“Ohio River Bomb Spree Shows Need For New Coast Guard Waterways Commerce Cutters” –Forbes

USCGC Smilax (WLIC-315)

Craig Hooper has another pro-Coast Guard post in Forbes.

It talks about a domestic terrorism incident as a justification for the Waterways Commerce Cutter program.

The program already seems to be progressing well with essentially no opposition.

The article goes a bit beyond advocating for the program as it exists now.

“—the emerging threat of domestic terrorism suggests that these vessels may need to enhance their disaster response capabilities faster than the Coast Guard expects. Better communications, better situational awareness resources and better resources to keep crew safe may be quite useful over the three or four decades. Fittings for chemical sensors, extra protective gear storage, unmanned platform capabilities, and better decontamination resources all ensure these Cutters will be viable over the long-term.”

Take a look. I am not enthusiastic about Hooper’s suggested upgrades, but I have a lot of respect for his opinion, so would not dismiss them out of hand.

5 thoughts on ““Ohio River Bomb Spree Shows Need For New Coast Guard Waterways Commerce Cutters” –Forbes

  1. I agree with your doubts on some of his suggested upgrades since I don’t see any reason for the chemical warfare equipment, but upgrades to communications, sensors, and UAV capabilities are always useful for the Coast Guard’s day-to-day missions so injecting extra money there is never a bad idea.

    Also, on a related note, you may be interested in what SailPlan is working on regarding maritime networking, fleet management, and autonomous navigation. I don’t want to get out ahead of them so I won’t say more, but their website is below and I’d expect them to be happy to talk with you about what they can do for the Coast Guard in particular and maritime safety in general.

    https://www.sailplan.ai/

    • @Ben DiDonato, I am totally out of the loop, having been retired for over 30 years, but looks like AI is definitely in the Coast Guard’s future as are unmanned systems. Both look to become pervasive in the Maritime environment.

  2. Craig generally knows his stuff. I think he’s spot on in terms of future capabilities, some of which could be added over time. Having a CBR capability would not be a bad thing, if one is thinking about possible needs over 30-40 years. These vessels are going to be rather inexpensive platforms, but do require some ingenuity.

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