(I meant to cover this earlier, but perhaps still worth a listen)
CIMSEC’s Podcast “SEA Control,” had an interview with the Commandant, Dec. 27, 2020. You can find it here.
At first I thought I had heard it all before, but toward the end, there were some surprises.
Illegal, Unreported, Unregulated fishing got a lot of attention. He related that it was gaining visibility and had become a national security issue since overfishing has created food security issues for many countries. He pointed to Coast Guard Cooperation with Ecuador in monitoring a fishing fleet off the Galapagos Islands. Internationally he sees a coordination role for the USCG.
Relative to the Arctic he mentioned the possibility of basing icebreakers in the Atlantic and the need for better communications.
He talked about the Tri-Service Strategy and the Coast Guards roles in it, particularly in less than lethal competition.
More novel topics started about minute 38 beginning with Unmanned systems. He talked about the recent CG experiments with unmanned systems and went on to note that the CG will also regulated Unmanned commercial vessel systems.
About minute 41 he talked about the Coast Guard’s role in countering UAS in the Arabian Gulf. He added that we have a lead role in DHS in counter UAS. “We are in the thick of that”
He said the service was looking at MQ-9 maritime “Guardian” (minute 45)
When ask about reintroducing an ASW capability he said that while the Coast Guard was looking at it, the service would have to be cautious about biting off too much. (My suggestion of how the CG could have an ASW mission with minimal impact on its peacetime structure.)
He talked about balancing local and distant missions and concluded that the CG could do both (47), and that the Coast Guard was becoming truly globally deployable (48).
He noted that the first two FRCs for PATFORSWA would transit to Bahrain in Spring, followed by two more in the Fall, and two more in 2022. (49)
He noted technology is making SAR more efficient. “Hopefully we will put ourselves out of the Search and Rescue business.” 50
He talked about the benefits of “white hull diplomacy.” (52)
Asked about our funding for new missions he said it was sometime necessary to demonstrate the value of the mission first, then seek funding. (55)
He also talked about raising the bar on maintenance.