Top Coast Guard officer outlines future of service in San Pedro –News Release

Below you will find a CCGD11 news release regarding the Commandant’s State of the Coast Guard speech delivered today quoted in full. It also includes a link to the text of the speech. I will make some additional observations at the end. 

State of the Coast Guard Address 2019State of the Coast Guard 2019State of the Coast Guard 2019State of the Coast Guard Address 2019State of the Coast Guard address 2019

State of the Coast Guard 2019 State of the Coast Guard 2019

Editors’ Note: Click on above image to download full-resolution photos and view the videos.

SAN PEDRO, Calif. — The Commandant of the United States Coast Guard delivered his first State of the Coast Guard address Thursday at Coast Guard Base Los Angeles-Long Beach in San Pedro.

Speaking from the largest port in the nation, Adm. Karl Schultz highlighted Coast Guard security and marine safety operations, which facilitate $4.6 trillion in annual economic activity.

Schultz also recognized the service and sacrifice of Coast Guard men and women deployed around the world ensuring global peace and prosperity, including servicemembers supporting U.S. Indo-Pacific Command and U.S. Central Command. He also honored servicemembers in San Pedro, who help ensure the safety and timely movement of vessels operating in the Ports of Los Angeles-Long Beach.

“We must make a difference today, for the Coast Guard of tomorrow,” said Schultz. “Our Coast Guard men and women are united by a shared commitment and eagerness to serve, to demonstrate skill and courage, so that America’s Coast Guard will remain Semper Paratus—Always Ready.”

Schultz also made multiple policy and acquisition announcements including:

  • Increased presence in Southern California, including construction of a new air station at Ventura County Naval Station; the homeporting of the service’s first two new Offshore Patrol Cutters at Base Los Angeles-Long Beach in 2021; and four new Fast Response Cutters in Los Angeles.
  • Confirmed the service was poised to release an update to its Arctic Strategic Outlook in the coming weeks.
  • $675 million to fully fund the Polar Security Cutter and award the first construction contract for the cutter in the spring.
  • Provided an update on Coast Guard Cutter Bertholf’s deployment to the Western Pacific in support of United States Indo-Pacific Command combating North Korea’s maritime sanctions evasion activity.
  • Confirmed the service will accelerate delivery of unmanned aerial systems for National Security Cutters to enable operations that reduce violence and economic/political instability in the Western Hemisphere.

“As Congress makes tough fiscal decisions and looks at the best ways to spend the nation’s precious resources, there’s not a better return on investment in government than the United States Coast Guard,” said Schultz.

Download his full remarks at

My Comments: 

The statement that the first two OPCs will go to Long Angeles/Long Beach is the first time I have heard this. Still don’t think I have heard where NSCs #9-11 are going.

The Commandant wants to double the rate at which we procure Scan Eagle for the  National Security Cutters and he wants to put them on OPCs as well.

He talked a lot about Port Security cyber. This is going to continue to grow.

He talked about making the service more inclusive, and a safe workplace. In this regard he referred to the Women’s retention taskforce. which is expected to report next week. He also indicated there will be an underrepresented minorities retention task force.

He reported that he was putting Coast Guard Reservists directly under vice Commandant for Operations.

These are inevitably feel good events, and watching it you could feel pride in the Coast Guard and in its people and accomplishments. I know I did. It is not good form to  complain too much about the administration or the Department or how Congress has treated the Coast Guard, but the Commandant did talk about how the Coast Guard had a backlog of deferred maintenance and a $1.7B shore infrastructure backlog, and that the operating accounts have been flatlined for the last eight years resulting in a 10% loss of purchasing power. He included a reminder in the third and forth paragraph from the end that we really need a steady budget increase. He did not say it, but that is not the case with the FY2020 budget, in fact it is smaller than the FY2019 budget. Congress could still fix that.

“To be the Coast Guard that America needs takes more than just recapitalization. It requires sufficient operating and support funding to maintain our platforms, to train and equip our crews, and to support our Coast Guardsmen and their families. We’re appreciative of the fiscal year 2019 enacted budget, which provided over $2.2 billion dollars for capital investments and ensured continued frontline operations. I am also thankful for the President’s fiscal year 2020 budget request, which will sustain our Service.

“However, to be an absolutely Ready, Relevant, and Responsive Coast Guard requires a 5% annual increase in operating and support funding. As Congress makes tough fiscal decisions and looks at the best ways to spend the Nation’s precious resources, there’s not a better return on investment in government than the United States Coast Guard.”

13 thoughts on “Top Coast Guard officer outlines future of service in San Pedro –News Release

    • The H-60s still have a lot of life in them and they are doing life extension programs so don’t expect a replacement any time soon. Probably looking toward the next generation of military helicopters from the Army run “Future Vertical Lift” program.

  1. why first opcs to lb? I would think that the first opcs would replace wmecs in the worst physical condition, presumably 210s. are the oldest/mechanically/physically hurting wmecs in lb? is this just pandering?

    • In the East Coast it tends to be 270s to the NE and 210s to the SE and Gulf states, at least moving in that direction. There have been three 210s on the West Coast (Washington and Ore.) and Pacific weather can be very bad. Presume they will either be decommissioned or moved. LA/LB is close to the schools and other Navy support infrastructure in San Diego. Also closer to the Eastern Pacific drug transit zones than other West Coast Ports other than San Diego. (Actually was a little surprised they chose LA/LB over San Diego, but we probably could not have provided the same shoreside infrastructure at the Naval Base in San Diego where we had previously based 378s.)

      • Don’t forget that CONFIDENCE was homeported in Kodiak for 16 years. If a 210 could survive the Bering Sea, the more capable and larger OPCs should be able to. The closure of Adak makes it problematic over time since the only port for refueling and resupply is Dutch Harbor. I’m not sure that I would want to be on a “mothership” in the middle of the Bering during a storm, making that a nice idea but unlikely to work out.

        That having been said, it makes more sense to put an early ship closer to civilization (and support) that Port Angeles or Kodiak. Once the kinks are worked out, Kodiak might be a good idea for a couple of OPCs (assuming they are more cold weather capable than the Legend class).

      • I don’t forget that Confidence was in Kodiak, I served a short ops tour on Confidence when she was there.

        Don’t see us using the Mothership concept for the larger cutters and certainly not in Alaska, but in the Eastern Pacific, the Caribbean, SW Asia, or maybe Singapore for Webber class, yes. definitely.

        I anticipate we will see two OPCs in Kodiak, replacing the Alex Healey and the 378 currently based there, not because they are more cold weather capable than the NSCs, but because they are simpler and easier to maintain in a more austere environment and they will be able to do virtually anything an NSC could do on ALPAT.

  2. Another view of the speech here with a significant additional note that the CG will continue ops in support of sanctions against N. Korea through the rest of 2019.
    Bertholf’s deployment “is an important national mission. It’s an important international mission,” he said. Operations such as Bertholf’s reflect the “global reach and support” to Defense Department combatant commanders. Bertholf is under the tactical control of Indo-Pacific Command.
    “They will be utilized for best effect by their Navy bosses right now,” he said. “We’ve made a commitment to support that commander for the good part of the calendar year 2019, then we will inform the future beyond that.”

  3. Wasn’t there a distinct reason to move the whec 378s to nb san Diego and away from base la/lb instead of keeping them there?

    Perhaps laglb is the only choice given lack of room at the San Diego or port hueneme inns?

    • San Diego is not short of space, since the Navy is now much smaller than it was when the base was established. San Diego has a lot of advantages in terms of location of schools. Don’t think 378s were ever based at LA/LB, but it seems the Coast Guard’s maintenance and support philosophy has evolved and we are now attempting to base several ships of a class together (at least three seems optimum) with shore support. At least some of that support already exist at LA/LB and it is still relatively close to facilities in San Diego.

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