“U.S. Coast Guard in Review” –USNI

The USCGC Mohawk (WMEC-913), here with the Ecuador Navy offshore patrol vessel Isla San Cristobal, was the first cutter to anchor and visit Ecuador’s Galapagos Islands.

The March issue of US Naval Institute Proceedings is the annual Naval Review Issue, and as always they have a recounting of Coast Guard activities. It may be behind the pay wall, but you really should be a member. It is worth a look if only as a reminder of how many irons we have in the fire.

Sea Air Space 2023

Photo of a model of Halter Marine’s Polar Security Cutter seen at Navy League’s Sea-Air-Space 2021 Exhibition have surfaced. Photo credit Chris Cavas.

The Navy League’s annual maritime exposition, Sea-Air-Space 2023, is scheduled for April 3-5, 2023, at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center. National Harbor, Maryland.

The Coast Guard will be well represented. In addition to featured presentations by the Commandant, LANTAREA, and RAdm Jay C. Vann, Commander of CG Cyber Command, CG-9 has a list of 14 Coast Guard presentations (scroll down the linked page) scheduled for the Coast Guard booth, #107, with additional descriptions. Topics, presenters and times are:

Monday, April 3, 2023

  • USCG Risk Mitigation through Sustainable Aviation Fuel, Julie Berens, Energy Reliability technical warrant holder, Sam Alvord, chief, Office of Energy Management, 10:30-11 a.m.
  • Oil Spill Response – Tech Efforts on the Horizon, Kirsten Trego
    Deputy, Office of Marine Environmental Response Policy, 11-11:30 a.m.
  • Evaluating Search Effectiveness: Keeping Pace with Technology? Cmdr. Matthew J. Mitchell, Chief, Office of Search and Rescue 11:30 a.m.-noon
  • Interview with the USCG Deputy Commandant for Mission Support, Vice Adm. Paul F. Thomas, Deputy Commandant for Mission Support, 1:30-2 p.m.
  • Robotic Process Automation, Dr. David F. Wiesenhahn, Modeling and Simulation domain lead, Office of Research, Development, Test & Evaluation and Innovation, 2-2:30 p.m.
  • Counter Unmanned Aircraft Systems, Capt. Eric M. Casper, Chief, Office of Specialized Capabilities, 2:30-3 p.m.

Tuesday, April 4, 2023

  • Interview with the USCG Commander of the Atlantic Area, Vice Adm. Kevin E. Lunday, Commander, Atlantic Area and Defense Force East, 9:30-10 a.m.
  • Interview with the USCG Commander of the Pacific Area, Vice Adm. Andrew J. Tiongson, Commander, Pacific Area and Defense Force West, 10-10:30 a.m.
  • USCG: A Globally Deployed Cutter Fleet, Capt. John J. Driscoll, Chief, Office of Cutter Forces, 10:30-11 a.m.
  • Data & Artificial Intelligence at Scale in the USCG, Capt. Brian C. Erickson, Chief Data Officer, 11-11:30 a.m.
  • The Coast Guard and the Future of Maritime Domain Awareness, Capt. Thom C. Remmers, Unmanned Systems Cross-Functional Team Lead, Assistant, Commandant for Capabilities, 11:30 a.m.-noon
  • Recapitalization of C5I Onboard USCG Cutters, Capt. Vincent J. Skwarek, Assistant Program Executive Officer for C5I and Chief of C5I Acquisitions, 1:30-2 p.m.
  • Coast Guard Requirements, Capt. Brad E. Apitz, Chief, Office of Requirements and Analysis, 2-2:30 p.m.
  • How to Partner with the Coast Guard Research and Development Center, Dr. Joseph Direnzo III, Director of Research Partnerships/Public Affairs Officer,
    2:30-3 p.m.


“Coast Guard Commandant delivers her first State of the Coast Guard Address” –YOUTUBE

Above is a video of the Commandant’s State of the Coast Guard. It’s definitely worth a listen. I think I am becoming a fan.

Sounds like she is proceeding with procurement of a Great Lakes Icebreaker.

The Coast Guard is getting Coast Guard doctors (vs Public Health Service).

Three new teams are being stood up: a talent management task force, a data analytics team, and a West Coast cyber protection team.

Looking at the newly available option of passing going before a promotion board, when an officer has to make that decision, it would be good to know what instructions are being given to the promotion board.

In fact, why does failure to be promoted automatically mean you are out? Shouldn’t it be the service’s decision whether the officer should be retained. Perhaps an automatic continuation board for those who are not promoted with the option of permitting continued service.

“PPG launches “breakthrough” fouling release coating” –Marine Log

“Sigmaglide 2390 fouling release coating has a super-smooth, near friction-free surface when immersed in water” –PPG

Marine Log reports,

PPG (NYSE: PPG) has launched a biocide-free fouling release coating that, it says, uses a breakthrough approach to help shipowners lower power consumption and carbon emissions and meet demands for higher performance with no adverse impact on the marine environment.

Called PPG Sigmaglide 2390, the coating is based on PPG’s HydroReset technology. This modifies the coating when it is immersed in water to create a super-smooth, almost friction-free surface that marine organisms do not recognize and cannot adhere to.

This almost certainly a PPG news release, but if true, it is potentially very significant. Let’s hope so.

“Coast Guard Commandant to deliver her first State of the Coast Guard Address” March 7 –CG HQ News Release

Admiral Linda L. Fagan

March 2, 2023

Coast Guard Commandant to deliver her first State of the Coast Guard Address

WHO: Adm. Linda L. Fagan, commandant of the United States Coast Guard

WHEN: 7:00 p.m., Tuesday, Mar. 7, 2023

WHERE: Reserve Organization of America, 1 Constitution Ave NE, Washington, DC 20002

WHAT: Media must RSVP at MediaRelations@uscg.mil no later than Monday, Mar. 6 at 12:00 p.m.

WASHINGTON — The 27th commandant of the United States Coast Guard is scheduled to deliver her first State of the Coast Guard Address, Tuesday, in Washington, DC.

Adm. Linda L. Fagan will provide her vision for the future of the service and commit to prioritizing support for the Coast Guard workforce, who serve our nation’s interests around the world, to a live audience of government officials, senior military commanders, and partner agency leaders.

She will discuss the growing demand for Coast Guard operations throughout the world, and how advances in technology, changes in the global economy, and the impacts of climate change influence this demand.

Adm. Fagan will outline how the Coast Guard will continue to facilitate and protect the uninterrupted flow of commerce in the rapidly changing Marine Transportation System. She will also emphasize the importance of new Coast Guard assets and shore facilities, which are critical to national security, public safety, and the future success of the service.

Media attendance will be limited. The speech will be recorded and posted on the Coast Guard website and on YouTube.

For more information follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

Cutter William Hart returned to Honolulu after completing a 42-day patrol in Oceania


Below is a District 14 news release.

Feb. 27, 2023

Coast Guard cutter completes Operation Aiga ’23

HONOLULU — The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter William Hart returned to Honolulu after completing a 42-day patrol in Oceania in support of Operation ‘Aiga on Monday.

During the 8,616 nautical-mile patrol, the cutter’s crew conducted operations to counter illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing (IUU) and strengthened relations with foreign allies while promoting the collective maritime sovereignty and resource security of partner nations in the Blue Pacific.

Operation “Aiga,” the Samoan word for family, is designed to integrate Coast Guard capabilities and operations with our Pacific Island Country partners in order to effectively and efficiently protect shared national interests, combat IUU fishing, and strengthen maritime governance on the high seas.

“During our deployment in the Blue Pacific, we supported efforts to counter and deter illegal fishing activities in the exclusive economic zones of Kiribati, French Polynesia, the Cook Islands, Samoa, the United States, and on the high seas,” said Cmdr Cynthia Travers, commanding officer of the William Hart.

During the first port call of the patrol at Kiritimati Island, Kiribati, the William Hart’s crew delivered COVID-19 personal protective equipment (PPE) donated by the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command. The PPE supplies included face masks, gloves, and other protective gear to assist the island in their COVID-19 readiness and ensure the safety of its 7,000 citizens.

While in Avatiu, Rarotonga, Cook Islands, the crew conducted two bilateral shiprider boardings. One crew member from the William Hart was sent shore side to work with the Ministry of Maritime Resources for Rarotonga to assist in directing the cutter towards targets of interest.

Additionally, the crew executed a law enforcement subject matter expert exchange with the crew of Te Kukupa II, a maritime police patrol boat for Rarotonga, followed by cross ship tours for vital information and best practices sharing.

“It was a privilege to work alongside fellow maritime professionals in the region, and we look forward to future opportunities to strengthen maritime governance and preserve maritime sovereignty by working with our Pacific Island partners,” said Travers.

During the William Hart’s port visit in Apia, Samoa, the crew conducted two bilateral shiprider boardings and investigations of targets within the Samoa EEZ. While the cutter was underway with Samoan ship riders, two crew members went ashore to work with the U.S. Embassy in Samoa and assist with shore side logistics.

Additionally, the crew participated in community engagement and outreach events, including ship tours for partner maritime organizations and students from the School of Maritime Training, and a beach clean-up with staff from the U.S. Embassy in Samoa. The crew conducted an under-way tour for members from the Deputy Prime Minister office, the U.S. Embassy Charge d’Affaires office, the Australian and British High Commissioners, and others.

The William Hart is one of six highly capable FRCs stationed throughout District 14. Their crews provide year-round search and rescue and maritime law enforcement coverage across a 15 million square mile area of responsibility, demonstrating the Coast Guard’s commitment to our partner nations across the Blue Pacific.

“ARCIMS SeaSense: An Autonomous Anti-Submarine Warfare Solution” –Naval News

Naval News (sponsored content) reports,

ATLAS ELEKTRONIK UK (AEUK) have added an underwater surveillance system to their already established fleet of ARCIMS Uncrewed Surface Vessels (USVs). Integrated with a compact Variable Depth Sonar (VDS) ‘SeaSense’, this underwater threat detection capability has been designed to operate within confined and shallow waters, offering an alternative to the traditional ASW platform.

What we have here is a combination of two systems, both of which may be of interest, a lightweight sonar system and an optionally manned 11 meter boat that is essentially a maritime pickup truck that can handle alternative mission loads. Apparently, there is also a mine countermeasures system based on the same 11 meter uncrewed surface vessel.

ATLAS ELEKTRONIK is a long established, very experienced German electronics and defense company with subsidiaries worldwide, including the US. Among other products, they make the Sea Fox mine disposal system for the US Navy.

That the ARCIMS platform is an 11meter boat immediately piqued my interest because it is the same size as the Long Range Interceptor carried by National Security Cutters (NSC), suggesting the craft might be operated from NSC with minimal changes.

A couple of NSCs with MH-60R ASW helicopters and four of these sonar equipped optionally manned boats might make a pretty robust deployable ASW screen for an Amphibious Objective Area or a port of debarkation without major changes to the NSCs.

“Proceedings Podcast Ep. 314: USCG Vice Commandant Admiral Poulin on Force Structure and Strategy”

ADM Steven D. Poulin, Vice Commandant, U.S. Coast Guard

The U. S. Naval Institute has issued a podcast, a wide-ranging interview with the Vice Commandant, Admiral Steven D. Poulin. If you are a regular reader here, I don’t think you will be surprised by any of it.

I have to admit a dislike for podcasts as a medium. They take longer than reading. Comprehension is probably less. If you miss something and want to check what was said, it is difficult. Frankly, people talking off the cuff probably don’t give as good, or as complete an answer, as they would with written media. At the very least I wish a transcript accompanied the oral version. I might feel differently if I still had a long commute when I might want something useful to do while stuck in traffic. 

Since this podcast was a part of a regular US Naval Institute podcast series, I would think most of the listeners were not Coast Guard and were likely more familiar with the Navy and/or Marine Corps. It may have been a missed opportunity to explain the Coast Guard’s place as an element of seapower to a naval audience, whereas the answers seemed more oriented toward a Coast Guard audience.

Also, during this podcast, we hear the frequently sighted similarity in size of the Coast Guard and the New York City Police Department. While there is some truth to this, both have about 50,000 full time employees, over 35,000 NYPD uniformed officers and over 40,000 active-duty Coast Guard’s men, Admiral Poulin did push back on this a bit sighting Coast Guard Reserves and Auxiliary.

I don’t think it is helpful to say we are small, which leads to the assumption we are unimportant as a military service. A comparison with other naval services is more relevant.

Since the 1950s the US Navy has shrunk considerably, while the Coast Guard has grown. When I entered the Academy in 1965, in terms of personnel, the Navy was about 22 times larger than the Coast Guard. The Marine Corps was about 8 time larger. Now the Navy is less than nine times larger, and the Marine Corps is about 4.5 times larger.

I would point out that the US Coast Guard has more active uniformed personnel (40,000), more aircraft (200), more ships (243), and certainly more boats, than the Royal Navy (34,130 active uniformed personnel, 160 aircraft, and 85 ships) or the French Navy (37,000 active uniformed personnel, 178 aircraft, and 180 ships). That is not to say the Coast Guard is a more powerful than these highly professional mid-sized navies, that include nuclear submarines and aircraft carriers, but the Coast Guard is not insignificant. We have a large pool of highly trained mariners and aircrewmen. If we ever again have a major non-nuclear war against a near peer adversary, the Coast Guard will make a substantial contribution, perhaps even more so than it did during WWII.

After Prototype SLEP USCGC Seneca still has her 76mm

USCGC Seneca’s (WMEC 906) crew pulls into home port in Portsmouth, Virginia, Feb. 17, 2023, following a 24-day patrol in the Caribbean Sea. Seneca’s crew worked with Joint Interagency Task Force South and the U.S. Air Force to disrupt nearly 1,350 kilograms of narcotics from two law enforcement cases in the Caribbean Sea. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Kate Kilroy)

Not a big thing, but since we have been told USCGC Seneca was the prototype for the WMEC 270 SLEP,

“Coast Guard Cutter SENECA arrived in the summer of 2021 for the prototype Service Life Extension. Both SSDG and Emergency Generators replaced which included electrical upgrades to SSDG and emergency switchboards. SENECA was utilized as the prototype vessel for ISVS to the 270’ fleet that begins in 2022 with CGC HARRIET LANE.

and we have heard that the 76mm Mk75 gun and presumably the Mk92 Fire Control System are being removed during the SLEP, I wondered if the gun and firecorntrol had been removed?

A recent photo (above) accompanying a Navy League Seapower Magazine report of the return to homeport of USCGC Seneca after 24 day Caribbean Patrol clearly shows both the Mk75 and the Mk92 in place.