The US Naval Institute has an argument in favor of funding National Security Cutter #12
The author talks about the shortage of ships both because of the failure of the crew rotation concept and because of the shortfall revealed in the Fleet Mix Study. This has been discussed in the Congressional Research Service report on Cutter Acquisition.
What I found new, was information about SOUTHCOM interceptions,
In congressional testimony last year, Admiral Craig Faller, Commander, U.S. Southern Command, noted: “The Coast Guard’s presence any given day is six to eight cutters. . . . But, keep in mind, we’re talking about covering areas the size of the United States—with from six to 10 ships. And so, the interdiction percentage with the current assets we have is about 6 percent of the detections. So, we need more ships.”
that is a lower interception rate than previously reported, and impact on jobs,
The NSC is an indispensable national asset. The economic impact of the NSC production line touches nearly 500 suppliers across 39 states. An additional ship order would help jumpstart the U.S. economy and have an immediate and profound effect on a host of U.S. suppliers, who stand ready to deliver. Moving forward with a 12th NSC is low risk.
If we had been further along with the Offshore Patrol Cutter (OPC), I would say, just build another OPC instead of a twelth NSC, but we were way behind in starting the OPC program and the difficulties at Eastern put us even further behind.
The OPC program is so far behind, that the Bertholf is likely to be 30 years old before the 25th OPC is ready for its first operational mission. Plus we really do need more than 36 large patrol cutters, but the fact we have not done a new Fleet Mix Study in almost ten years does not help our case.
And then cause more confusion by asking them to be equipped to be able to stop large freighters/small warships from doing damage to us. The idea that the Coast Guard is a real military organization seems Alien to Congress.
Odd that the RHIB in the photo didn’t have a M240 MG on the bow for the intercept. Was the USCG afraid that the prisoners might commandeer the machine gun when taken aboard?
I would think that any deployment should call for armed crafts besides small arms carried by the VBSS team, or am I mistaken in seeing that bow pedestal as a gun mount that really isn’t there?
Most likely that is not the RHIB that made the intercept & arrest of the crew. Given the generator in the RHIB, it’s probably there to conduct a more thorough search
I would add that it might not be a generator, but a portable water pump instead