(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.
He talked about Arctic, Antarctic, and IUU. He talked about the Arctic Strategic Outlook and the IUU Strategic Outlook.
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.
“Hopefully we’ll put ourselves out of the Search and Rescue business.”
I’ve been saying this since the inception of DHS; anytime you see a press release by the US Coast Guard, the descriptor for the USCG is always, Law Enforcement, Homeland Security and Search and Rescue.
The primary function of the Coast Guard is moving farther and farther away from what was once our primary function, saving lives. The “globally deployable” naval like force projection is more about appropriations than guarding our coastline.
It’s obvious that this has been occurring because there is no ROI in lifesaving. IMO.
If you really want the Coast Guard to be more focus on its primary missions.
Unload ATON and regulatory duties unto the Department of Transportation.
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