USCGC Active (WMEC 618) Aug. 16, 2019. Active is a 210-foot Medium Endurance based out of Port Angeles, Wash. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Steve Strohmaier)
Below is a news release from the Coast Guard News website. What I would like to talk about is here:
The Waesche’s crew was responsible for two interdictions seizing approximately 881 pounds of cocaine and 9,500 pounds of marijuana.
The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Steadfast (WMEC 623) was responsible for one interdiction, seizing approximately 3,300 pounds of cocaine.
The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Active (WMEC 618) was responsible for two interdictions seizing approximately 2,116 pounds of cocaine and 3,716 pounds of marijuana.
The two WMECs, each over 50 years old, probably each seized drugs of higher street value than the 13-year-old National Security Cutter (NSC) that is about four times as large. No, they are not necessarily better at drug interdiction than the NSC. There is a lot of luck involved, but it does seem to suggest that, as the saying goes, “quantity has a quality all its own.”
There are simply not enough cutters (or Navy ships) to interdict all the known smugglers being tracked.
Earlier, when the current Commandant was Commander PACAREA, we saw some attempts to use Webber class Fast Response Cutters (FRC) in the Eastern Pacific drug transit zones. For some reason those efforts don’t seem to have been continued. Perhaps their endurance was a problem.
There can be little doubt the Coast Guard needs more cutters, yet the current program of record will supply 8 fewer large cutters than we had in the year 2000. We need more large cutters, but they don’t all have to be 4500 tons.
Frankly, I do think they should be bigger than 210s. You can make a very capable cutter of around 2,000 tons with a crew smaller than that of the 210s, but we don’t seem to have been doing the analysis that would clearly identify our needs.
USCGC Steadfast (WMEC-623) (This is an old photo, given the hard sided boat and davits.)
March 28, 2023
MEDIA ADVISORY: Coast Guard to offload approximately 6,325 pounds of cocaine and more than 13,000 pounds of marijuana in San Diego
WHO: Capt. Robert Mohr, commanding officer, Coast Guard Cutter Waesche, Alexandra (Sasha) Foster is the Criminal Chief in the Southern District of California U.S. Attorney’s Office
WHAT: The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Waesche is scheduled to offload approximately 6,325 pounds of cocaine and more than 13,000 pounds of marijuana, worth more than $166 million, seized from the drug transit zones of the Eastern Pacific Ocean.
WHEN: Wednesday at 9:30 a.m.
WHERE: 10th Avenue Marine Terminal, 1150 Terminal St., San Diego, CA 92101
Editor’s Note: Media interested in attending should arrive no later than 9 a.m., and bring a government-issued photo ID, press credentials, proof of vehicle registration and insurance. Media will be escorted to the event location following security screening.
SAN DIEGO — The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Waesche (WMSL 751) offloaded more than 6,325 pounds of cocaine and more than 13,000 pounds of marijuana estimating a value worth more than $166 million on Wednesday, in San Diego.
The interdictions were made late February and early March during four separate joint effort interdictions:
The Waesche’s crew was responsible for two interdictions seizing approximately 881 pounds of cocaine and 9,500 pounds of marijuana.
The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Steadfast (WMEC 623) was responsible for one interdiction, seizing approximately 3,300 pounds of cocaine.
The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Active (WMEC 618) was responsible for two interdictions seizing approximately 2,116 pounds of cocaine and 3,716 pounds of marijuana.
U.S. agencies from the Department of Defense, Department of Justice and Homeland Security coordinated in the effort to combat transnational organized crime. The U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Navy, Customs and Border Protection, FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement, along with allied and international partner agencies, served a vital role in counter-drug operations. The fight against drug cartels in the Eastern Pacific requires unity of effort in all phases from detection, monitoring and interdictions, to criminal prosecutions by U.S. Attorneys in districts across the nation
The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Waesche (WMSL-751) is the second Legend-class cutter of the United States Coast Guard and is homeported at Coast Guard Island in Alameda, Calif. Waesche, the second of eight planned National Security Cutters, is 418 feet long with a top speed of 28 knots and a range of 12,000 nautical miles. The cutter is equipped with a flight deck and hangars capable of housing two multi-mission helicopters, and outfitted with the most advanced command, control, and communications equipment.
Defense One has an interview with Rear Adm. Michael Ryan, the Coast Guard’s deputy commandant for operations policy and capabilities.
The reference to tripling Western-Pacific Deployments seems to reflect the planned deployment of three National Security Cutters to the Western Pacific in 2023, but that is not explicitly stated and there is also reference to homeporting a WMEC in the Western Pacific, topics we discussed here.
Most of the interview is really about connectivity, data collection, and analysis. Hopefully we will see some data used for a new Fleet Mix Study, that will determine our needs and be able to justify them to Congress.
It was interesting to me that the interview was a result of Admiral Ryan’s attendance at the National Defense Industrial Association’s Expeditionary Warfare conference in Arlington, Va.
Defense News reports, on the convoluted process that has blocked Congress from getting a report from the Marine Corps regarding how much amphibious lift they think they need.
Apparently, the Congress has taken steps to ensure that they don’t get stonewalled and that they get an answer directly from the source.
This does not look Coast Guard related except that it seems the same thing is happening to Congressionally mandated reports from the Coast Guard.
There have been other mandated reports that seem to have been ignored, but there is one I think particularly important. The original Fleet Mix Study was completed in 2009 but was not made public until 2012 after a revision in 2011. For years the Congress has been asking for an update. Like in the case of the Marines need for amphibious lift, this is a force structure question, and the silence has been deafening.
We have not had a new evaluation of Coast Guard force structure for over eleven years. Considering how Coast Guard operations have changed in the last decade, the emergence of new threats (like unmanned systems), new opportunities (like unmanned systems), and the experience we have gained with the National Security Cutters and the Fast Response Cutter operation, is that wise?
Congress needs to be equally assertive about hearing what the Coast Guard needs to do its missions and insist that the result not be filtered by the Department.
Once the desired level is established, certainly, questions will be raised. Limitations will emerge. Study assumptions will be questioned. Affordability will have to be addressed, but we need to start with an attempt at an honest and comprehensive assessment of requirements. We saw the GAO critique the Coast Guard’s shipbuilding program as unachievable because the required budget was larger than it had been historically. That is certainly a factor, but it needs to be considered in the light of objectives and a history of neglect.
Force study evaluations should be an iterative process repeated at least every four years to inform the actions of succeeding administrations both within the service and within government.
Coast Guard Cutter Hamilton leads the way for cutters Robert Goldman and Charles Moulthrope as they depart Puerto Rico April 1. National security cutter Hamilton is escorting the two fast response cutters (FRCs) across the Atlantic to Rota, Spain. From there, the FRCs will continue to their homeport of Manama, Bahrain. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Sydney Phoenix.
Next Navy comments on why despite great support in Congress, the Coast Guard is still not getting full funding.
There are other reasons, but it is hard for our friends to advocate for full funding when essentially, we don’t know what full funding is.
The current “Program of Record” dates from 2004. The last Fleet Mix Analysis, which essentially only served to show, “Yes, we really do need the Program of Record and a lot more,” was done in 2011.
Much has changed.
We are using the Webber class WPCs in ways not imagined in 2011.
We still don’t have the land based UAS that were included in the Program of Record.
Improved sensors and platforms, including unmanned air, surface, and subsurface are now available.
The Coast Guard’s aviation fleet, both fixed wing and rotary are not what was envisioned in the Program of Record.
The Navy’s own Maritime Domain Awareness capabilities have changed. Presumably they will share with the Coast Guard.
Illegal Unregulated Unreported fishing has emerged as a national security threat.
The Chinese have been using their Coast Guard to intimidate our friends and allies.
Combatant Commanders are constantly seeking Coast Guard assistance in Capacity Building in their AORs.
In spite of these substantial changes, we have not changed our Program of Record in 17 years.
By contrast the US Navy publishes a new Fleet Plan almost annually.
Congress has repeatedly directed the Coast Guard to complete a new Fleet Mix Analysis, but they have yet to see anything beyond the one ten year old study. I don’t know who is to blame for this. Is it the Coast Guard, the Department, or the Administration(s)?
I think they are going to have to demand the Coast Guard present a regular report bypassing the Department.
There is no way we should go more than four years between rigorous analysis of our needs. It is essential for risk analysis by all concerned parties, the Coast Guard, the Department, the Administration, and the Congress.
Proceeding without analysis is just whistling in the dark.
Note: I have had to revise some of my conclusions about when benchmarks would be achieved. The text below has been changed to reflect the correction.
I have been talking about the OPC for over nine years, and it is frustrating to see what appeared to be real progress toward impressive new ships come apart, but with the Offshore Patrol Cutter program in flux, perhaps it would be worthwhile to look at where we are, where do we want to go, and what the current restraints and limitations are. Maybe there is a better way.
As currently envisioned the last OPCs are not expected to be funded until FY2034 nor delivered until 2037. A lot can happen between now and then.
Where are we?
The current thinking is to provide contract relief for Eastern and allow them to build the first four ships. Meanwhile the Coast Guard will recompete a contract for OPC #5 with options for #6-15.
But even this is uncertain. Congress has 60 days from the announcement (11 Oct. 2019 to 10 Dec.?) to consider the proposed contract relief. If I interpret correctly, unless they take action to deny relief, construction will go ahead. That suggest that denial of contract relief is unlikely, but by no means, are we sure it will happen.
It seems likely we will get four OPCs from Eastern, but even that is uncertain. Really we have no assurance we will get any OPCs at all.
What do we need? What are the constraints?:
We should have begun replacing the WMECs we have now, 25 years ago, so the need is urgent. We can also be pretty sure we need more large cutters (those of over 1000 tons full load) than are currently planned.
Realistically we cannot expect great increases in either PC&I (Procurement, Construction, and Improvement) or operating budget. That means, hopefully, the Coast Guard will get around the $2B/year PC&I successive Commandants have been saying we will need, but probably little or no more, and further, that we should not expect significant personnel increases.
The current plan will provide fewer large cutters than we have now. Eleven NSCs are replacing twelve WHECs and 25 OPCs are expected to replace 29 WMECs. That is 36 to replace 41. In fact if you look back a little further the Coast Guard had even more large ships. Editions of Combat Fleets of the World for the years indicated show that in 1990/91 we had 50 and in 2000/2001 there were 44. The Fleet Mix Study conducted more than a decade ago indicated we actually need an even larger fleet.
The need to rapidly replace the existing WMECs and ultimately expand the fleet, within the constraints of budget and manpower are in direct conflict, particularly when the cutters have become bigger and more expensive and their crews size has, with few exceptions increased.
Replace the WMECs we have ASAP:
The WMECs we have need to be replaced as soon as possible. If the recompete goes as expected, the fourteenth OPC will not replace the last 210 until fourth quarter FY2032. That 210 will be over 63 years old. The last 270 decommissioned will be at least 48 years old. We can only expect that these vessels will have increasingly frequent major machinery casualties. The high number of major casualties that were experienced when the Coast Guard responded to the earthquake in Haiti is only a taste of what we can expect in the future.
The Fleet Mix Study of 2009 showed we needed 66 large cutters to fully accomplish all the Coast Guard’s statutory missions. A 2011 revision reduced the total to 58.
That number was perhaps artificially low because it assumed the “Crew Rotation Concept” would be applied to all National Security Cutters and Offshore Patrol Cutters, allowing an unrealistically high 225 days away from home. We have, to some extent, seen Webber class step up to perform some of these missions, but the need for more large ships is still apparent.
Unfortunately we have not updated the Fleet mix study based on more recent experience with the NSC and FRC. We really need to do that so that we can make more informed decisions and present a better case to Congress.
The FY2019 Procurement, Construction, and Improvements (PC&I) budget was $2,248.26M, of that less than $1.6M went to ship construction and improvement. It is unlikely we will see significantly larger budgets devoted to ship construction, and this includes funding for Polar Security Cutter, in service sustainment, and in the out years WPB replacement, and possibly new buoy tenders. We don’t unfortunately have any comprehensive long term shipbuilding plan that looks beyond five years.
Operating Budget/Crew Costs
Personnel costs are particularly important in overall lifecycle cost calculations. These come out of the operating budget which has actually shrunk in real terms.
The fleet that is being replaced (12 WHECs, 29 WMECs, and 44 WPBs) and the projected fleet, as currently planned (11 NSCs, 25 OPCs, and 64 FRCs) have almost the same total crew count, but it is doing so with the five fewer large cutters. The more numerous Webber class cutters have a larger crew than the 110 foot WPBs, 24 vice 16. Ultimately I expect 64 FRC to replace the 44 WPB110s for an increase of 832 billets. The OPCs will apparently have a crew of about 100, about the same as that of the 270s, but about 25 more than are currently assigned to 210 foot WMECs. Replacing 14 of 210s with OPCs will add about 350 billets. Only the National Security Cutters have smaller crews than the ships they have replaced. My Combat Fleets of the World shows the crew of the NSCs to be 122 and that of the 378s to be 177, eleven NSCs compared to twelve WHEC378s would be decrease of 782 billets.
By my count the Legacy fleet of 85 vessels (12 WMECs when the NSCs started building, 28 WMECs when the OPCs started building, and 44 WPBs when the FRCs started building) required 5,349 billets. (The nominal fleet the program of record supposedly replaced included 29 WMECs and 49 WPBs, would have included another 179 billets or 5,528.) The currently planned fleet of 100 vessels (11 NSCs, 25 OPCs, and 64 FRCs) requires 5,378 billets.
If we are to increase the number of larger cutters while leaving the total number of billets little changed, we would need to trade off some of the OPCs for more numerous vessels with smaller crews.
The first question is, is the OPC, as currently designed, the vessel we still want?
While I don’t think it will happen, in view of the increasing likelihood of a great power conflict, the wisest thing that could happen, is that we replace the OPCs with what ever design the Navy chooses for the new FFG. That would take a massive infusion of cash and manpower, not going to happen.
If we reopen the competition to include other designs built to the same requirements we not only complicate logistics and training in the future, we also probably delay the decision process another year. Looks like the Coast Guard is trying to avoid that. They have a design they like, and once production is underway, it will certainly be cheaper than the NSCs.
Do we want a ship built to different requirements, maybe something like my proposed Cutter X? The Coast Guard came up with the requirements for the OPC, so I have to assume that for at least some missions, we need ships that meet those requirements. (I understand that the first two OPCs will go to Kodiak.) On the other hand, several years ago, Congress asked the Coast Guard if there weren’t missions or geographic areas that did not require ability to conduct helicopter and boat operations in such severe conditions? That question was apparently never answered, as far as I know, but we know for a fact that less capable ships have been performing these missions for decades. We see it in the way the fleet was distributed. Most 378s went to the Pacific where long distances and ALPAT demanded great range and seakeeping. 210s generally went to the West Coast and SE and Gulf coasts where the weather tended to be more benign. 270s tended to based further North in the Atlantic since they were more seaworthy than the 210, if not as capable as the 378s.
We have a mixed fleet of WMECs, perhaps their replacements should be a mixed fleet as well, allowing the more robust OPCs to be used where those characteristics are most likely to be needed, while we also build more smaller, cheaper ship to provide the numbers we need. As before, I will refer to this class, slotted between the OPCs and the Webber class WPCs as Cutter X.
Considering Cutter X, to be significantly cheaper than the OPCs and have a significantly smaller crew, we probably should look to designs that are half the size of the OPC or smaller. That does not mean these ships will be small. In fact they could be larger than any of the existing WMECs, and more than twice the size of the 210s. The 327 foot Treasury class WHECs would qualify in terms of size. Average procurement cost for the OPCs, before the need for contract relief surfaced was $421M per ship. Cutter X should cost less than $250M. Actually it should be possible to build them for less than $200M.
I have pointed to a number of designs that might be considered, but to offer a concrete example, consider the Fassmer OPV-80 design used by the German Police Coast Guard, and the Navies of Chile, Colombia, and Honduras. It can operate and hangar a medium sized helicopter, has two boats on davits and a third larger boat on a stern ramp, and can be armed with a medium caliber gun up to 76mm. The German versions are getting Bofors 57mm guns like those used by the Coast Guard. There is space for two containers under the flight deck. Its crew is 40 or less.
Some of this class have been ice strengthened.
Chilean OPV84, Cabo Odger
A possible program:
I will offer what I believe to be a possible alternative to the current plan with the objective of replacing the aging fleet as rapidly as possible, ultimately increasing the number of larger patrol ships in the fleet and keeping the budget and manpower similar to what we have been experiencing.
In looking at an alternative program there a number of milestones that might be considered.
When would we replace all the 210s? At this point we should have at least 26 new generation large cutters (replacing 12 WHECs and 14 WMEC210s). This is currently planned to occur in 2032.
When would we get to 36 new generation large cutters currently planned? Now FY2037.
What kind of fleet will we have at the end of FY2037? Current plan 11 NSCs and 25 OPCs.
The proposal is in three parts:
Proceed with the OPC program as currently envisioned funding one OPC per yearthrough FY2025. In FY2026 and 2027, fund one, rather than two, and halt the program at ten ship with the last delivered in 2030.
Continue to fund one NSC a year through FY2023, this will give us 15 NSCs, with the last delivered in 2026.
Start a program for Cutter X in FY2021. Fund construction for the first ship in FY2024, then two ships in FY2025 to 2027, then three ships a year in FY 2028 to 2034 (the last year for the current plan). This will provide a total of 28 ships with the last delivered FY2037.
This breaks down to:
FY2020 to FY2023 we would fund one NSC and one OPC,
FY2024 we fund one OPC and the first Cutter X.
FY2025 to FY2027 we build one OPC and two Cutter X (which should cost the same as two OPCs).
From FY2028 through 2034 we fund three Cutter X per year (which should cost less than two OPCs).
This is how the benchmarks break down:
When would we replace all the 210s? At this point we should have at least 26 new generation large cutters (replacing 12 WHECs and 14 WMEC210s). This is currently planned to occur in 2032. In 2028, 15 NSCs, 8 OPCs, three Cutter X (plus 13 WMEC270)
When would we get to 36 new generation large cutters currently planned? Now FY2037. In 2032, by the end of the year, 38 ships, 15 NSCs, 10 OPCs, 13 cutter X.
What kind of fleet will we have at the end of FY2037? Current plan 11 NSCs and 25 OPCs. At the end of FY 2037, 53 ships, 15 NSCs, 10 OPCs, 28 cutter X.
At the end of FY2037 we will have effectively replaced the 12 WHEC and the 13 WMEC270s with 25 more capable NSCs and OPCs. The 14 WMEC210 and Alex Haley will have been replace by Cutter X and 13 additional large cutters added to the fleet, 17 more than the current plan.
Even if we did not fund NSCs 13-15, it would only take one additional year to replace the 210s and to reach 36 new generation ships. and we would still have 50 ships at the end of FY2037.
We really need to do a new Fleet Mix Study and we need to follow it up with a long term shipbuilding plan, something Congress has been asking for for years.
The Coast Guard started its recapitalization voyage almost three decades ago with the “Deepwater” Project. After false starts and course corrections, it seemed we finally got on course, but for too long we have relied on dead reckoning. It has been a long time since we have taken a fix to see if we are still on course. Meanwhile the world has changed. The fleet designed many years ago may not really be the fleet we want in the future.
To make our procurement case before Congress and the Department, we need a rigorous analysis of our requirements.
The Coast Guard’s Program of Record (POR, 8 NSCs, 25 OPCs, and 58 FRCs, 91 total) has not changes since 2004. In that period the Navy has updated their requirements eight times.
As in previous reports, the Congressional Research Service author refers to the Fleet Mix Study. The Fleet Mix Study, which was apparently begun in 2007, seemed to indicate that while the Program of Record Fleet would be an improvement over the legacy fleet, it would not provide sufficient assets to meet all statutory requirements.
The last analysis of requirements, the “refined objective mix” of 2011, apparently based on a review of the initial study results, which were deemed unrealistically demanding, showed that the POR would provide only 61% of the vessels required to fulfill the Coast Guard’s statutory missions (9 NSCs, 49 OPCs, and 91 FRCs, 149 total).
But it has been a long time since the one and only “Fleet Mix Study” was done, and many of its assumptions were incorrect. The initial fleet mix analysis was to have been followed by follow-on FMA phases that would assess capabilities needed for coastal and inland missions as well as emerging missions, such as Arctic operations and those of the Deployable Operations Group (DOG). These were apparently never completed, but we did at least get the High Latitude Study that documented a need for three heavy and three medium icebreakers.
We need a new Fleet Mix Study, and according to the CRS report, we have been directed by Congress to do a new analysis.
Asset Acquisition Report.—The Commandant is directed to provide to the Committee, not later than one year after the date of enactment of this Act, a report that examines the number and type of Coast Guard assets required to meet the Service’s current and foreseeable needs in accordance with its statutory missions. The report shall include, but not be limited to, an assessment of the required number and types of cutters and aircraft for current and planned asset acquisitions. The report shall also specifically address regional mission requirements in the Western Hemisphere, including the Polar regions; support provided to Combatant Commanders; and trends in illicit activity and illegal migration. (Pages 39-40)
Additionally the Congress has repeatedly directed development of a 20 year ship building plan. So far we have failed to deliver while the Navy provides a 30 year plan every year.
How was the Fleet Mix Study Wrong:
“The OPC and NSC will operate 230 days away from homeport (DAFHP). No specific crewing method is assumed (i.e., crew rotation concept [CRC]).
They may not have explicitly assumed the Crew Rotation Concept, but 230 days away from homeport certainly reflects an underlying assumption that the NSCs and OPCs would be operated at a higher tempo than could be sustained with only one crew per ship.
“Additional acquisition/next generation platforms have the same capabilities and cost as the FMA Baseline Fleet mix cutters and aircraft.”
These new, larger, more sophisticated assets cost more to maintain than the vessels they replace. According to the Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard, “our new ships costs almost twice as much to maintain as our old ships, but our money to maintain them has been relatively flat.” The OPCs and the FRCs require more people to man them than the ships they replace, adding to their operating cost. It appears the Coast Guard is going to need a substantial growth in its budget just to operate its assets in the Program of Record (POR).
What did not happen:
The Crew Rotation Concept was rejected as a “cost saving” measure, cutting the theoretical availability of NSC and OPC mission days.
The plan included 36 HC-144s, but when 14 C-27s became available, the HC-144 program was truncated so now we have only 32 Medium Range Search Aircraft instead of 36.
Shipboard Unmanned Air Systems (UAS), of lesser capability, in the form of ScanEagle, are only now being deployed on NSCs.
The original “Deep Water” program was developed after the collapse of the Soviet Union but before “9/11.” It was modified to at least theoretically address the terrorist threat, and the result was the 2004 Program of Record we still live with. At that time the US had no near peer naval competitors. The US Navy was unchallenged at sea, so there was no need for the Coast Guard to shoulder any significant war time role.
The Navy has all but abandoned any attempts to assist in drug interdiction.
The Coast Guard has begun to assume significant roles in the Western Pacific in the US EEZ and in support of the Federated States of Micronesia.
The Coast Guard is also supporting efforts by COCOMs in Africa and Asia to build additional coast guard like capabilities.
The replacement assets, particularly for the WMECs, are coming on line too slowly, and we are likely to see a drop in capability as these already difficult to maintain assets continue to age over the next 15 years current plans require to replace them.
Congress has departed from the Program of Record and funded eleven National Security Cutters instead of eight.
The Webber class seem to be exceeding our expectations and have proven more capable that I believe was originally envisioned.
The Fleet Mix Analysis was not linked to time of fulfillment except to say that it was looking at requirements for the year 2025. A reasonable service life for naval vessels is typically 30 years. Our youngest 210 is now 50 years old and the oldest 55. Two of the 210 were already passed off to Sri Lanka and Colombia. The youngest 270 is 29 years old and the oldest, 36 years old. We really should have started the OPC program 24 years ago. The plan to build the OPC provides the first coming on line in 2021, one in 2022, one in 2023, and two per year with the last to be delivered in 2034. That is 25 ships to replace 29 that were in the legacy fleet, one of which, Acushnet, was decommissioned in 2011. The remaining overaged ships are already having difficulty meeting their scheduled commitments. This situation will only get worse over the next decade. We really need to introduce the time element into our analysis. Some things just cannot wait.
The Bottom Line:
We need a new fleet mix study.
It needs to include the WPB replacement.
It needs to consider more than just the ship types as we are currently building as they are currently configured. We need to ask if equipment changes could make them more effective and reduce the total platform requirement. Specifically I think better armed WPCs and WPBs could eliminate a need for additional OPCs to fulfill the Ports, Waterways, and Coastal Security role.
The mix should also consider an alternative to meet the apparent need for more medium sized cutters using a notional alternative about half the size of the OPC, such as Cutter X.
We need to consider the Coast Guard’s role in the national fleet and what capabilities need to be incorporated to fulfill those roles in a potential conflict with China or in worst case, a combination of China and Russia.
Each commandant should prepare a new fleet mix to provide a best estimate of the Coast Guard’s future needs for his successor. Since a typical term is four years, the Commandant could take two years to frame a new fleet mix study. This would still allow about a year for completion and a year for evaluation and refinement of the results before passing it along to his successor.
In the period since the development of the program of record in 2004 we have had five Commandants, but only one, not completely comprehensive, look at our resource requirements. It is well past time for another.
This is not going to flow well, I apologized for the mishmash. The video above is of a House Sub-Committee hearing that occurred on July 24. I think it is still worth a look. The video does not actually begin until just before time 19:55
Before watching the video, I would suggest a look at the “Summary of Subject Matter.” This is what the Congressional Representatives are looking at.
End of Service Lives for Medium Endurance Cutters (MEC) with Planned Offshore Patrol Cutter (OPC) Delivery Dates:
Check out the charts on page 2. The second chart shows “End of Service Lives for Medium Endurance Cutters (MEC) with Planned Offshore Patrol Cutter (OPC) Delivery Dates.” It illustrates the risks and loss of capacity that appears likely, if OPCs are funded at the planned rate of no more than two ships a year. It is unclear why the WMECs are to be retired in the order intended since it is not the order of their completion. Presumably it is based on an assessment of the condition of the ships, but it is very clear that they will all be well over aged. The 210s will retire first. The youngest retirement would be at age 53 and some would qualify for Social Security before replacement. (Diligence, 66)
How they arrived at the expected service life shown is hard to understand, because every 210 is going to be 53 years old or older at the end of projected service life plus 15 year life extension. The 210s were, of course, substantially reworked during a “Major Maintenance Availability” 1986 to 1990, but no further life extension work is apparently planned based on the testimony in the video.
It may appear we are in much better shape with respect to the 270s, but these more complex ships may actually be harder to keep operational. We saw this in the number of breakdown experienced after the Haitian Earthquake eight years ago. They were commissioned between 1983 and 1991 and are expected to be replaced between 2130 and 2135. Legare, second to newest, is planned to be the first replaced, and would be “only” 40 years old. Harriet Lane one of the earliest completed is expected to be one of the last replaced and would be 50 years old. The rest fall within that range. SLEP for 270s beginning 2021, but it is not certain it will be applied to all 13 ships.
Because ships are not being replaced as quickly as they were originally built, we see a growing gap between the end of the ship’s projected service life, even with a 15 year service life extension, and the projected date of replacement.
Cutter Capability (by operating hour):
See also Appendix A, which illustrates the current shortfall in cutter hours available compared to the “Legacy Fleet” the recapitalization program was intended to replace. The “Legacy Fleet” is based on 12 WHECs, 29 WMECs, and 49 island class WPBs. (Not sure why they used 29 WMECs, since we had 32 as recently as 2001.)
There are two charts, the first includes WPBs and Webber class WPCs as well as WHECs, WMECs, NSCs, and OPCs. The second considers on the only the larger vessels, excluding WPCs and WPBs.
The first chart shows that we are currently down 20,450 hours (8.6%) relative to the legacy fleet, but that when the recapitalization is complete the total will be 31,970 hours (13.4%) greater than the legacy fleet. This increase is all due to the greater number Webber class and the greater number of hours each is expected to operate annually compared to 110s.
The second chart looks only at the larger ships, leaving aside the Webber and Island class WPCs and WPBs. It shows we are currently down 13,950 op hours (10%) and further, that when the program is completed, we will be down 15,030 hours (10.7%)reflecting the smaller number of large patrol cutters. If we could view this as a chart of actual cutter available on a yearly basis, it suggest that we will never be down by more than the 10.7% that shows upon completion of the program. Actually that is unlikely to be the case. The aging fleet means a higher probability of unplanned maintenance and even catastrophic failure that may result in WMECs being decommissioned prematurely and becoming parts donors like the Polar Sea.
At some point Coast Guard leadership is going to have to tell Congress the ugly truth that we have started the OPC/WMEC replacement program much too late, and we need to double down on the production rate. As soon as the first ship is completed and tested we need to issue a Multi-Year Procurement contract and it should include building up to four ships a year, at least until all sixteen 210s are replaced and at least three ships a year until all the WMECs are replaced.
We need to tell the Congress this as soon as possible, because bad news does not get better with age. Unfortunately it did not happen in this hearing. In fact when asked about the possibility of accelerating OPC production, time 1:10:00, VAdm McAllister seemed to dismiss the possibility saying we had other higher priorities. This was the wrong answer. You don’t always get to decide how money is spent. If we should get the opportunity to accelerate OPC construction, as has happened with the FRCs, we should welcome it.
Mission Needs Statement:
You can see the “Mission Needs Statement” referred to here. It is 70 pages plus about 45 pages of Appendices, but as noted, “… it does not identify asset gaps or a material solution to meet Coast Guard’s mission needs.”
GAO findings, failure to plan long term:
The GAO has taken the Coast Guard to task because their acquisition portfolio planning has been limited to apparently short term planning using the annual budget and five year Capital Investment Plan (CIP). That this has resulted a bow wave of unfunded requirements being pushed progressively further into the future.
“When you are up to your ass in alligators, it is difficult to remember that your initial objective was to drain the swamp.”
I have to think GAO has a point here.
We still have not provided a 20 year acquisition plan that the Coast Guard said they would provide in 2014, much less the 30 year plan I have suggested that would parallel the Navy’s planning process.
We have only done one fleet mix study. It was completed in 2007 and included the apparent assumption of applying the now rejected Crew Rotation Concept to both the NSCs and OPCs. Even so, it is still being used as a basis for critiquing the program of record that was last re-baselined in 2005. Things change, we now have better information about how our assets actually function. It is long past time for updated planning.
Vice Admiral Daniel Abel, Deputy Commandant for Operations, United States Coast Guard | Written Testimony
Vice Admiral Michael McAllister, Deputy Commandant for Mission Support, United States Coast Guard | Written Testimony
Ms. Marie A. Mak, Director of Acquisition and Sourcing Management, Government Accountability Office | Written Testimony
Here is a brief outline of the topic discussed. Video actually begins 19:55.
23:00 Administration and CG leadership priorities do not demonstrate a commitment to rebuild infrastructure.
42:00 Appropriation deleted $1.4B including $750M for the Heavy Polar Icebreaker and the rest from an account to repair of replace hurricane damaged infrastructure.
46:00 Icebreaker schedule is overly optimistic.
47:00 WMEC gap.
49:00 No service life extension program for 210s. Some, but not all 270s, will have 10 year life extension.
51:00 Capabilities vs hours.
55:30 WMECs are operating at higher than anticipated tempo. Anticipate catastrophic failures within in the WMEC fleet. 5 out or 14 WMEC 210s are at high risk.
59:30 Maintenance backlog.
1:08:00 Still no 20 year plan has been provided since it was requested in 2014.
1:10:00 accelerate OPC procurement?
1:12:30 OPC homeports, of the first four, two will go to Kodiak and two to LA
1:14:00 Great Lakes icebreaking, Mackinaw replacement? SLEP of 140′
1:15:45 Will be doing a fleet mix study for the Great Lakes.
1:20:00 Homeport for icebreakers has not been decided. Working on homeport decisions for the entire fleet.
1:24:00 Counter UAS capability. The six WPBs in CENTCOM have some capability.
1:25:00 Manpower analysis
Opening Statement of the Sub-Committee Chair:
The Subcommittee is meeting today to review how the Coast Guard is integrating their acquisition, manpower, and maintenance plans to align to their mission needs and assure the Service has the assets, personnel, and expertise needed to carry out its missions.
On June 1, 2018, Admiral Karl Schultz became the 26th Commandant of the Coast Guard. His guiding principles for the Service are: Ready, Relevant, and Responsive. He said, “These guiding principles frame my direction and will support the Department of Homeland Security, the Secretary of Defense and Combatant Commanders, and other national and global maritime interests.” Admiral Schultz and his senior leadership team are in the midst of reviewing the status of the Coast Guard and making changes to align the Service with those guiding principles. Today, we will hear from two members of that team, and look forward to better understanding their perspectives on the status of the Coast Guard.
The ongoing recapitalization of the Service’s cutters was planned two decades ago to address mission demands at that time. The world and the demands on the Coast Guard have since changed and it is critical that the Service be ready to respond to the demands of today, as well as those that will exist in decades to come. It is also important that the Coast Guard is prepared to manage capability gaps that are occurring and likely to continue to occur as recapitalization continues.
The decisions being made today will shape the Coast Guard of the future. The cutters being built today have a planned 30-year service life and will probably serve longer, and the final OPC is projected to be patrolling the seas until 2064. Like Admiral Schultz, Congress wants to ensure the Coast Guard is Ready, Relevant, and Responsive for years to come. In order to do so, we need accurate information from the Service to determine whether current plans will provide the capabilities to meet future demands.
Even more important than Coast Guard ships and aircraft are the people who operate them. The Coast Guard’s active duty workforce is only slightly larger than that of the New York City police department and less than ¼ the size of the next smallest U.S. Armed Force. Congress has encouraged the Coast Guard to better understand and articulate its workforce needs to meet current and emerging needs. Looking forward, it is likely that the Service will need to make tough, strategic decisions regarding how Coast Guard personnel are allocated. Even before the advent of a new cybersecurity operating domain, the Coast Guard was struggling to meet mission demands; creating a cybersecurity workforce while also conducting legacy operations poses an additional challenge that must be addressed immediately.
In addition to our focus on Coast Guard assets and personnel, this Subcommittee has continually pushed the Service to improve its shore infrastructure made up of approximately 43,400 assets nationwide. Unfortunately, even after several years of us stressing the need for action, much of that property is in dire need of rebuilding or repair. While Coast Guard leaders consistently stress the importance of investing in shore infrastructure, the budgetary trade-offs being made within the Coast Guard and the Administration do not reflect a genuine commitment to address this need. For example, despite a shore infrastructure backlog of more than $1.5 billion, the Coast Guard’s Fiscal Year 2019 budget request only includes $30 million to address those projects.
Shore infrastructure is critical to every Coast Guard mission – cutters need piers, aircraft need runways, inspectors need buildings, etc. – and if the Service truly desires to remain Ready, Relevant, and Responsive, it needs to find ways to address these critical needs.
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has issued a number of reports since 2012 reviewing Coast Guard acquisition programs and providing recommendations to improve those programs. Over the years, the Coast Guard has agreed with many of those recommendations and agreed to take action on them. However, the new GAO report released today notes that the Coast Guard has not fully implemented those prior recommendations. Hopefully, today’s hearing will help us understand why that is.
A new senior leadership team brings new perspectives, new ideas, and new priorities. I look forward to hearing from our witnesses today on how they see the Coast Guard and how we can best position the Service for success going forward.
The hearing recorded above was held 7 June. The original video was found here. That page also provides the chairman’s opening statement and links to the witnesses’ written statements that are also provided immediately below. The video does not actually start until time 4:30.
Below, you will find my outline of the highlights.
Vice Admiral Charles W. Ray, Deputy Commandant for Operations, United States Coast Guard | Written Testimony
Vice Admiral Sandra L. Stosz, Deputy Commandant for Mission Support, United States Coast Guard | Written Testimony Ms. Marie A. Mak, Director, Acquisition Sourcing & Management Team, Government Accountability Office | Written Testimony
Mr. John Acton, Chairman, Coast Guard Affairs Committee, Navy League of the United States | Written Testimony
The GAO’s written testimony is particularly comprehensive. They report that new assets (NSCs and FRCs) are not meeting planned availability. There have been an unexpected number of engine replacements. In the case of the National Security cutters it appears to me the down time was predictable, a normal part of introducing new ships and availability should return to planned levels as more ships join the fleet. The known defect, that when operating in waters 74 degrees or warmer, the NSCs cannot maintain maximum speed has apparently not been corrected. Max speed must be reduced two to four knots to allow adequate cooling.
Planning Documents: The Congressional Representatives repeatedly complained that they were not getting an unsensored statement of the Coast Guard’s needs. It appears the Coast Guard is not being allowed provide this information. Rather it appears the GAO is telling the Coast Guard how much they will be getting and told to submit a budget that fits the predetermined amounts. Reportedly the Unfunded priorities list will be provided by the end of June. They also asked for the 5 year and 20 year plan (1h04:30). Coast Guard representatives were repeatedly told the Coast Guard does not say what they really need, that information provided by the Coast Guard is inadequate for the sub-committee to make decisions (1h48m).
It appears that the GAO continues to ask the Coast Guard to plan procurements based on historically low AC&I appropriations that were adequate for a time because of the sporadic character of Coast Guard ship building. They acknowledge that the current budget is not realistic. (43:45)
The Coast Guard is now consistent in requesting $2B in the AC&I annually and a 5% annual increase in its operating budget and that we need 5,000 additional active duty billets and 1,100 addtional reservists. There was a statement from one of the Representatives to the effect, We need you to fight for yourselves (1h50:30). The representatives were informed that the 5 year, 20 year plans and unfunded will be delivered together (1:56)
Webber Class WPCs: The Coast Guard is reportedly pushing WPCs operations down as far as the coast of South America. (50:00) This confirms my earlier speculation that these ships would be operated in what had been WMEC roles. Six cutters for CENTCOM The representative confirmed that they had approved procurement of six Webber class requested by CENTCOM. Apparently their approval was in the form of the Coast Guard reauthorization bill which has still not been made law. Adm. Ray stated that these would be in addition to the 58 currently planned (9:30) and it is not clear how or when they would be funded. Adm Stosz indicated it was not certain six Webber class would be the Coast Guard’s choice in how to fill this requirement and the question required more study. (1h11)(1h41m).
Shore Facilities: Reportedly there is a $1.6B shore construction backlog. $700M shore facilities maintenance backlog. Some infrastructure improvements that directly support new operational platforms.are being accomplished under the platform programs (55:00) The representatives asked, why we have asked for only $10M if the total shore facilities backlog is $2.3B?(1h35)
Icebreakers: The possibility of leasing the commercial icebreaker Aiviq is still being considered. (1h27) The owners have offered a plan for Ice trials and the Coast Guard has said it would be interested in observing. (1h29:50)
Great Lakes Icebreaker: Rep. Lewis brought up icebreaker for Great Lakes.Adm Ray says for now we will address with the existing fleet. (1h00:30) Priority is still Polar Ice Breakers.
eLoran: There seems to be considerable interest in eLoran to deal with GPS vulnerabilities. (1:22) The Navy League representative supported the need. The Re-Authorization Bill directs Secretary of Transportation to initiate E-Loran testing. There was a clear anticipation that the Coast Guard would support implementation.
Coast Guard Health Care: Looks like the Coast Guard heath care records system which reverted to paper now may be able to piggy back on the VA’s conversion to the DOD system. (1h25)/(1h32:30) There is currently a major gap in funding for medical care of CG retirees
A Better Armed Coast Guard: Not that the Representatives were specific, but there was a statement, “We want to weaponize you.” (5:55) I think I heard essentially a second time as well. I’m not sure what that means.
Rising Sea Levels: There was concern expressed regarding rising sea level and how they might impact shore facilities (1h12:20)
WMEC Service Life Extension: The Coast Guard was given money several years ago to plan a service life extension program for 270. The Congress has not seen or heard any result and they questioned, why delay? (1:09) See fig. 4 on page 17 of the GAO’s written testimony
Operating Expenses: Replacement ships are costing more.(26:25)(50:55). This is becoming problematic without an increase in operating budget.
Changing the way we buy ships: Included in the Reauthorization Bill are changes in the way the Coast Guard can fund its shipbuilding, putting us on par with the Navy (5:50)
Cyber: Budget includes 70 additional billets. (19:45) What are we doing for the ports? (1h13:45)
Inland Tender Fleet: Budget includes $!M to investigate alternatives. (52:30) (1h19)
It is remarkable that there seemed to be no sentiment that the Coast Guard budget should be cut, while there was considerable evidence the Representatives believe the Coast Guard is underfunded.
The May issue of US Naval Institute Proceedings is the Naval Review issue. It includes updates on the Coast Guard as well as the Navy and Marine corps that are behind the membership pay wall, but it also has an article, “Too Small to Answer the Call,” by Capt. David Ramassini, future CO of USCGC Kimball (WMSL-756) that is accessible to all, and I think is worth a read.
Basically he is advocating using the Coast Guard internationally to build capacity and counter threats of lawlessness and poor governance in trouble spots all around the world. Below is his recommended building program.
Build a New Great White Fleet
Enhancing regional security in partnership with willing nations requires a 21st-century Great White Fleet of forward deployable (or stationed) national security cutters (NSCs), offshore patrol cutters (OPCs), and fast response cutters (FRC). The mix of platforms and duration of presence would be tailored to the distinct geographies and vary based on the receptiveness of the host nation(s), problem sets to be addressed, and mutual goals of the combatant commands and partner nations. Building on a proven bilateral approach for counterdrug operations and EEZ enforcement, the Great White Fleet would leverage existing agreements—based on the extent to which partner governments are willing—to strengthen CTOC (counter transnational organized crime–chuck) and CT (counter terrorism–Chuck) across the JIME (Joint Interagency Multinational Environment–Chuck).
From an acquisition perspective, doubling the size of both the OPC (from 25 to 50) and FRC (from approximately 50 to 100) programs equates to the projected cost of one Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78)-class aircraft carrier (approximately $13 billion). Furthermore, procuring an additional seven NSCs over the nine planned would cost the equivalent of one Zumwalt (DDG-1000)-class guided-missile destroyer (approximately $4.2 billion). The NSC and OPC both offer more than three times the on-station time between provisioning than is afforded by a littoral combat ship (LCS).
Building more OPCs also could rapidly grow the National Fleet by leveraging commercial shipyards outside the mainstream industrial complex. These shipyards may be able to provide better value to the government during an economic downturn in the oil and offshore supply industry. Further leveraging this acquisition would continue to drive down the cost of the OPCs and provide an additional industrial base to build a 400-ship National Fleet of ships with far lower operating and maintenance costs than the LCS.
Redirecting proposed future LCS/frigate dollars (approximately $14 billion) to a Great White Fleet to modernize the U.S. National Fleet mix would provide a greater return on investment and more staying power abroad. For instance, building international security cutters—NSCs with Navy-typed/Navy-owned enhancements such as the SeaRAM antiship cruise missile—could offer combatant commanders a truly useful “frigate,” leveraging mature production lines that now operate at only 70 percent capacity. These estimates are for relative comparison and do not include the associated aviation, infrastructure, basing support agreements, and personnel plus-ups that are needed to provide a more credible and persistent presence across the JIME. But investing in a larger Coast Guard and the supporting infrastructure would return high dividends.
I’m not sure I agree, but it is worth considering. We should, however, keep in mind a sentiment expressed by friend Bill Wells that white paint is not bullet proof. We should not perpetuate the idea that only white painted ships can enforce laws, that is a uniquiely American concept and perpetuating it plays into the hands of the Chinese, who have more coast guard ships than any other country in the world.
Still I think there is merit to this concept. It seems to be working for PATFORSWA (Patrol Forces South West Asia). There has already been talk about a similar deployment to SE Asia. We might consider similar detachments of various sizes for West Africa, the Eastern Pacific, and the Marshall Islands.
The additional ships, 7 NSCs, and “doubling the size of both the OPC (from 25 to 50) and FRC (from approximately 50 to 100)” Is clearly arbitrary. There is very little the NSCs can do that the OPCs will not also be able to do cheaper, so I don’t see a need for more NSCs.
If we take on additional international roles it probably will not be done in one fell swoop. It will probably be done incrementally. Captain Ramassini is clearly looking at this as a near term possibility. Some movement in this direction is clearly possible, but it will take a radical change in the Administration, the Navy, and the Coast Guard for this to happen on the scale he envisions.
Meanwhile, if you look at the “Offshore and Aviation Fleet Mix Study,” the Coast Guard actually needs 9 NSCs, 57 OPCs, and 91 FRCs just to meet all of our statutory obligations. That is not far from his 16 NSCs, 50 OPCs, and 100 FRCs. The study and the “Great White Fleet” would both probide 66 large ships (NSCs and OPCs).
Actually the only way I see this happening is if there is a realization that keeping the USN constantly cycling through distant deployments may not be the best way to maintain readiness. That it wears out very expensive ships and drives people from the service, and that perhaps cutters can perform at least some of the presence missions.
An earlier post reported a plea by Representative Duncan Hunter, Chair of the Transportation Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation, for the Coast Guard to provide an unfunded priority list to include six icebreakers and unmanned Air System.
Thought perhaps I would list my own “unfunded priorities.” These are not in any particular order.
Icebreakers: We have a documented requirement for three heavy and three medium icebreakers, certainly they should be on the list. Additionally they should be designed with the ability to be upgraded to wartime role. Specifically they should have provision for adding defensive systems similar to those on the LPD–a pair of SeaRAM and a pair of gun systems, either Mk46 mounts or Mk38 mod 2/3s. We might want the guns permanently installed on at least on the medium icebreakers for the law enforcement mission. Additionally they should have provision for supporting containerized mission modules like those developed for the LCS and lab/storage space identified that might be converted to magazine space to support armed helicopters.
110225-N-RC734-011 PACIFIC OCEAN (Feb. 25, 2011) Guy Mcallister, from Insitu Group, performs maintenance on the Scan Eagle unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) aboard the amphibious dock landing ship USS Comstock (LSD 45). Scan Eagle is a runway independent, long-endurance, UAV system designed to provide multiple surveillance, reconnaissance data, and battlefield damage assessment missions. Comstock is part of the Boxer Amphibious Ready Group, which is underway in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility during a western Pacific deployment. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Joseph M. Buliavac/Released)
Unmanned Air Systems (UAS): We seem to be making progress on deploying UAS for the Bertholf class NSCs which will logically be extended to the Offshore Patrol Cutters. So far we see very little progress on land based UAS. This may be because use of the Navy’s BAMS system is anticipated. At any rate, we will need a land based UAS or access to the information from one to provide Maritime Domain Awareness. We also need to start looking at putting UAS on the Webber class. They should be capable of handling ScanEagle sized UAS.
Photo: The Coast Guard Cutter Bluebell sits moored along the Willamette River waterfront in Portland, Ore., June 4, 2015. The Bluebell, which celebrated its 70th anniversary this year, is one of many ships participating in the 100th year of the Portland Rose Festival. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Chief Petty Officer David Mosley.)
Expand the Program of Record to the FMA-1 level: The Fleet Mix Study identified additional assets required to meet the Coast Guard’s statutory obligations identifying four asset levels above those planned in the program of record. Lets move at least to first increment.
At the very least, looks like we need to add some medium range search aircraft (C-27J or HC-144).
Increase Endurance of Webber Class Cutters: The Webber class could be more useful if the endurance were extended beyond five days (currently the same as the 87 cutters, which have only one-third the range). We needed to look into changes that would allow an endurance of ten days to two weeks. They already have the fuel for it.
MISSION EQUIPMENT SHORTFALLS
Ship Stopper (Light Weight Homing Torpedo): Develop a system to forcibly stop even the largest merchant ships by disabling their propulsion, that can be mounted on our patrol boats. A torpedo seems the most likely solution. Without such a system, there is a huge hole in our Ports, Waterways, and Coastal Security mission.
Photo: SeaGriffin Launcher
Counter to Small High Speed Craft (Small Guided Weapon): Identify and fit weapons to WPB and larger vessels that are capable of reliably stopping or destroying small fast boats that may be used as fast inshore attack craft and suicide or remote-controlled unmanned explosive motor boats. These weapons must also limit the possibility of collateral damage. Small missiles like SeaGriffin or Hellfire appear likely solutions.
40 mm case telescoped gun (bottom) compared to conventional guns.
Improved Gun–Penetration, Range, and Accuracy: The .50 cal. and 25mm guns we have on our WPBs and WPCs have serious limitations in their ability to reach their targets from outside the range of weapons terrorist adversaries might improvise for use against the cutters. They have limited ability to reach the vitals of medium to large merchant vessels, and their accuracy increases the possibility of collateral damage and decreases their probability of success. 30, 35, and 40 mm replacements for the 25 mm in our Mk38 mod2 mounts are readily available.
Laser Designator: Provide each station, WPB, and WPC with a hand-held laser designator to allow them to designate targets for our DOD partners.
CONTINGENCY PLANNING SHORTFALLS
Vessel Wartime Upgrades: Develop plans for a range of options to upgrade Coast Guard assets for an extended conflict against a near peer.