Comments on the Tri-Service Strategy, “Advantage at Sea” –Part 1

USCGC Stratton (WMSL-752), left, and the U.S. Navy Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS McCampbell (DDG-85) maneuver in formation during Talisman Sabre 2019 on July 11, 2019. US Navy Photo

From my Coast Guard perspective, my number one question when viewing the new tri-service strategy, “Advantage at Sea,” is “What is the Coast Guard expected to do?” It does not appear that we have been given a clear answer, particularly in regard to our role in a major conflict.

Below, I quote every part of the strategy that refers uniquely to the Coast Guard. (I have not included those sections where “Coast Guard” or “coast guardsmen” are lumped in with Navy and Marine Corps or sailors and marines.)

In part 2, we will look at the strategy in more detail. I will also talk about what I see as logical use of the Coast Guard in a major conflict.

“The Coast Guard is expanding its global engagements and capacity-building efforts in key vulnerable regions.” –from Foreword

“The Coast Guard’s mission profile makes it the preferred maritime security partner for many nations vulnerable to coercion. Integrating its unique authorities—law enforcement, fisheries protection, marine safety, and maritime security—with Navy and Marine Corps capabilities expands the options we provide to joint force commanders for cooperation and competition.” p.7, “Integrated All-Domain Naval Power”

“In the homeland, the Coast Guard protects the marine transportation system that
underpins America’s economic vitality.” p.10, “Employing Naval Forces, Operating Across the Competition Continuum, In Day-to-Day Competition”

“Navy and Coast Guard ships conduct freedom of navigation operations globally,
challenging excessive and illegal maritime claims. Coast Guard cutters and law enforcement detachments aboard Navy and allied ships exercise unique authorities to counter terrorism, weapons proliferation, transnational crime, and piracy. All three services enforce sanctions through maritime interdiction operations, often as part of international task forces.” p.11, “Employing Naval Forces, Operating Across the Competition Continuum, In Day-to-Day Competition”

“Coast Guard forces provide additional tools for crisis management through capabilities that can de-escalate maritime standoffs nonlethally.” p.12, “Employing Naval Forces, Operating Across the Competition Continuum, In Crisis”

“Rapidly deployable Coast Guard cutters, Port Security Units, and Advanced Interdiction Teams will provide specialized capabilities, augmenting operations in theater.” p.13/14, “Employing Naval Forces, Operating Across the Competition Continuum, In Conflict”

“The Coast Guard will ensure the safe, secure, and efficient marine transportation
system essential to sustaining forces in war.” p.14 “Employing Naval Forces, Operating Across the Competition Continuum, In Conflict”

“A modernized Coast Guard fleet will enhance global deployability and provide expanded options across the competition continuum.” p.15/16, “Developing Naval Forces, Delivering Integrated All-Domain Naval Forces”

“The Coast Guard will prioritize readiness, capacity, and future capability—including cyber, C5ISR, and modernizing the cutter fleet—over legacy capability. ” p.17, “Developing Naval Forces, Delivering Integrated All-Domain Naval Forces, Integrated naval modernization

“The Coast Guard’s fleet modernization, including acquisition of the Offshore Patrol Cutter, Polar Security Cutter, Arctic Security Cutter, and Waterways Commerce Cutter, will provide the capacity and capabilities necessary to facilitate advancing maritime governance and protecting U.S. maritime sovereignty.” p.23, “Annex: Naval Service Investments, Prevailing in day-to-day competition”

“Coast Guard will maintain investments in ships, talent, and infrastructure to operate a modernized cutter fleet.” p.24. “Annex: Naval Service Investments, Operational readiness”


9 thoughts on “Comments on the Tri-Service Strategy, “Advantage at Sea” –Part 1


  2. Pingback: “Chinese Assessment of New U.S. Naval Strategy” –USNI | Chuck Hill's CG Blog

  3. Pingback: “Backing The White House, Senator Wicker Introduces New Coast Guard Funding Bill” –Forbes | Chuck Hill's CG Blog

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