“Naval Warfare, Naval Doctrine Publication 1”

The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Waesche (WMSL 751) conducts a replenishment-at-sea with the fleet replenishment oiler USNS Laramie (T-AO 203) while patrolling the Eastern Pacific Ocean, April 20, 2020. Waesche is deployed to the U.S. Southern Command area of responsibility to support Joint Interagency Task Force South’s mission, which includes counter illicit drug trafficking in the Caribbean and Eastern Pacific. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Chief Petty Officer Dave Horning.

CIMSEC has provided us with both a pdf copy of the new Naval Warfare Doctrine and a comparative analysis of the 2020 version with the preceding 2010 version, done by Jimmy Drennan, President of the Center for International Maritime Security (CIMSEC).

The doctrine is jointly published under the signature of the Coast Guard Commandant as well as that of the CNO and Commandant of the Marine Corps. The Coast Guard is mentioned 58 times in the 88 pdf pages.

The new doctrine is easy to read, and appears to be written for a wide audience. Acronyms are kept to a minimum. It is really a return to the fundamental concepts of Seapower. In particular it talks about five enduring functions:

  • Sea Control,
  • Power Projection,
  • Deterrence,
  • Maritime Security, and
  • Sea Lift

The Coast Guard certainly has major roles in Maritime Security and Sea Lift, along with possible lesser roles in other areas.

It is not difficult reading at all, 68 pages in the basic document, in large format, with lots of pictures. There is a ten page glossary and just over a page of acronyms at the end, most of which you will not need.

COLONIA, Yap (July 4, 2019) The U.S. Coast Guard Island-class patrol boat USCGC Kiska and Mark VI patrol boats assigned to Coastal Riverine Squadron (CRS) 2, Coastal Riverine Group 1, Detachment Guam, moored in the Micronesia port of Yap. CRG 1, Det. Guam’s visit to Yap, and engagement with the People of Federated States of Micronesia underscores the U.S. Navy’s commitment to partners in the region. The Mark VI patrol boat is an integral part of the expeditionary forces support to 7th Fleet, capability of supporting myriad of missions throughout the Indo-Pacific. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jasen Moreno-Garcia/Released)

Happy Coast Guard Day

I am passing along this from Coast Guard Mutual Assistance.

Alternate text

Happy Birthday to the Coast Guard, marking 230 years of faithful service to our nation!

Now is the time to celebrate the people, the mission, and the incredible history of the USCG!

Today, August 4th, marks the founding of the Revenue Cutter Service in 1790 and the origins of the United States Coast Guard. Every day members of the Coast Guard are securing our borders, interdicting illicit drugs, and protecting our national interests.

Impressively on an average day, the United States Coast Guard:

  • conducts 45 search and rescue cases
  • saves 10 lives
  • saves over $1.2M in property
  • seizes 874 pounds of cocaine and 214 pounds of marijuana
  • conducts 57 waterborne patrols of critical maritime infrastructure
  • interdicts 17 illegal migrants
  • escorts 5 high-capacity passenger vessels
  • conducts 24 security boardings in and around U.S. ports
  • screens 360 merchant vessels for potential security threats prior to arrival in U.S. ports
  • conducts 14 fisheries conservation boardings
  • services 82 buoys and fixed aids to navigation
  • investigates 35 pollution incidents
  • completes 26 safety examinations on foreign vessels
  • conducts 105 marine inspections
  • investigates 14 marine casualties involving commercial vessels
  • facilitates movement of $8.7B worth of goods and commodities through the Nation’s Maritime Transportation System

Even though Coast Guard Day looks a little different this year, we know you are still ready to celebrate this amazing branch of service! The United States Coast Guard is resilient and ready for anything no matter what storm may surge or threat arise. This is why CGMA just rolled out 6 new programs to assist CG families through the challenges and uncertainties of COVID-19. You can learn more about these programs on our website: cgmahq.org.

Alternate text

Now we are witnessing COVID-19 cases increase nationwide, there is a national crisis in the availability of child care, and schools are beginning to announce plans for the fall semester.

– ADM Karl Schultz, USCG Commandant, Chairman, CGMA Board of Control

Last year, 1 in 5 Active Duty Coast Guard members received support from CG Mutual Assistance. You can help our Coast Guard remain mission ready and provide the peace of mind they need when they face financial emergencies. Support their families and their future through CGMA emergency, education, and family support programs.

Join me in celebration of the mission of the USCG by applauding the men and women of the Coast Guard for their incredible dedication and focus on the mission of our service. The funds raised will fuel the programs that reach the Coast Guard community. It is only through your generous donations that we can help our own! Charles, for your generosity to the shipmates of the Coast Guard — THANK YOU!

Semper Paratus,

Alternate text

RADM Cari Thomas, USCG, Ret.

Chief Executive Officer

P.S. Don’t miss the party. How will you join the celebration? Give a special gift today. Together we can honor the past and secure the future.

Coast Guard Mutual Assistance, 1005 North Glebe Road, Ste 220 Arlington, VA 22201



“Chinese boats wreaking havoc in North Korea waters, study says” –UPI

Chinese squid-fishing vessels in waters near South Korea’s Ulleungdo in September 2016 | ⓒ THE OUTLAW OCEAN PROJECT / VIA KYODO

We have a UPI report that,

“Chinese fishing vessels operating illegally may have hollowed out North Korean waters and likely contributed to an 80 percent decline in local fish stocks, according to a new joint study of Chinese activity in North Korea.”

High levels of Chinese fishing activity in North Korea have also pushed out North Korean fishermen to more dangerous waters. The North Koreans have been moved out north, toward Russia, and may be risking their lives. The study pointed out in recent years Japanese coastal towns have reported the appearance of North Korean “ghost boats” that arrive empty or with human remains.

China seems to be North Korea’s only friend (although there is technology exchange with Iran) but with friends like these…

If anything this makes North Korean even more dependent on the Chinese. This is a pattern I think we are seeing elsewhere–impoverishing local economies by removing local food sources and then offering other forms of economic aid that will result in debt and subservience to China. It is also effecting South Korean and Japanese economies.  More here.

“The scale of the fleet involved in this illegal fishing is about one-third the size of China’s entire distant water fishing fleet,” said Jaeyoon Park, senior data scientist at Global Fishing Watch. “It is the largest known case of illegal fishing perpetrated by vessels originating from one country operating in another nation’s waters.”

It may also mean the the North Korean government will be even more inclined to do something rash and foolish.

If this is in fact a violation of UN sanctions. It might be something the USCG could move against under UN authority, perhaps in cooperation with the Japanese and S. Korean Coast Guards.

Thanks to Sven for bringing this to my attention. 

August, Coast Guard Edition of USNI Proceedings

It is August so we have a “Coast Guard” edition of the US Naval Institute Proceedings. I have not gotten my hard copy yet, but it is up on line and much of it is avail to non-members including the thee prize winning Coast Guard essays.

Feel free to comment on any of these articles here as well as on the USNI post directly.

“The Coast Guard’s Own COVID-19 Challenges” –Seapower Magazine

Masked members of the cutter James crew and Commandant Adm. Karl L. Schultz (front, center), along with interagency partners, stand among interdicted narcotics at Port Everglades, Florida, on June 9. U.S. COAST GUARD / Petty Officer 3rd Class Brandon Murray

The Navy League Magazine (on-line) has a short article about Coast Guard Operations in the COVID-19 environment.

“Meet the ‘Smuzzle,’ the Army’s new hybrid suppressor that reduces sound, recoil and flash” –Army Times

Army Times reports that the Army has developed a new hybrid device that can reduce the noise, recoil, and flash of a variety of weapons including those common in the Coast Guard. It functions as a muzzle break to reduce recoil that adversely effects accuracy, as a suppressor to reduce noise that may cause hearing loss without the usual adverse effects of a suppressor, and as a flash hider.

“It’s a hybrid device that cuts half the volume at the shooter’s ear, reduces recoil by a third and drops volume down range by one quarter, said Gregory Oberlin, a small arms engineer at the Army’s Combat Capabilities Development Center Army Research Lab.”

The Mellon’s Last Patrol, and the History of Coast Guard 378 ASW and Anti-Ship Missiles

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

I have a bone to pick with Pacific Area, public affairs (D11-DG-M-PACAREA-PA@uscg.mil). First I got a news release dated Friday, Jul 17, 2020 7:22 pm. Reading it I found what I thought were errors and emailed them with comments.

I wrote,

Just read the news release and there are some errors in this paragraph.

“In January of 1990, the Mellon was the first and only Coast Guard cutter to become fitted with an anti-ship missile. The cutter also received an anti-submarine warfare suite that included the AN/SQS-26 sonar and Mark 46 torpedoes. The suite and anti-ship missile served as proof of capability for all Coast Guard cutters; however, they were later removed due to budget constraints.”
Mellon may have been the only 378 to test fire a harpoon, but all the 378s were equipped to launch Harpoon.
The 378s were all built with an ASW suite that included the AN/SQS-38 sonar and Mk32 torpedo tubes for launching light weight ASW torpedoes, first the Mk44, then the Mk46.
The FRAM replaced the 5″/38 and Mk56 gun fire control system with the 76mm Mk75 gun and Mk92 fire control system, added the Phalanx CIWS (Close In Weapon System), they received equipment to support the LAMPS I ASW helicopter and a collapsible hangar was added.
None of the 378s including Mellon were ever equipped with the AN/SQS-26 sonar.
The ASW equipment was removed after the Soviet Union collapsed which largely eliminated the submarine threat.
Three days later PACAREA sent out a revised news release dated Mon, Jul 20, 2020 9:41 am. You can see it repeated here. It included this revised paragraph:
“In January of 1990, the Mellon was the first of five Coast Guard cutters to become fitted with an anti-ship missile. The cutter also received an anti-submarine warfare suite that included the AN/SQS-38 sonar and Mark 46 torpedoes. The suite and anti-ship missile served as proof of capability for all Coast Guard cutters; however, they were later removed due to budget constraints.”
We have noted some tendency for the Coast Guard to be somewhat careless in preserving and telling its history, but this telling says that Mellon got her sonar and torpedoes at the same time she got her Harpoons and then quickly had them removed because it cost money. It ignores the fact that Mellon and the other eleven 378s had been equipped with sonar and torpedoes since they were built, beginning with Hamilton in 1967. For over 20 years these ships were part of the US response to the Soviet Union’s submarine threat. For over 20 years ASW training was part of their annual refresher training and it only stopped after the collapse of the Soviet Union seemed to mark the end of the submarine threat.
USCGC Hamilton (WHEC-715)

Mini-torpedo, Torpedo Decoys, and three Gun Systems from Leonardo

Graphic from Leonardo

Naval News reports on a virtual conference expo showcasing five systems presented by Leonardo aimed at Middle Eastern clientele.

There is information about an anti-torpedo defense system, the 5″/64 gun, the familiar 76mm/62 gun, and the Marlin 40mm gun systems and their associated ammunitions and support systems. But the real surprise was a mini-torpedo, called Black Scorpion.

Graphic from Leonardo

I have a hard time figuring what will be done with this mini(micro)-torpedo. They say it will work from “Unmanned Surface Vessels (USVs), SEAL Delivery Vehicles (SDVs), Patrol Boats, Fast Attack Crafts, helicopter/drones, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), and Unmanned Underwater Vessels (UUVs).”

Launchers are illustrated for submarines, fast inshore attack craft, and helicopters and drones.

There are a lot of unexplained parameters for this weapon. Presumably it can operate at depth some depth if it is to be launched from a submarine but there is specific reference to ASW in the littoral, so it might be relatively shallow. What is its range and speed? Less than 44 inches long and with an all up weight of less than 44 pounds, it is unlikely the warhead is much larger than ten pounds. It unlikely to sink anything of more than about 100 tons, but it might be enough to disable the rudder or propeller on even a large ship. There are warnings in the text not to expect too much.

“The Leonardo conference host presenter stressed that this is a miniature lightweight torpedo and performs as such. Thus, the user should not expect the range, performance, and characteristics of a comparable lightweight, medium, or heavyweight torpedo…”

I sure would like to see some testing of this and the Grumman Common Very Light Weight Torpedo which is about five times larger. One of them might be the ship stopper the Coast Guard needs.



Russia’s New 57mm Remotely Operated Weapon Station for Naval Applications

AU-220М “Baikal” caliber 57-mm remote weapon station. (Picture source Topwar.ru)

Navy Recognition reports that Russia’s Burevestnik scientific-and-research Institute has developed a naval version of their 57mm Remotely Controlled Weapons Station (ROWS).

The baseline AU-220M ROWS weighs 3,650 kg (with a gun mount) (about 8000 pounds–Chuck) and is armed with a 57 mm automatic cannon and a 6P7K 7.62 mm coaxial general-purpose machinegun (GPMG). The main gun’s ammunition load comprises 80 armor-piercing (AP), high-explosive fragmentation (HE-Frag), and guided artillery (GAP) projectiles. (It is not clear if the guided projectile would work against a moving target–Chuck) The weapon produces a rate of fire of 80 rounds per minute and engages ground targets at a distance of up to 14.5 km. The GPMG carries an ammunition load of 500 7.62 mm cartridges. The module’s frontal armor provides Level 5 STANAG 4569 protection against 30 mm rounds; the station also features Level 3 STANAG 4569 all-round protection against 7.62 mm bullets. The AU-220M’s sensor suite comprises a TV camera, a thermal imager, and an independent dual-axis field-of-view stabilizer. The module is also fitted with laser rangefinders.

For comparison, our 57mm Mk 110 weighs 16,535 lbs. (7,500 kg), more than twice as much, and requires a separate, additional fire control system. The 25mm Mk38 Mod3 weighs 2,300 lbs. (1,042 kg).

The Swedish designed USN 57mm does have a higher rate of fire (220 rpm vs 80) and more rounds on the mount. Range and projectile weight are similar. Our firecontrol systems associated with the USN 57mm are certainly more sophisticated than the one included on this stand alone Russian system.

I’m guessing, but the US system probably also has higher train and elevation rates, making it a better anti-aircraft mount, but that would have little effect on its performance against surface target.

It may be used in lieu of the 30 mm/65 (1.2″) AK-630. U.S. Navy Photograph No. DN-SC-93-05853 aboard USNS Hiddensee.

I suspect we may see this mount used much like the 25mm Mk38 Mod 2/3, instead of the AK-630, 30mm Gatling gun (above), currently mounted on many small Russian Combatants (including Russian Coast Guard vessels like these) with only simple optical fire control systems. For these installations, it is primarily an anti-surface system rather than an anti-missile Close In Weapon System.

I do envy their 57mm’s Armor Piercing round. That might be useful in forcibly stopping a vessel.


A water cannon battle between Taiwanese and Japanese Coast Guard vessels.

Center for International Maritime Security (CIMSEC) is partnering with  the Yokosuka Council on Asia Pacific Studies, the Institute for Security Policy Kiel University, and the Dominican Command and Naval Staff School in a call for articles addressing the  impact of regional maritime powers and strategies on future international maritime security.

There is certainly no shortage of problems to address. We have Chinese bullying in the South China Sea; piracy in the Gulf of Guinea; transnational criminal organizations; Illegal, Unreported, Unregulated (IUU) fishing; excessive claims of sovereignty by Russia and Venezuela; unresolved claims to mineral resources in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Hopefully some of our readers will have opinions that might address these or other concerns.