I can be reached at chuckhhill@aol.com

This blog is very much a child of Dan Trimble’s CGBlog where I contributed for a bit over two years. With Dan’s help, all the content I wrote during that period has been transplanted here along with the associated comments.

Unfortunately when Dan’s CGBlg ceased to exist many of the links in the content here were broken. I will fix them as time permits.

This blog will generally not discuss day to day operations that the Coast Guard does so well. Other sources such as Coast Guard Compass are much better positioned to do this than I.

The objective of this blog is to look over the longer term, at budgets, policies, tactics, roles and missions, and their physical expression, the platforms that allow the Coast Guard to do its job. My own interest and experience is primarily with the larger patrol vessels, so they will perhaps receive a disproportionate amount of attention. If so, it is not for lack of respect for the other elements of the Coast Guard, and I hope comments will to some extent make up for my lack of familiarity with these areas.

There will also be some reflection on the history of the service that I hope will be both entertaining and illuminating.

Comments are not only welcome, they are essential to maintaining balance and working toward a better understanding of the needs of the service. Recognizing that readers come from different levels of experience and understanding, please keep comments respectful and on topic and avoid personal attacks.

Additionally this blog is not about partisan politics. There are lots of other blogs that provide a venue for that. Comments which include comments on contemporary politics will be deleted in whole or in part.

I’d like to keep the discussion professional, so personal attacks will also be deleted.

Who am I?

I am an old guy and grandfather. Graduated from the CG Academy in 1969. Retired from the Coast Guard 1991 (Military Readiness expertise no longer required after the breakup of the Soviet Union). Assignments included four ships, Rescue Coordination Center New Orleans, CG HQ, Four years in HQ in the Military Readiness branch, Fleet Training Group San Diego, Naval War College (Command and Staff Course), and Pacific Area/Maritime Defense Zone Pacific Ops/Readiness/Plans/Exercises. My ships included the McCulloch (a 311′ WAVP/WHEC), Confidence when it was homeported in Kodiak, Duane (a 327′ WPG/WHEC and my avatar in its WWII form), and Midgett (the WHEC). While at Fleet Training Group San Diego, I observed all underway training for every ship that went through training for three years. That gave me the opportunity to observe more gunnery exercises than just about anyone else in the Coast Guard. While there I also became the first Coast Guard officer to complete the Tactical Action Officer (TAO) course (August 1980) and also completed the Naval Control of Shipping course. Have had a life-long interest in naval ships and history. Also have a Masters from George Washington University in quantitative factors for decision making. I got going to night school while at CG HQ.

32 thoughts on “About

  1. Great to see you at work again Chuck, meant to get back to your blog but never got the chance because of college. Now I got a whole bunch of articles and insider info to catch up on thanks to you! Haha, great to be back

  2. Awesome Blog, XO Hill. Really enjoyed the articles, I have a newspaper article from June 1943, about the Spencer and Duane sinking u-boat 175. It was in a Bangor daily commercial my stepdad saved because he was in the paper for 2 unit citations during the war. It should be on the Duane fb page. Bill Cote

  3. Chuck: We recently noted on our dash board that we had some entries to our blog from yours. This was the first that we learned of your blog. We could not find any link to us so we are still mystified how visitors entered from your site. Regardless we loved your site. We cover quite a few U.S. and Foreign coast guard and small navy issues, but that is about 1/10 of our content.
    http://americanadmiraltybooks.blogspot.com/ .is a general maritime site providing book reviews, book and manuscript information, news,and links to just about every maritime subject from naval and merchant marine operations to recreational boating, diving, and surfing. We never claim to be the best site for any subject but rather “THE PLACE TO START ANY MARITIME RESEARCH”, we promise our visitors to provide links to all the best specialized sites on any maritime subject.and our home page always carries a hot link to our “BIG Links Locker”. We carry a number of links to official U.S.Coast Guard sites but we have been looking for independent and responsible voice on U.S.and foreign coast guard subjects. We will be posting a descriptive blog post about your site in the near future with a link, and we will be installing permanent links to you in our “BIG LINKS LOCKER”, MERCHANT MARINE INTEREST SECTION, NAVAL INTEREST SECTION, AND VESSEL TRAFFIC SECTION.

    We are an Amazon.com portal but we also provide ISBN numbers on all books that we describe to facilitate library loans. We do blog about all sorts of maritime subjects including U.S. Coast Guard subjects.and that includes the views of maritime labor which are often not complimentary to the Coast Guard’s handling of merchant marine occupational licensing. You are always welcome to take issue with anything that we publish either in our comments section or in your own blog, we pride ourselves in being an “open forum”, Those who post with us are free to use their real names or adopt pen names.on opinion pieces. Taking us to task on any particular post will never effect our decision to link to your site or our recommendation of your site as “authoritative and reliable.speciality source”. Indeed if you decide to respond to any of our posts with your own post we will gladly reprint it and link back to you in our blog. Our task is to organize and make retrievable all reliable maritime information sources in the English language be it in print or on the internet. Our daily postings are separate and distinct from our special interest pages where the real work of our site takes place. We allow anonymous and attributed .posts. Our editorial staff use pen names themselves to insure that we are free to be absolutely politically incorrect where warranted. This is also an additional protection for our contributors. We don’t carry disclaimers indicating that any published opinion is that of the post author and not that of “management”,our official position is that our management includes a giant catfish and a host of “library elves”..
    Our blog posts are simply a place where anything maritime may be aired and / or debated.

    However as noted we want to be the only name the general public needs to remember to start any type of maritime research or find quality maritime information sources for daily, weekly, or monthly reading. So we are going to recommend your site as a “reliable and authoritative source ” for U.S. Coast Guard and international coast guards news and information.

    Great job! Love the site

    Johnas Presbyter, Editor .

  4. Hello Chuck, I have a question for you if you have the time to answer it. It seems that procurement of the legend class CG cutter is well under way. However I am kind of confused about the state of the offshore patrol cutter. What designed has been selected and when will construction begin?

    Thank you for taking the time to read this.

    • Dan, I can understand a level of confusion on this. In Feb. 2014 contracts were awarded to three different shipyards to develop their designs. There was a challenge to the award that delayed final award until June.


      We still have to wait a while for the final selection of the shipyard. There will be a FY2016 award of the contract for detail design and the first ship with options through #11, First ships is expected to be funded FY2017 with delivery probably 2021. one ship in 2018, one ship in 2019, then two ships a year thereafter. Total is still expected to be 25.

      There are a lot of comments on previous posts you can find with the search function.

      • Thanks for the response. I always though the ULSTEIN X-bow design was pretty cool but from what I understand it is no longer a contestant.

  5. Chuck–
    The new chairman of the Armed Service committee (McCain) is pushing for the repeal of the Jones act (http://goo.gl/QAlfWA). Its probably a hard sell even assuming a GOP Congress and Whitehouse. However, the implications of repeal are very interesting for the CG of a variety of fronts….shipbuilding being one.

  6. Just wanted to say thanks for your fine site. I am in the Coast Guard Auxiliary and recently was ask to prepare and give a sort presentation on our Polar Icebreakers to a group of boaters in the Seattle area. Your site had several articles on both the sad state of the budgeting process and how we got into a mess as well as specific information about the Polar Icebreakers, many of your readers also left thoughtful comments and links that helped me to understand the background. The background helped a lot in the Q&A session that followed my presentation

    Thanks again for your work and your readers for a fine job and the help

  7. Hello,
    New guy here.
    I boarded one of these, when I was nine, in Miami.
    It was used for anti-Castro raids on Cuba during the height of the 1962 Missile Crisis.
    I need to contact someone who is very familiar with the interior of this vessel and how many of them there were around.

    I have a few hundred questions I would like to ask.

    Ours had a huge torpedo somehow stuffed below deck with no way to escape: the vessel was to be rammed into a Soviet sub at Mariel. In my old age, I really want to rebuild these bizarre bits of my life, as all the adults involved are long dead.
    Take a look here to see it and more,

    Any help would be greatly appreciated,


  8. Hello sir chuck! I always find your blogging more interesting until know. Having posted more coast guard news and information all over the world, keep it up sir!

    One thing that always caught my eyes for years now are the hamilton cutters that are being maintained by uscg. Having more ham cutters being transfered to the recipient countries by the us government but with limited capability. The sps-40 is a very important component of the cutters capability to detect aircraft and etc. At one point im still wondering from on how this deleted asr component can be replaced or reacquired. Im doing this as point of professional discussion for now since the uscg and us gov is unloading more ham cutters to foreign navy’s specially the philippines, nigeria and bangladesh. The case of philippine navy is not new to your knowledge also. My queries are for the air search radar replacement of sps 40 since the us gov has already given the IMS program a green light from dod of which 80% will go to the Philippines. News and top US government officials confirmed also they are looking for ways to improve the upcoming hamilton cutters sensor and c4 capability.for now a 3rd ham cutter is already in the pipeline and the 4th ham is up for confirmation for transfer. My first question is does the current stern mast of the ham cutter can readily accomodate the sps-49 taken from the decommisioned ffg’s of usn without much structural reinforcement to be done.(pls. consider the weight of antenna or upper deck equipment of old sps 40 or new sps 49 and the below deck cabinet)? Im chosing the sps 49 as a candidate because available stock in the inventory of usn and training ease since usn, ran and rnzdf use this kind of asr. Or the philippine gov shall avail for a newer 2d or 3d air search radar. This might be a possible upgrade for the rest of the recipient navy’s of ham cutters specially the asr. I hope you can discuss more possible upgrade for this matter in one of your future post. Since your one of few online resource person who can give info of the fram upgrade of whec.

    More power to you sir!


  9. Found this bit on icebreakers – thought you might be interested in case you missed it

    National Academies report says go all in on 4 heavy icebreakers

    A block buy program to build four new heavy icebreakers is the best plan for a new Coast Guard polar fleet, ensuring U.S. presence in the high latitudes – and bringing the average cost per ship below $1 billion, according to a report from the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine.

    The report from an expert committee, sponsored by the Coast Guard and ordered up by Congress, contends it makes more sense to design and build the four heavy icebreakers that would come in at an estimated average cost of $791 million each.

    With a construction start in the second half of 2019, the first new ship could be commissioned in mid-2024 and the second a year later. That would still be cutting close to the expected operational life of the 399’ Polar Star, the Coast Guard’s sole heavy icebreaker dating from 1976.

    The academies committee chairman, retired Navy Rear Adm. Richard D. West, said decades of delay are coming to a head as climate changes open sea access in the polar regions.


  10. You might find this interesting

    Will China’s new laser satellite become the ‘Death Star’ for submarines?

    China is developing a satellite with a powerful laser for anti-submarine
    warfare that researchers hope will be able to pinpoint a target as far as
    500 metres below the surface.

    It is the latest addition to the countrys expanding deep-sea surveillance
    programme, and aside from targeting submarines most operate at a depth of
    less than 500 metres it could also be used to collect data on the worlds

    Project Guanlan, meaning watching the big waves, was officially launched in
    May at the Pilot National Laboratory for Marine Science and Technology in
    Qingdao, Shandong. It aims to strengthen Chinas surveillance activities in
    the worlds oceans, according to the laboratorys website.

    Scientists are working on the satellites design at the laboratory, but its
    key components are being developed by more than 20 research institutes and
    universities across the country.

    Song Xiaoquan, a researcher involved in the project, said if the team can
    develop the satellite as planned, it will make the upper layer of the sea
    more or less transparent.

    It will change almost everything, Song said.


  11. How about write a article about replacing USCG 65 foot tugs similar to the USCGC. Hawser , Line, and Cleat. These small ice breaking tugs are getting old.

    • @Frederick H MAllett, actually I have been collecting info for such a post, but I am not sure the Coast Guard is really interested. We could have much better vessels very cheaply.

      I think we need to get the Great Lakes people to stop talking about building another large Lake Icebreaker and start talking about more smaller ones.

  12. Chuck,
    I don’t know if this is appropriate or not so if not, please delete.
    The US Mint has created a Medal for the US Coast Guard made out of 2.5 oz. of silver.
    The Medals are much larger than a typical Silver Dollar coin. They’re not cheap either, as the Mint has placed a premium on the fact that they’re proof quality – they’re selling for $160 + $5 for basic shipping.


    There was 10,000 originally minted and it appears there is less than 200 left.

    As I said, if this is not appropriate, please delete.

    FYI…The US Mint should be coming out with a 1oz version next year – which will be a bit cheaper.

  13. Chuck, never consider yourself an ‘old guy…’ You are a seasoned and valued asset with much knowledge and insight to share. Now, can you tap some of your sources to find out when in blazes there is going to be an announcement of who the next CCG is going to be? It’s only 2 months until the CofC and it never goes this late into the cycle to make it known. This current administration can’t do anything right and this is another glaring example. THANK YOU

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