USNI “Fleet and Marine Tracker: May 22, 2023” Includes Some Coast Guard. This a Good Thing?

The USCGC Oliver Henry (WPC-1140) crew gets underway from Guam on May 21, 2023, before Typhoon Mawar’s arrival. US Coast Guard Photo

For the first time in my memory, US Naval Institute’s weekly Fleet and Marine Tracker includes information about Coast Guard units. The post reports,

“USCGC’s Myrtle Hazard and USCGC Oliver Henry departed Guam to avoid Typhoon MAWAR, which continues to strengthen and head toward Guam. Storm conditions are expected to arrive near Guam sometime on Tuesday, May 23.

and includes the photo and caption above. It also reports,

“Six U.S. Coast Guard Sentinel Class Fast Response Cutters (FRCs) are forward-deployed to the region under Patrol Forces Southwest Asia (PATFORSWA). PATFORSWA deploys Coast Guard personnel and ships alongside U.S. and regional naval forces throughout the Middle East. Initially deployed in 2003 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, PATFORSWA is now a permanent presence based out of the Kingdom of Bahrain, providing capable littoral assets for maritime interdiction, theater security cooperation, and maritime domain awareness operations.”


“Coast Guard Cutter Eagle moored in Oslo, Norway on Friday as part of its summer training cruise for cadets from the United States Coast Guard Academy.”

along with the photo and caption below (I added the link).

Cadets and crew members aboard USCGC Eagle (WIX-327) render honors to the Oscarsborg Fortress, May 19, 2023, during the transit into Oslo, Norway. US Coast Guard Photo

I was happy to see this. The Coast Guard needs to be generally recognized as part of the National Fleet. That status is officially recognized, but not by the general public or, more importantly, by large parts of the Navy and Coast Guard.

My initial reaction was that I wanted to see the Coast Guard included in this report regularly. But as I worked through what I thought should be done, I changed my mind.

Still, I believe that the US Naval Institute should want to publish something similar for Coast Guard units and that Coast Guard public affairs should want to support the effort by providing information in an agreed upon format essentially ready to publish.

What do we want to emulate and what do we want to do differently?

The Fleet and Marine Tracker consists of three parts:

  • A world map where normally only carrier strike Groups (CSGs) and Amphibious Ready Groups (ARGs) are plotted.
  • A statistical breakdown including the total number of battleforce ships, how many are deployed, how many are underway (Including some differentiation of USS vs USNS), and how many of those deployed are assigned to each numbered fleet.
  • A narrative of operations broken down geographically.

While I don’t think the world map plot is appropriate, at least not on a weekly basis, a statistical breakdown of ships underway or deployed out of area followed by a narrative section including short outlines of unusual or interesting operations broken down geographically would be useful.

The statistical break down might be by broad vessel types and by Atlantic and Pacific Areas. A listing of assignments to numbered fleets is probably not necessary. I don’t think we want to specify how many ships are assigned to 4th Fleet operational control since they would virtually all be involved in drug interdiction. The few assignments to other Combatant Commanders could be handled in the geographic narrative section.

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