Thanks for a Great 2019

USCGC Duane on North Atlantic Convoy Duty

Thanks to the those who have come by to see what we have been discussing and especially to those who put in their two cents, your interest has made the effort more than worthwhile. This has been a remarkably civil and knowledgeable group. Nice to see that all experience and knowledge levels are respected.

It has been a very successful year for this blog. Readership was up 18.7% over the previous best year, 2017, to 255,331 views. This is the first time there have been more than a quarter million views in a year. Individual visits to the blog were up 49% over the previous best year, 2018, to 86,140, due in large part to one post, “Navy this is Coast Guard, we need to talk” that was viewed 18,245 times.

Readership for eight of the twelve months was higher than any previous corresponding month. Until this year, the blog had never had more than three month with more than 19,000 views, and never more than two months with more than 20,000, nor more than 20,881 in a single month. For 2019, ten months had more than 19,000 views, eight had more than 20,000, and one 31,500.

I would also like to thank other bloggers who have seen fit to reference our little corner of the internet, including:  Center for International Maritime Security (CIMSEC) “Next War Blog”, Eaglespeak, and Cdr Salamander.

We had 1,733 comments. This kind of feedback is most welcome. The post with the most comments was Navy Awards FFG Conceptual Design Contracts for FFG(X)–Speculation on a NSC Derivative (Feb. 2018), with 123.

Would particularly like to thanks Tups for bringing his special Icebreaker knowledge to the blog.

Just over 25% of the readers were from outside the US. Visitors from 19 different nations came by for more than 1000 views. In order, they were the Philippines (8,509), the UK (8,327), Canada (5,051), Australia (4,199), Germany (2,344), the Netherlands (2,323), Finland (2,316), Japan (2,097), Greece (1,958), Chile (1,801), New Zealand (1,399), India (1,352), Russia (1,192), Spain (1,187), Malaysia (1,151), Ireland (1,146), China (1,107), Argentina (1,092), and Norway (1,087).

There were 311 new posts in 2019, pushing the total to 2,562 posts.

The top ten post for 2019 were

  1. Navy this is Coast Guard, we need to talk (2019)
  2. An Offshore Patrol Vessel With Teeth (2019)
  3. The Sharrow Propeller (2018)
  4. “The Coast Guard Does Not Exist Solely for Preparing for War” –USNI (2019)
  5. “Coast Guard Cutter Procurement: Background and Issues for Congress Updated November 27, 2019” –CRS
  6. What Does It Take to Sink a Ship? (2011)
  7. The 87 Foot WPB Replacement –Response Boat, Large –Interceptor (2019)
  8. New 40mm Gun (2016)
  9. 50mm Chain Gun, More Detail (2019)
  10. Navy Awards Conceptual Design for FFG(X)–Speculation on an NSC Derivative (2019)

I have updated the “Top Ten Posts” page to reflect both top ten for 2019 and the top ten over the history of the blog.

If anyone has any suggestions, or would like to write a post for publication here, you can contact me at chuckhhill@aol.com.

Looking at the year ahead, the OPC debacle has damaged the Coast Guard’s procurement planning reputation, which had been on the rise, because of the suspicion that Eastern was never really qualified to build the OPC. It will take some time to rebuild confidence. Unfortunately this is likely to make Coast Guard acquisitions even more cautious, leading to further delays. We really need to see both the OPC and Polar Security Cutter programs proceed smoothly for here on out.

As noted, long term planning has not met the demands of the Congress, and more importantly seems to lead to long delays in funding Procurement, Construction, and Improvement projects. Hopefully we will see improvement in this area.

The Geopolitical situation seems to be deteriorating at an alarming rate. I don’t expect we will have a new war in South West Asia. I do expect to see incidents. Trouble with Russia, North Korea, and in Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, and the Persian Gulf will continue to distract us and sap our strength, while China is the real threat. They play the long game and push outward where ever they find weakness. They are on the move in Oceania, Africa, Latin America, the Arctic, and the Antarctic. The US and China are in a naval arms race, but only China seems to recognize that fact. The Coast Guard has a significant part to play. It is time to recall the wisdom and foresight of Admiral Waesche in preparation for WWII.

2 thoughts on “Thanks for a Great 2019

  1. I read here more than I comment, and I am grateful for you having the blog, there’s a lot of info that you provide.

    SP,

    Chris

  2. Thanks Chuck for your insight and information that you provide to us through this blog…it’s much appreciated, and I’m looking forward to even more livelier discussions in the year ahead 🙂

    In your comments on the geopolitical situation, you are exactly right concerning China. Even now, tensions with Iran seem to be taking over the headlines, but like you said, China plays the long game. Iran doesn’t have even half the power and influence China does. If China’s aggressive (and illegal) actions are not met with convincing force now, then it will be all but impossible to stop them if they make a bigger move in the future (i.e., Taiwan).

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