CSIS and the United States Naval Institute (USNI) conduct an interview with Admiral Karl L. Schultz, the 26th Commandant of the United States Coast Guard, conducted 1 August, 2018.
Below I will attempt to outline the conversation, noting the topics and in some cases providing a comment.
The first question is about immigration. Coast Guard is the “away game.” minimizing the factors that push immigration to the US.
The Commandant does not expect a substantial increase in help from the Navy, because they are already heavily tasked, but would welcome any additional help.
06:30 Talk about Inland fleet. Congressional support is evident. $25M provided so far.
9:20 House Appropriations Committee decision to divert $750M from the icebreaker program to fund “the Wall” in their markup of the FY2019 budget bill. The Commandant is “guardedly optimistic”
11:30 Human capital readiness? Operating account has been flat and effectively we have lost 10% in purchasing power. Want to increase leadership training.
16:30 Support for combatant commanders.
18:00 Capacity building and partnering. Detachments working on host nation platforms.
21:00 Defense Force planning–Not going back to the MARDEZ model.
22:30 Situation in Venezuela/Preparation for dealing with mass migration.
24:30 Arctic forums–Need to project our sovereignty
30:00 Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA)
32:30 Tracking cargo as an element of MDA
36:15 High Latitude engagement/partnerships.
39:30 Perhaps the icebreaker should be the “Polar Security Cutter?”
40:00 International ice patrol, still an important mission.
41:00 CG role in response to Chinese aggressiveness in the South China Sea. In discussion with Indo-Pacific Command. Will see more CG presence there.
44:00 Offshore Patrol Cutter (OPC)–on track
46:30 Border issue — passed on that
48:00 Small satellites–we are looking at them
49:00 African Capacity building/cooperation. May send an MEC.
51:30 Tech modernization. Looking at it more holistically.
This interview prompted a couple of notable posts.
SeaPower’s coverage of the discussion is here. They focused on the growth of demands on the Coast Guard.
Military.com reported on the possibility of a greater Coast Guard role in South East Asia and capacity building in Africa. It probably should be noted that the title, “Coast Guard Could Send Ship to Pacific to ‘Temper Chinese Influence’,”is a bit deceptive in that the Commandant’s remark about tempering Chinese Influence was in regard to Oceania, the islands of the Central and Western Pacific. The Commandant was quoted in the Seapower post, “In the Oceania region, there are places where helping them protect their interests, tempering that Chinese influence, is absolutely essential.”