACAREA had 16 large patrol cutters (10 WHECs and six WMECs), currently they have 13 (five NSCs, four WHECs, and four WMECs). Considering the apparent growing responsibilities of PACAREA, the projected maximum of no more eight NSCs, and the ability of the Webber class to assume some of the fisheries protection duties of the WMECs in the Atlantic, it is likely PACAREA WMECs will be replaced with OPCs on a better than one to one basis that would have left PACAREA with only 12 large patrol ships. I suspect PACAREA will be assigned at least six OPCs, and that it should have at least nine (17 of the total of 36 large ships (8 NSCs and 9 OPCs), if we get 11 NSCs homeported as above).
It is extremely likely at least two OPC will go to Kodiak to replace 378 foot WHEC Douglas Munro and 283 foot WMEC Alex Haley. It seems likely that this could ultimately grow to three OPCs. Locating them close to ALPAT areas.
San Diego was homeport to two 378s. It is closer to the Eastern Pacific drug transit zones than other Pacific ports, and it has both excellent training facilities and shipyards.
Seattle seemed a likely location for OPCs but since it is the likely homeport for three new Heavy Polar Icebreakers as well as USCGC Healy (and/or other medium icebreakers) it appears they may not have the room.
Assuming three OPCs in Kodiak and three in San Diego, if additional OPCs go to the Pacific where would they go? Additional ships in San Diego or nearby Terminal Island in San Pedro (Long Beach) appear likely.
This leaves 16 to 19 OPCs to be assigned to LANTAREA. Three each in Boston, MA, Portsmouth, VA, Key West, FL, St. Petersburg, FL, Corpus Christi (Naval Station Ingelside), TX would account for 15, leaving only one to four to find a home. One more port, perhaps Miami, or just add ships to the ports above. Certainly there is space in Portsmouth and Little Creek, VA.
I will assume six in San Diego and/or San Pedro (Long Beach), four in Portsmouth, VA and three each in Boston, Key West, FL, St. Petersburg, FL, Corpus Christi, TX, and Kodiak, AK.
- S. Portland, ME: …two Webber class
- Boston, MA: …Three OPCs
- East end of Long Island Sound (Woods Hole, MA, Newport, RI , or New London)…two Webber class
- Sandy Hook, NJ:…two Webber class
CGD5…four OPCs…four Webber class
- Cape May, NJ…two Webber class
- Portsmouth, VA…Four OPCs
- Atlantic Beach, NC…two Webber class
CGD7…three NSCs…three OPCs…21 Webber class
- Charleston, SC…three NSCs
- Miami, FL…six Webber class
- Key West, FL…Three OPCs…six Webber class
- San Juan, PR…six Webber class
- St. Petersburg, FL…Three OPCs…three Webber class
- Pascagoula, MS…two Webber class
- Galveston, TX…three Webber class
- Corpus Christi (Naval Station Ingelside), TX…Three OPCs…two Webber class
- San Diego and/or San Pedro (Long Beach),… six OPCs…two Webber class
- San Francisco Bay/Alameda Complex…four NSCs…two Webber class
- Astoria, OR…two Webber class
- Port Angeles, WA…two Webber class
- Honolulu…four NSCs…three Webber class
- Apra, Guam…three Webber class
- Ketchikan…two Webber class
- Auke Bay (Juneau)…two Webber class
- Kodiak, AK…Three OPCs
- Cook Inlet (Homer or Juneau)…two Webber class
How does this square with the list of critical ports? It is a good start, but there are too many ports between Pascagoula and Galveston. and between Charleston and Miami. Either we need more Webber class or we need the smaller WPBs that will replace the 87 foot Marine Protector class WPBs to also be able to also protect these ports.
Having ships in the right place is not enough. As I’ve noted several times, I don’t think any of our ships are adequately armed to perform the Maritime Security role, meaning they need to be able to counter both small, fast, highly maneuverable craft and larger vessels. I don’t really think the guns we have now are capable of reliably doing either. Hopefully sometime before 2035 our vessels will be properly equipped for the Homeland Security mission.