Coast Guard air crews unhook a Fire Scout UAS during a test on the Coast Guard Cutter Bertholf near Los Angeles, Dec. 5 2014. The Coast Guard Research and Development Center has been testing UAS platforms consistently for the last three years. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Luke Clayton)
The Dec. 2017 issue of the US Naval Institute Proceedings magazine has an excellent article, by LCdr Craig Allen, Jr., USCG, considering the possibility of the Coast Guard employing armed drone, specifically to assume the airborne use of force (AUF) role.
He considers both the pros and cons of taking this step, and along the way makes a compelling case that it is not only feasible but probably also desirable. Additionally he suggests that drones may allow the Webber class WPCs to employ AUF.
The Former USCGC Morgenthau, now in Vvietnamese service
The Philippines has a continuing interest in the 378 foot WHECs, after all they already have three, and it appears they may want another. Certainly they and other operators (Nigeria, Bangladesh, and Vietnam) will want to cooperate in finding ways to keep them operational.
An online discussion group called “Defense of the Republic of the Philippines” has a page entitled “Where in the World are the WHECs?” devoted to the topic. It includes both the old and new names and hull numbers. It also looks at the future disposition of 378s still in US Coast Guard service (Sherman, Midgett, Mellon, and Douglas Munro). (Yes we currently have both a USCGC Douglas Munro (WHEC-724) and a USCGC Munro (WMSL-755).
Sherman is expected to be decommissioned in 2018, Midgett in 2019, Mellon in 2020. Douglas Munro’s decommissioning is not currently scheduled but will probably happen in 2021.
The decommissioning information is based on Annex J of a MARAD report, “OFFICE OF SHIP DISPOSAL PROGRAMS ANNUAL REPORT FOR FISCAL YEAR 2016.”
Mexican Navy AS365 MBe helicopter, by AIRBUS.
NavyRecognition reports that the Mexican Navy has taken delivery of ten new helicopters. They might look a bit familiar. These are the latest development of the AS365 family of aircraft.
As we have noted, the Mexican Navy parallels the USCG in many ways, including missions and equipment (here and here). They also are in the process of procuring a fleet of patrol craft that are smaller, 42 meters vice 47 meters over all, but closely related to the Coast Guard’s Webber Class cutters.
Federal News Radio has a short overview of the Coast Guard’s growing Cyber Command.
“…Congress appropriated almost $4.5 million for 64 billets in FY 17 to help generate the Coast Guard’s first cyber commands…”
That is certainly not a lot of money or people by government standards, but they have important work.
gCaptain reports on a ten nation accord to protect fisheries in the central Arctic Ocean.
“For the next 16 years, commercial fishing will be prohibited in the central Arctic, a Mediterranean-sized patch of icy ocean more than 200 nautical miles from any nation’s coastline. This will give scientists time to study whether fishing might safely be allowed there. The goal is to avoid the overfishing that has depleted fish populations in other parts of the world — pollock in the Bering Strait, for instance, or krill in the Antarctic Ocean.”
Military.com has a story about three female Coast Guard members, a petty officer and two officers, one of whom lost her life in the line of duty. There is both good and bad news here, but worth a read.