USCGC Emlen Tunnell Seizes Illegal Drugs In Gulf Of Oman

230130-N-NO146-1001 GULF OF OMAN (Jan. 30, 2023) Illicit drugs interdicted by USCGC Emlen Tunnell (WPC 1145) sit on the deck of a fishing vessel for inventory as the U.S. Coast Guard cutter sails in the Gulf of Oman, Jan. 30. (U.S. Coast Guard photo) (Photo by U.S. Coast Guard)

Below is a U.S. Naval Forces Central Command news release. More information on Combined Maritime Forces, Task Force 150, Coast Guard PATFORSWA interdiction efforts, and why I think it is a great model for other areas here.

U.S., International Forces Seize Illegal Drugs in Gulf of Oman, By U.S. Naval Forces Central Command Public Affairs | January 31, 2023

MANAMA, Bahrain —

A U.S. Coast Guard vessel seized illegal drugs worth a total estimated U.S. street value of $33 million from a fishing vessel transiting international waters in the Gulf of Oman, Jan. 30.

U.S. Coast Guard cutter USCGC Emlen Tunnell (WPC 1145) was patrolling regional waters in support of Combined Task Force (CTF) 150 when it seized 4,000 kilograms of hashish and 512 kilograms of methamphetamine from the smuggling vessel.

Currently led by the United Kingdom Royal Navy, CTF 150 is one of four task forces organized under the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF). This was the first drug seizure in 2023 for CMF.

“This is just the beginning of our work in delivering maritime security operations in the region to stop illicit activities and drug smuggling,” said UK Royal Navy Capt. James Byron, the CTF 150 commander. “This comes as a result of a valued partnership between CTF 150 and all partner nations in Combined Maritime Forces.”

Byron assumed command of the multinational task force Jan. 18 after Royal Saudi Navy Rear Adm. Abdullah Al-Mutairi led the unit for six months.

Under Al-Mutairi’s leadership, CTF 150 ships logged more than 10,000 hours on regional patrols and intercepted six shipments of illegal drugs that included opium, heroin, hashish and amphetamines. The combined estimated value of the seized drugs totaled more than $250 million.

Since 2021, CMF has interdicted $1 billion worth of illicit narcotics during maritime patrols. CMF is the largest international naval partnership in the world consisting of 38 member-nations and partners.

“U.S. Navy Intercepts More Than 2,000 Assault Rifles Shipped from Iran”

Thousands of AK-47 assault rifles sit on the flight deck of guided-missile destroyer USS The Sullivans (DDG 68) during an inventory process, Jan. 7. U.S. naval forces seized 2,116 AK-47 assault rifles from a fishing vessel transiting along a maritime route from Iran to Yemen. (Photo by U.S. Navy)

Below is a press release from U.S. Naval Forces Central Command reporting interdiction of an arms smuggling operation. The initial interception and boarding were done by, soon to be decommissioned, Cyclone class patrol ship USS Chinook. She was supported by another, soon to be decommissioned, Cyclone class USS Monsoon and destroyer USS The Sullivans.

At one time there were ten Cyclone class patrol ships based in Bahrain, along with six Island class patrol boats and for a while some MkVI patrol boats. Apparently, there are still five Cyclone class, based in Bahrain, doing useful work for the USN. Looks like soon, there will only be the six Webber class of Coast Guard Patrol Forces Southwest Asia.

Apparently, 5th Fleet expects the unmanned systems of Task force 59 to perform some of the patrol functions, but I have to wonder if six patrol craft are enough?


MANAMA, Bahrain —

U.S. naval forces intercepted a fishing vessel in the Gulf of Oman, Jan. 6, and discovered it smuggling 2,116 AK-47 assault rifles while transiting international waters along a maritime route from Iran to Yemen.

A U.S. Navy boarding team from patrol coastal ship USS Chinook (PC 9) initially discovered and seized the weapons with support from USS Monsoon (PC 4) and guided-missile destroyer USS The Sullivans (DDG 68). The intercepted vessel, which was sailing on a route historically used to traffic illicit cargo to the Houthis in Yemen, was crewed by six Yemeni nationals.

The direct or indirect supply, sale or transfer of weapons to the Houthis violates U.N. Security Council Resolution 2216 and international law. The transfer of the vessel and its crew for repatriation is in progress.

“This shipment is part of a continued pattern of destabilizing activity from Iran,” said Vice Adm. Brad Cooper, commander of U.S. Naval Forces Central Command, U.S. 5th Fleet and Combined Maritime Forces. “These threats have our attention. We remain vigilant in detecting any maritime activity that impedes freedom of navigation or compromises regional security.”

In the past two months, U.S. 5th Fleet has also intercepted two other fishing vessels in the Gulf of Oman smuggling lethal aid from Iran to Yemen.

Forces operating from expeditionary sea base USS Lewis B. Puller (ESB 3) seized more than 50 tons of ammunition rounds, fuses and propellants for rockets, Dec. 1. Weeks earlier on Nov. 8, The Sullivans, USS Hurricane (PC 3) and U.S. Coast Guard ship USCGC John Scheuerman (WPC 1146) intercepted more than 70 tons of ammonium perchlorate, a powerful oxidizer commonly used to make rocket and missile fuel, as well as 100 tons of urea fertilizer.

The U.S. 5th Fleet operating area includes 21 countries, the Arabian Gulf, Gulf of Oman, Red Sea, parts of the Indian Ocean and three critical choke points at the Strait of Hormuz, Bab al-Mandeb and Suez Canal.

“The More ‘Eyes On The Water’, The Better” –Marine News

221207-N-NO146-1001 ARABIAN GULF (Dec. 7, 2022) An Aerovel Flexrotor unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) takes off from U.S. Coast Guard fast response cutter USCGC Emlen Tunnell (WPC 1145) transiting the Arabian Gulf, Dec. 7. U.S. 5th Fleet’s Task Force 59 launched the UAV during Digital Horizon, a three-week event focused on integrating new unmanned and artificial intelligence platforms, including 10 that are in the region for the first time. (U.S. Navy photo)

Marine News has an interesting story that discusses both PATFORSWA’s operations using the recently arrived Webber class WPCs and the recent Digital Horizon 2022 exercise. There is also a bit of a tie in between the two in that at least one WPC was operating as part of Task Force 59, the 5th Fleet element charged with operating unmanned systems. We have heard a bit about the exercise before, but the list of participants in the graphic below seems particularly revealing.

Graphic illustration depicting the unmanned systems that participated in exercise Digital Horizon.

“Task Force 59 Launches Aerial Drone from Coast Guard Ship in Middle East” –NAVCENT

221207-N-NO146-1001 ARABIAN GULF (Dec. 7, 2022) An Aerovel Flexrotor unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) takes off from U.S. Coast Guard fast response cutter USCGC Emlen Tunnell (WPC 1145) transiting the Arabian Gulf, Dec. 7. U.S. 5th Fleet’s Task Force 59 launched the UAV during Digital Horizon, a three-week event focused on integrating new unmanned and artificial intelligence platforms, including 10 that are in the region for the first time. (U.S. Navy photo)

Below is a December 07, 2022, news release by U.S. Naval Forces Central Command / U.S. 5th Fleet Public Affairs.

To me this is really exciting news. The Webber class has been doing some great work at surprising long distances, performing most of the functions of a medium endurance cutter. Their primary weakness as a patrol ship has been the lack of an organic search aircraft. I assume this UAS is operating from the area on the O-1 deck forward of the bridge that had been designated for vertical replenishment.

This from Aerovel, maker of the Flexrotor (follow the link for dimensions and performance),

Boasting a flight endurance of more than 30 hours and a 120-kilometer communications range, this all-weather aircraft has operated in some of the harshest conditions on earth. Flexrotor is excellent for expeditionary missions. Needing only a 20’ by 20’ area for launch and recovery, it takes off and lands vertically and easily transitions into horizontal wing-borne flight. The STUAS flies completely automatically after takeoff, with no pilot intervention needed. Flexrotor quickly assembles for flight and can be boxed and stowed in minutes by a single person.

The Flexrotor is, in most respects, in the same class as the Scan Eagles that are currently being deployed on National Security Cutters. It is not as fast as Scan Eagle but apparently comparable or greater endurance and requires no launch or recovery equipment. These systems may actually constitute an improvement, compared to searches by manned helicopters, because of their much greater endurance and sensors like the VIDAR used on Coast Guard Scan Eagle UAS..


Task Force 59 Launches Aerial Drone from Coast Guard Ship in Middle East

By By U.S. Naval Forces Central Command / U.S. 5th Fleet Public Affairs | December 07, 2022

MANAMA, Bahrain —

A U.S. Navy unmanned task force in the Middle East launched an aerial drone from a U.S. Coast Guard vessel operating the Arabian Gulf, Dec. 7.

U.S. 5th Fleet’s Task Force 59 launched an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) from USCGC Emlen Tunnell (WPC 1145), marking a first for the task force with a U.S. Coast Guard vessel since the task force’s establishment in September 2021.

The launch also demonstrated close collaboration between the U.S. Coast Guard and Task Force 59 as U.S. 5th Fleet rapidly integrates unmanned systems and artificial intelligence to enhance monitoring of regional waters.

Task Force 59 is conducting Digital Horizon, a three-week event focused on integrating new unmanned and artificial intelligence platforms, including 10 that are in the region for the first time.

“Each day during Digital Horizon we have pushed to discover new capabilities, fast,” said Capt. Michael Brasseur, commodore of Task Force 59. “I am so proud of the team for their steadfast commitment to not only imagine new possibilities, but to deliver them.”

An Aerovel Flexrotor successfully took off and landed vertically aboard Emlen Tunnell, showcasing close collaboration between Navy, Coast Guard and industry partners to advance technology integration.

“We are so excited to be part of Digital Horizon and play a critical role by helping integrate new technologies into the fleet,” said Lt. Patrick Kelly, Emlen Tunnell’s commanding officer. “I am so proud of the crew for their dedication, commitment and professionalism, which made today’s success possible.”

The Flexrotor can support intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) missions day and night using a daylight or infrared camera to provide a real-time video feed.

In addition to providing ISR capability, UAVs like the Flexrotor enable Task Force 59 to enhance a resilient communications network used by unmanned systems to relay video footage, pictures and other data to command centers ashore and at sea.

U.S. 5th Fleet established Task Force 59 more than 14 months ago. Since its launch, the task force has deployed a suite of new unmanned systems while integrating artificial intelligence at operational hubs in Jordan and Bahrain.

Emlen Tunnell is one of the Coast Guard’s newest Sentinel-class fast response cutters forward-deployed to Bahrain where U.S. 5th Fleet is headquartered. The ship helps ensure maritime security and stability across the Middle East.

Iran’s Shahid Soleimani Catamaran Missile Corvette and Torpedo Armed RHIB

Iranian torpedo armed RHIB carried by Shahid Soleimani class catamaran corvette.

Covert Shores reported on new Iranian missile armed catamaran corvettes, but the report also included the photo above. What we are seeing is a boat suspended from the stern of the corvette. The boat is equipped with what appears to be a torpedo tube for a lightweight torpedo. Presumably there is a second tube on the other side. Diameter is likely to be the same as the NATO standard, 324mm or 12.75″. Unlike most lightweight torpedoes, this is unlikely to be intended for use against submarines. Almost certainly, it is intended for use against surface ships.

There is not a lot of public source information about Iranian torpedoes but their partners in crime, Russia and China, are both believed to have cloned the US made Mk46 torpedo and both passive and active acoustic and wake homing technology is readily available. Passive acoustic homing in the search phase, and wake homing in the terminal phase, seems likely. Range is probably at least 8,000 yards.

This means, these torpedoes can be launched from well outside the effective range of typical Close In Weapon Systems (CIWS) of 20 to 40mm. 

We can’t take much comfort in the fact that the warhead of these torpedoes would be about 100 pounds. That is way less than the approximately 600 pounds of a heavy weight 21″ torpedo like the Mk48, but the effects of an underwater explosion are not linear. The effect of a 100-pound warhead is about half that of heavy weight torpedoes that we have repeatedly seen break ships in half. So, a lightweight torpedo, exploding under the keel, might not break a ship in half, but it is going to hurt.

I have long felt an anti-surface light weight torpedo like this would provide Coast Guard cutters a relatively low-cost way to forcible stop a medium to large vessel, regardless of size, a capability they do not currently have. Apparently, the Iranians think it will work.

Shahid Soleimani Catamaran Missile Corvette:

This is a significant departure for the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. Apparently, they have recognized that their naval swarm forces are vulnerable to attack from the air, and, I believe, particularly helicopters.

hIran Shahid Solemani class corvette top view

With its array of VLS AAW weapons, these corvettes constitute a serious threat to USN and allied helicopters that might be used to counter Iranian swarm tactics.

When engaged in force protection, if the force protection package includes aircraft, and one of this class shows up, a PATFORSWA Webber cutter class might be doing useful service, if they take station a couple hundred yards behind the corvette and maintain a fire control solution on that probably highly flammable and explosive collection of weapons in the center of the superstructure, behind the bridge–without pointing the gun, of course.

“US Navy seizes massive shipment of ammo, explosive material in Gulf of Oman” –Task and Purpose

The U.S. Navy released photos of a fishing trawler it says carried more than 50 tons of ammunition rounds, fuses and propellants for rockets when it was boarded Dec. 1., 2022 in the Gulf of Oman. (U.S. Navy 5th Fleet via Stars and Stripes)

Task and Purpose reports,

“For the second time in less than a month, the U.S. Navy intercepted a ship passing through the Gulf of Oman and seized a large shipment of illicit weapons bound for Yemen..The Navy made the interception on Thursday, Dec. 1. Sailors with the Navy’s 5th Fleet stopped a fishing trawler in the gulf. During a flag verification boarding, they found a large cargo of munitions and chemical propellant. The sailors seized 1.1 million rounds of 7.62mm ammo, as well as an additional 25,000 12.7mm rounds. The trawler also was carrying almost 7,000 rocket fuses and more than 2,000 kilograms of a propellant used in rocket propelled grenades. The cargo totaled more than 50 tonnes.”

The boarding party came from the expeditionary sea base USS Lewis B. Puller, but I think it is a safe bet Coast Guard personnel were involved in the boarding.

USS Lewis B. Puller (ESB-3)

 

Fast Response Cutter / Navy MkVI Patrol Boat –Peter Ong

Today we have a guest author, Peter Ong. This is Peter’s sixth post on this blog, and he is now a regular contributor to Naval News. In this post, he reports a conversation with Coast Guard Cutter Forces about why the success of the Coast Guard’s Fast Response Cutter program has allowed  the Navy to cancel their MkVI patrol boat program that at one time was expected to produce 48 patrol boats.

The MkVI had only very austere galley and messing facilities, a Microwave and MREs. They were not expected to be underway more than 24 hours. The FRCs endurance, allowing days, rather than hours, on station to intercept drug and arms smugglers and their abilitiy to support counter UAS systems may be providing capabilities the MkVI simply could not have.

220822-A-KS490-1182 STRAIT OF HORMUZ (Aug. 22, 2022) From the left, U.S. Coast Guard fast response cutters USCGC Glen Harris (WPC 1144), USCGC John Scheuerman (WPC 1146), USCGC Emlen Tunnell (WPC 1145) and USCGC Clarence Sutphin Jr. (WPC 1147) transit the Strait of Hormuz, Aug. 22. The cutters are forward-deployed to U.S. 5th Fleet to help ensure maritime security and stability across the Middle East. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Noah Martin)

When is a ship a boat and when is a boat a ship? When is an apple an orange and when is an orange an apple? Answer: they are not as these are two different and distinct things when it comes to comparing the warships of the U.S. Coast Guard to the MkVI patrol boats of the U.S. Navy.

A U.S. Navy Mark VI patrol boat with Maritime Expeditionary Security Squadron TWO moves through the water prior to a live fire exercise in the Philippine Sea, Feb. 27, 2021. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by 1st Lt. Stephanie Murphy).

The U.S. Navy is divesting of their 12 in-service Mark VI Patrol Boats, which at the Surface Navy Association 2021, Major General Tracy King, USMC, Director, Expeditionary Warfare (N95) stated that the twelve Mark VIs “Were very expensive to maintain.” However, many critics and pundits of the Mark VIs’ early retirement cite that the Mark VIs still have a lot of life left in them and that their high speeds and heavy armament makes them an asset to special forces, Marines, and Navy SEALs. Mark VIs also perform capital ship escort screenings and contribute to Distributed Lethality and Distributed Maritime Operations by having a smaller vessel signature that might help U.S. Marines move around and slip ashore undetected.

In a phone interview on September 29, 2022 with United States Coast Guard (USCG) Captain John J. Driscoll, Office of Cutter Forces (CG-751), the U.S. Coast Guard captain made a comment about the Sentinel-class Fast Response Cutters (FRC) substituting for the U.S. Navy’s Mark VI Patrol Boats in the Patrol Forces Southwest Asia (PATFORSWA) region and other parts of the globe.

The U.S. Navy plans to replace the Mark VIs and the aging Patrol Coastal boats in the PATFORSWA region with USCG FRCs. When asked how the cutter fleet is integrated with the U.S. Navy and the Department of Defense, the captain replied that the cutter fleet is built into different operational security plans within the U.S. Department of Defense, but these plans are not discussable.

Captain Driscoll said that the Coast Guard’s Fast Response Cutters and the Mark VI are different assets and have different capabilities. The 65 planned FRCs have much greater range and greater endurance (5 days, 2,500 nautical miles (4,600 km; 2,900 mi) and are designed to be on patrol 2,500 hours per year) than the U.S. Navy’s Mark VI Patrol Boats (750 nautical miles (860 mi; 1,390 km) at 25 knots; 690 nautical miles (790 mi; 1,280 km) at 30 knots).

The captain mentioned that the FRC is tremendously capable and different in how it integrates with the Department of Defense and one can’t make comparisons between the Navy’s Mark VI and the USCG’s Fast Response Cutters because the FRC is a commissioned warship of the United States with an assigned crew whereas the Mark VI is just a patrol boat—a ship versus a boat—the ship is larger. The FRC is 154-feet long (46.9 m) with a beam of 25-feet (7.6 m) whereas the Mark VI Patrol Boat is 84.8-feet (25.8 m) long with a beam of 20.5-feet (6.2 m).

Armament is about the same between the two vessels (a Mark 38 MOD 2 25mm autocannon forward with crew-served 12.7mm heavy machine guns and grenade launcher(s) aft) with the Mark VI sporting more armament (another potential Mark 38 25mm autocannon aft and potential crew-served 40mm automatic grenade launchers or 12.7mm heavy machine guns. Some PATFORSWA FRCs will receive the Mark 38 MOD 3 with a 7.62mm coaxial chaingun to the bow 25mm autocannon and a 40mm automatic grenade launcher).

Nonetheless, one can see the huge difference in operational range. Furthermore, the success of the 65 planned Coast Guard FRCs eclipses the 12 Mark VI U.S. Navy Patrol Boats in terms of production numbers. Furthermore, the Mark VI is propelled by waterjets to 45 knots (52 mph; 83 km/h) whereas the FRC has propellers that drive it at 28+ knots. Repeated requests to the U.S. Navy asking for explanation on “[The Mark VIs are] very expensive to maintain” were not answered, but one can assume that it takes a lot of time, labor, and money to clean out the Mark VI’s waterjet intakes and impellers compared to the more easily accessible external shaft and propellers on the Fast Response Cutters when operating in littoral waters potentially teeming with flotsam and seaweed.

FRC range and endurance are important. Captain Driscoll stated that the FRCs are working in the Papua New Guinea and Indonesian region to combat Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing and are working with partner nations to address the competition for maritime resources.

As for possible up-arming of the FRCs with the Mark 38 MOD 4 30mm autocannon, that is a retrofit possibility, noted the captain, although the upcoming Polar Security Cutter (PSC) heavy icebreakers will receive the 30mm autocannons first, two on each PSC. Captain Driscoll mentioned that the 30mm autocannon is in the U.S. Navy acquisition system and that the USCG and U.S. Navy both decide on future cutter armament. Programmable and airbursting 30mm ammunition options are not discussable although if the U.S. Navy has the specialized and advanced 30mm ammunition in its inventory, the USCG can also use it depending on the cutter’s mission parameters.

The new Mark 38 Mod 4 30mm naval gun system on display on MSI Defence stand at Sea Air Space 2022. It can, in theory and with funding, be retrofitted aboard existing USCG cutters if agreed upon between the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Coast Guard. Photo: NavalNews

“U.S., UK and Saudi Arabia Complete Naval Exercise in Arabian Gulf” CENTCOM

210524-G-N0146-0073 ARABIAN GULF (May 24, 2021) – Patrol boat USCGC Maui (WPB 1304, foreground) and fast response cutter USCGC Robert Goldman (WPC 1142) transit the Arabian Gulf en route to Bahrain, May 24. Robert Goldman and USCGC Charles Moulthrope (WPC 1141) are the newest additions to Patrol Forces Southwest Asia (PATFORSWA), which is comprised of six 110′ cutters, the Maritime Engagement Team, shore side support personnel, and is the Coast Guard’s largest unit outside of the U.S. playing a key role in supporting Navy security cooperation, maritime security, and maritime infrastructure protection operations in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Seaman Logan Kaczmarek)

Below is a CENTCOM news release. Photos are available here. Wish they had listed the Saudi and Royal Navy participating units as well. 

NEWS | Nov. 8, 2022

U.S., UK and Saudi Arabia Complete Naval Exercise in Arabian Gulf

By U.S. Naval Forces Central Command Public Affairs

Naval forces from the United States, United Kingdom and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia completed a weeklong maritime exercise called Nautical Defender in the Arabian Gulf, Nov. 7.

The multilateral training event involved U.S. Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT), Royal Saudi Navy’s Eastern Fleet, UK’s Royal Navy, and observers from regional nations. Partners focused on maritime security, vessel boarding procedures, explosive ordinance disposal and other training drills ashore in Saudi Arabia and at sea.

In addition to personnel from the U.S. Navy, Marine Corps, Army and Coast Guard, participating U.S. ships included USS Delbert D. Black (DDG 119), USS Devastator (MCM 6), USCGC Charles Moulthrope (WPC 1141) and USCGC Robert Goldman (WPB 1142).

NAVCENT is headquartered in Manama, Bahrain and includes maritime forces operating in the Arabian Gulf, Gulf of Oman, Red Sea, parts of the Indian Ocean and three critical choke points at the Strait of Hormuz, Suez Canal and Bab al-Mandeb.

“U.S. Naval Forces in Middle East Interdict $29 Million in Illegal Drugs” –Seapower

USCGC Charles Moulthrope arrives at Naval Station Rota, Spain. After a two-week transit across the Atlantic Ocean, the cutter arrived in-port to resupply.

The Navy League’s on-line magazine, Seapower, reports,

A U.S. Coast Guard fast response cutter seized an estimated $29 million worth of illicit narcotics from a fishing vessel while patrolling the Gulf of Oman, Oct. 12, two weeks after another sizable interdiction, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command Public Affairs said in an Oct. 13 release.

This is getting to be routine. The same ship seized a fishing vessel on Sept 27 with $85M in illegal drugs, presumably the “sizable interdiction” referred to above, and USCGC Glen Harris (WPC 1144) , an another PATFORSWA cutter, has already made three drug interdictions.

“Hellfire Missile With Roughly Three Times More Range Tested…” –The Drive

New Lockheed Hellfire/JASM launcher discussed earlier

The Drive reports an exercise that claimed to employ an enhanced version of Hellfire with a range about three times as great as that of the previous versions. Hellfire’s replacement, JASM, perhaps more accurately an upgraded Hellfire, has now been approved for full rate production and there have been reports that a longer range version was in the works.

Beyond the air-launched advantages, this missile would be hugely beneficial for sea-launched applications, such as the LCS. Beyond that, it could be extremely beneficial in servicing Hellfire’s growing surface-to-air role, as well.

Since the typically reported surface to surface range of the Hellfire is 8 km, three times that would be 24 km or over 26,000 yards (equal to the longest ranged battleship hit in WWII). In most cases, that means it can reach anything within the visual horizon. It would also mean, it would out range our 57 and 76mm guns. If this longer ranged Hellfire/JASM is mounted on the new 30 mm Mk38 Mod4, it could mean even Polar Security Cutters will have a potentially more potent weapon than the 57mm Mk110, with a much smaller footprint and lower maintenance requirements.

The weapon would certainly be a welcomed addition to the Webber class patrol craft of PATFORSWA because it would give them greatly enhanced capability against swarming small inshore attack craft, helicopters, and UAS, threats common in their operating area.

As I noted earlier, JASM could provide Coast Guard vessels as small as patrol boats, with a much more accurate, more powerful, and longer ranged response to the need to be able to forcibly stop vessels both small and large, while also providing counter UAS, a degree of anti-aircraft protection, and should it ever be required, a naval fire support ashore capability.