“Backing The White House, Senator Wicker Introduces New Coast Guard Funding Bill” –Forbes

US Capital West Side, by Martin Falbisoner

Forbes brings us some good news, that people in Congress are trying to help the Coast Guard.

This is apparently only one of several bills, but it has some good things, money for the Coast Guard Yard and for the backlog of shoreside infrastructure, also assurance that Coast Guard personnel will continue to be paid if there is a government shutdown.

But it also includes something cheap that I have been advocating repeatedly, a new Fleet Mix Study. It has been 13 years, far too long since the last one was done. (Follow the link to see what we thought would happen in 2012.) Much has changed. The OPCs were long delayed, do we still want to go with the slow pace of construction currently planned? Should we consider something like “Cutter X?” More NSC were built than planned. We still have no shore based UAS. The MH-65s are becoming unsupportable. “Future Vertical Lift” aircraft are with the planning horizon. We got far fewer C-144s than planned. C-27 became available, replacing some C-144s, but also perhaps replacing some C-130s. The 87 foot Marine Protector WPBs are reaching the end of their lives, what do replace them with, a large motor lifeboat, an interceptor, or both? A new Tri-Service Strategy has been published. International Illegal Undocumented Unreported (IUU) fisheries has become a hot topic. Capacity building with friendly nations is becoming a major goal. Arctic presence, law enforcement, and SAR has become a concern.

Unlike the previous Fleet Mix Study we need to consider alternatives, not just preselected solutions.

Churchill is reputed to have said, “Gentlemen, We Have Run Out Of Money; Now We Have to Think.” In this case if we think, we might make a case for getting money. Too often it seems the Congress has been willing to give us money, but the Coast Guard did not have a wish list, e.g. unfunded priorities. We need a new vision of what the Coast Guard can be.

10 thoughts on ““Backing The White House, Senator Wicker Introduces New Coast Guard Funding Bill” –Forbes

  1. I think if they really look at how UAVs / USVs can be a force multiplier they will find they might need fewer cutters. One area I really think needs to grow is sonar. Not sure how you can really fulfill the mission without visibility in that dimension at this point. As I’ve said before, we could get better than the current WMECs with a ship much cheaper than the planned OPC. I am all for some OPCs, but most of that work can be done with a smaller ship. I really like the Sa’ar 6 as an OPV version for that job.

    • Pretty sure Chuck or someone else posted that very same video several months ago. I feel I definitely remember LTJG Pourmonir taking us on a tour

  2. yet these cutter are already being decommissioned. they work so we we have to fix them? 82s ran for many more years. but same size boats are tired? i missed something.

    • @bigsbigs 1, 25 years is a nominal life for a patrol boat. The Point class 82s were similar size but less powerful. They may have not been driven as hard. There is also the fact that there are going to be a lot more FRCs than Island class and they and the RB-Ms are covering missions the 87 footers have done. We are not retiring the entire class yet, only six so far as I understand it.

  3. Reading the budget and there is reference to a Mk 38 mod 4. Any word on what that is? Doesn’t seem to explain. They are going back to add the 7.62 into existing mk 2 mounts.

    • They have added the coaxial 7.62mm and improved the optics, but have not seen anything to indicate a more radical change like moving to a 30mm gun or adding missile launchers to the side–something the Israelis have done with theirs.

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