“UPDATE TO EXPANDED CGMA LOAN LIMITS AND PROCESS”–ALCOAST 013/19

I am providing a copy of an ALCOAST found linked on Vince Patton’s Facebook page (Thanks Vince). 

ALCOAST 013/19 – JAN 2019 UPDATE TO EXPANDED CGMA LOAN LIMITS AND PROCESS

R 181702 JAN 19
FM COMDT COGARD WASHINGTON DC//CG-1//
TO ALCOAST
UNCLAS //N07220//
ALCOAST 013/19
COMDTNOTE 7220
SUBJ:  UPDATE TO EXPANDED CGMA LOAN LIMITS AND PROCESS
A. ALCOAST 434/18 COAST GUARD MUTUAL ASSISTANCE (CGMA) AVAILABILITY DURING THE LAPSE
IN DHS APPROPRIATIONS
B. ALCOAST 012/19 EXPANDED LIMITS TO CGMA LOANS DURING LAPSE IN APPROPRIATIONS
1. This notice announces a further increase to Coast Guard Mutual Assistance (CGMA) interest
free loans. As donations continue to pour in to CGMA, we will continue to evaluate the maximum
amount that a member may borrow. There is no limit to the number of loans that a member may
request from CGMA; only a total loan ceiling. 
2. Updated total limit for CGMA lapse assistance interest-free loans:
   a. Up to $1500 for personnel with dependents;
   b. Up to $1000 for personnel without dependents;
   c. An unchanged condition is that if individual circumstances dictate, any person may apply
for funds in excess of the established limits (a-b above). They must personally visit a local
CGMA representative to complete the full application process.
3. Procedures: Procedures for both requesting a loan and recoupment remain the same.
4. Current lapse in appropriations information can be found at: http://www.dcms.uscg.mil/budget,
this site contains authoritative documents, Frequently Asked Questions, an interactive mailbox,
a Resources Guide, a helpline, and other useful information. As always, CG SUPRT is available to
help (1-855-CG SUPRT (247-8778)) https://www.cgsuprt.com/.
5. For more information on how to receive assistance, please see your local CGMA representatives.
6. RDML Matthew Sibley, Acting Assistant Commandant for Human Resources, sends.
7. Internet release is authorized.

RAFNAR Hull –A New Kind of Hull For Reduced Slamming

gCaptain had a report on this new hull form, which a University of Iceland study found reduced slamming as much as 95% compared to a deep-v hull. It explains the development of the hull, I needed more information to understand how it worked.

The company website has many much clearer photographs as well as the video above.

Claimed advantages are:

  • Exceptionally smooth and comfortable due to limited slam on waves.
  • Significantly reduced slamming results in less mechanical and equipment fatigue, extending the lifetime of expensive electronic equipment on board.
  • Greater on-board safety from significantly reduced slamming means reduced risk of injury, lower crew & passenger fatigue and related costs
  • Precision performance without compromising cruising or top speed.
  • Immediate handling response with no sliding
  • No wake created behind vessel, resulting in less water disturbance
  • Exceptional stability and balance when idle and at speed
  • High payload capacity without compromising cruising or top speed

Could this concept be scaled up for a Motor Surf Boat? Apparently the Icelandic Association for Search and Rescue is already looking into the possibility of a 15 meter (49 foot) MLB.

Thanks to Lee for bringing this to my attention

 

“Breaking Faith with America’s Coast Guard” –USNI

Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Paul Zukunft (right) meets with then-Southern Command chief Gen. John Kelly.

The US Naval Institute has published 25th Commandant, Admiral Zukunft’s, thoughts on the impact of the government shutdown on the Coast Guard.

He makes a good case, but one statement in particular really hit me.

“…yet on any given day, over one-third of our operational resources are deployed in support of the military geographic combatant commanders around the globe.”

I have been reading the USNI news feed, and every week they have a story titled “Fleet and Marine Tracker,” that talks about ongoing operations and includes a breakout of vessels deployed and vessels underway. I don’t actually have a definitive average, but it has been pretty consistent in showing one fourth of the fleet underway and one third deployed. If the statement above is correct, then, in addition to Coast Guard operations under Coast Guard operational control, We are also deploying in support of Combatant Commanders at essentially the same rate as the Navy.

You might also want to look at a report of 23rd Commandant, Thad Allen’s remarks.

You may not be aware but several bills have been introduced that would provide pay to either the Coast Guard or to all Federal employees. So far the Senate Majority leader has refused to allow a vote on any of them.

 

The New Hyper-Velocity Round and an Old Five Inch Gun Make a Revolutionary Combo

Mk45 Mod4, a 5″ gun 62 calibers in length

The US Naval Institute reports that during an unclassified exercise as part of RIMPAC USS Dewey (DDG-105) fired 20 hyper velocity projectiles (HVP). The rounds were fired from a 5″/62 Mk45 Mod4.

Back in 2012, I published a post “Case for the Five Inch Gun.” My conclusion was

In choosing the Mk110 57mm because it was seen as a better AAW weapon, a better anti-swarm weapon, as lighter, cheaper, easier to maintain or man, for whatever reason, the Coast Guard will have a weapon that is at best only marginally more capable, perhaps even less capable, of performing the most likely missions–stopping/sinking a surface target or performing NSFS–than the weapons of 60 to 90 years ago.

While the size, toughness, and survivability of merchant ships has increased dramatically, the Coast Guard has not provided its ships with a significantly improved capability to stop or sink a ship since the introduction of the 5″/51 in 1921. I still think the Coast Guard should add a light weight anti-surface vessel torpedo to its inventory as the cheapest way to have a truly effective ship stopper that can be made widely available. But until such a weapon becomes available, the Mk45 5″ is the best alternative available.

The 5″ Mk45 is a versatile weapon. Equipping the OPCs with this weapon make the ships more capable of performing both the PWCS and probable wartime mission and significantly enhances the NSFS capability of US Naval forces in a major conflict.

I think the argument for the 5″ just got a lot stronger. The test involved shooting guided rounds at a target of cruise missile size and speed. That has got to mean extreme accuracy against even moving targets.

Adding this capability to Cutters would increase both their survivability and their offensive capability. In addition it would substantially increase their capability to forcibly stop a vessel of almost any size since the projectiles, about seven times heavier than an 57mm round, would be traveling at near hypersonic speeds, they would likely disable any engine it hits by kinetic energy alone.

An artist’s conception of BAE Systems’ Hyper Velocity Projectile. BAE Systems Image

I have not seen any particular kind of guidance identified for this test. The illustration above does appear to show a panel, presumably one of four, between the fins at the base of the projectile.

“So if you think about the kinds of threats you might face in the Middle East, the lower-end cruise missiles or a larger UAV, now you have a way to shoot them down that doesn’t require you use a $2 million ESSM or $1 million RAM because a hyper velocity projectile – even in the highest-end estimates have it in the $75,000 to $100,000 range, and that’s for the fanciest version of it with an onboard seeker,” he said.

An added benefit of using HVP in powder guns is the gun’s high rate of fire and a large magazine capacity.

The projectiles apparently weigh about 45 pounds, and may cost as little as $25,000, far less than even the relatively cheap RAM short range anti-air missile at about $1M each. Range is expected to be about 40 miles when fired from a 5″ gun.

The Mk45 Mod4 was first installed on the USS Winston Churchill (DDG-81) commissioned in 2001, superseding the earlier 5″/54 Mk45 mods. Since then it has been the standard USN 5″ gun. It is also in service with the Australian, South Korean, Japanese, and Danish Navies, and they will arm the British Type 26 frigate. Earlier models of the 5″ Mk45 also serve in the Navies of New Zealand, Greece, Spain, Turkey and Thailand.

The gun mount is not a lot larger than the 5″/38 Mk30 mounts that were used on over 50 Coast Guard cutters (255s, 311s, 327s, 378s, and icebreakers) between the early 1940s and their removal from the 378s in the late ’80s and early 90s. In fact the early models of the Mk45 were designed as a drop in replacement for the 5″/38.

Earlier 5″/38 mounts used by the Coast Guard were highly manpower intensive requiring 14 to 15 to fully man the mount and pass projectiles and powder. Full manning for a Mk45 Mod4 is only six, a Gun Captain, Panel Operator and four ammunition Ioperators, all below deck. It can fire up to twenty rounds before the four ammunition operators arrive on station, allowing relatively easy Condition III manning.

The 5″/38 mount weighed about 41,000 pounds. The Mk45 Mod4 is estimated to weigh 50,456 lbs. (22,886 kg) without a lower hoist and 54,398 lbs. (24,674 kg) with a four-flight lower hoist. that is at most a 33% increase.

Time to Think about an OPC “B class” 

What the Soviets used to call the correlation of forces is changing. The Navy’s top surface warfare officer told a gathering at the Surface Navy Association Seminar, For the ship crews, “we need to have them prepared on a moment’s notice to turn the readiness we are building into lethality,” that they had to be ready to fight now.

It is time for the Coast Guard to start reasserting its military nature. Hopefully we have at least a few years to rebuild the Coast Guard’s capability as a naval force which was discarded after the Soviet Union fell apart

It is not too early to start thinking about a “B class” OPC. Replace the 57mm with the 5″/62 Mk45 mod4, replace the 25mm Mk38 with SeaRAM. Add the sensors from the LCS ASW mission module at the stern. Add some Anti-Ship Cruise Missiles Forward. Make sure we have space to support MH-60R ASW helos it is supposed to be able to hangar with torpedoes and sonobuoys. That is not a whole lot different from the systems we had on the FRAM 378s, and the OPC is a third again as large.

USCGC Mellon seen here launching a Harpoon anti-ship cruise missile in 1990.

 

“Call for Articles: The Distributed Maritime Operations (DMO) Concept” –CIMSEC

120727-N-VD564-015
PACIFIC OCEAN (July 27, 2012) Ships and submarines participating in Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise 2012 are in formation in the waters around the Hawaiian islands. Twenty-two nations, more than 40 ships and submarines, more than 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel are participating in the biennial Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise from June 29 to Aug. 3, in and around the Hawaiian Islands. The world’s largest international maritime exercise, RIMPAC provides a unique training opportunity that helps participants foster and sustain the cooperative relationships that are critical to ensuring the safety of sea lanes and security on the world’s oceans. RIMPAC 2012 is the 23rd exercise in the series that began in 1971. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Keith Devinney/Released)

The Center for International Maritime Security (CIMSEC) has issued a call for articles. I am passing this along because I think the readership may have something to contribute. The entire solicitation is quoted below. I have corresponded with Dmitry Filipoff, he is a good man to work with. 

—-

Call for Articles: The Distributed Maritime Operations (DMO) Concept

By Dmitry Filipoff

Articles Due: February 25, 2019
Week Dates: March 4-8, 2019

Article Length: 1000-3500 words 
Submit to: Nextwar@cimsec.org

The U.S. Navy is pursuing a new Distributed Maritime Operations (DMO) concept that will help redefine how the Navy fights and operates. This major operating concept will soon play a significant role in how the Navy organizes its future force development. This important line of effort was highlighted in the Chief of Naval Operations’ recently released Design For Maintaining Maritime Superiority 2.0:

“Continue to mature the Distributed Maritime Operations (DMO) concept and key supporting concepts. Design the Large Scale Exercise (LSE) 2020 to test the effectiveness of DMO. LSE 2020 must include a plan to incorporate feedback and advance concepts in follow-on wargames, experiments, and exercises, and demonstrate significant advances in subsequent LSE events.”

CIMSEC invites authors to discuss the Distributed Maritime Operations concept and what it means for the future of naval power. What will it take to make this vision come alive? What new strategies and operational approaches could this concept enable? Authors are invited to discuss these questions and more as the U.S. Navy seeks to orient itself around this new concept.

For related reading on distributed naval power, check out below the two topics weeks CIMSEC previously launched in partnership with the Navy’s Distributed Lethality Task Force.

Distributed Lethality Topic Week February 2016

Distributed Lethality Topic Week September 2016

Dmitry Filipoff is CIMSEC’s Director of Online Content. Contact him at Nextwar@cimsec.org

Norwegian Coast Guard’s New Ice Strengthened Cutters –They Will Be Big

Norwegian Coast Guard Vessel Svalbard. Currently the largest Norwegian Coast Guard ship. The new ships will be about 50% larger. Photo by Marcusroos

Just received information on the new Norwegian Coast Guard cutters that will be replacing the three ships of the Nordkapp class in the form of a 26 page pdf that appears to have been briefing graphics from August 2014.

We discussed these ships briefly in an Oct. 5, 2016 post. June 25, 2018 Marine Log reported that VARD had won a contract to build three ships at a cost exceeding NOK 5 billion (about $618 million).

Deliveries of the three vessels are scheduled from Vard Langsten in Norway in 1Q 2022, 1Q 2023 and 1Q 2024 respectively. The hulls will be built at Vard’s Tulcea, Romania, shipyard;

According to the presentation they are going to be relatively big ships, about three times the size of the ships they will replace at 9,800 tons, and 136.4 meters (447.4 ft) loa, 19 meter (62.3 ft) beam, and 6.2 meter (20.3 ft) draft. Later information puts the beam at 22 meters (72.16 ft). That makes them larger than the icebreaker Glacier, although they are not icebreakers, only ice strengthened. It does not have an icebreaker bow.

They are expected to hangar two NH90 helicopters (10,600 kg/23,370 lb max TO weight) with deck space to land an AW101 (14,600 kg/32,188 lb max TO weight). They are expected to have a speed of 22 knots, endurance of eight weeks, accommodations for 100, collective CBRN protection, and space for containers on deck.

They will have a single medium caliber gun, apparently a 57mm, with an all weather fire control system, plus machine guns, sonar, and torpedo and mine storage for the helicopters. Since these ships will be armed very much like the Nordkapp class that they replace, there will all probably be provision for mounting Naval Strike Missile, although that is not mentioned in the briefing.

They will also be equipped with pollution abatement systems.

These ships were designed by VARD, also the designer of the US Coast Guard’s Offshore Patrol Cutter and Canada’s Arctic and Offshore Patrol Vessel. This might be a design we should consider as an Arctic Patrol Cutter. Certainly the Norwegian Coast Guard should be able to provide some good advice once they have had some experience with these.

Thanks to Lee for bringing this to my attention. 

“U.S. Army to Divest a Majority of its Watercraft and Maritime Capability,” Does the CG Need Any of These?

gCaptain is reporting that the Army will be divesting itself of most of its watercraft.

Eight Army Reserve Watercraft Units and their civilian maintenance facilities are listed for closing. These Units represent hundreds of AGR (Active Reserve), TPU (Reserve), and Civilians. These units presently support, train, and deploy Army Watercraft Soldiers throughout the world, and maintain dozens of watercraft, from 70 ft. Small Tugs to 315 foot LSVs and Barge Derrick Cranes.

As stated in the Army’s Memo initiating this decision, “Army Watercraft Transformation Through Divestment of Capability and Force Structure by Inactivation of Units”, the intent is to “eliminate all United States Army Reserve and National Guard Bureau AWS (Army Watercraft Systems) capabilities and/or supporting structure… eliminating nearly 80% of its present force”.

Their fleet of approximately 300 includes a number of relatively new vessels. They include tugs that might replace our 65 foot tugs and the now out of service 110 foot tugs that are, or were, used for domestic icebreaking

The Major General Nathanael Greene class large coastal tug USAV Major General Henry Knox (LT-802) assigned to the 467th Transportation Company in Tacoma, Washington.

Some of the shallow draft transports might be adaptable as inland tenders.

The fleet also includes 16 ST-900 class pusher tugs, 109 tons (light), 59.7 x 22.6 (22 at the waterline) x 6.7 feet (18.19 x 6.9 (6.7 at the wl) x 2.03 meters) completed 1998 to 2007, as well as a number of barges of various types. .

The Army 6,000 ton, 315 foot logistic support vessel SSGT Robert T. Kuroda, completed in 2006, at its home port of Honolulu, Hawaii, after a 5,000-mile delivery voyage from Pascagoula, Miss.Some of the larger vessels, like the SSGT Robert T. Kuroda (above) and her sister ship, might be converted to be used as mother ships to support remote Webber Class FRC operations in the Eastern Pacific or Southern Caribbean. They might also be useful in disaster response.

One or two of the Crane barges might find a home at the Coast Guard Yard.

The Army has recently let a contract for new landing craft, (also here) no indication what will happen to the contract or the vessels, but it does not sound like it will get beyond the design phase.

Landing craft that can be beached, requiring no piers for unloading, might be useful in disaster response.