“Overhaul Coast Guard Officer Evaluations” –USNI

The US Naval Institute Proceedings has an article suggesting that the Coast Guard’s Officer Evaluation Reports should be overhauled and offering some specific recommendations.

I have been away for far too long to comment on this myself, but I will say doing OERs was always difficult. Speaking for myself, the danger of hurting good officer while trying to be honest in your appraisal made it perhaps the most stressful part of my Coast Guard experience.

“Coast Guard Reserve Training Amid COVID-19” –USNI Blog

U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Matthew S. Masaschi.

The US Naval Institute blog has a short article by Petty Officer First Class Philip Kiley, U.S. Coast Guard Reserve that discusses how reservists might deal with the current loss of paid training time. It also makes an suggestion as to how the Coast Guard might help reservists who may have lost their normal sources of income.

“Navy League cancels Sea-Air-Space in response to coronavirus restrictions” –Navy Times

USNI News photo: A model of the BAE Systems Adaptable Deck Launcher, which is meant to be similar to the Mk41 Vertical Launch System but would be bolted to the top of the ship deck instead of installed underneath it. This model shows a four-cell launcher, with one cell holding four missile canisters. 

Navy Times is reporting that the Navy League cancelled its Sea-Air-Space Expo after Maryland’s Governor banned gatherings of more than 250 people.

“The event will not be rescheduled this calendar year but will be back on next year from April 12 to April 14, 2021.”

“More Navy Ships Headed to South, Central America to Stop Drug-Trafficking” –Military.com

Military.com is reporting that SOUTHCOM Commander, Adm. Craig Faller, claimed we would soon see additional assets rotating through his Area of Responsibility (AOR) including more ships and aircraft for drug interdiction.

“We’ve been working six to eight ships” to cover the Caribbean and Pacific approaches to the U.S. to counter the drug trade, he said, but the number needed “to cover that zone is much larger.”

“You’ll see additional forces in the air, on land, on sea, and some maneuver forces ashore” that could include a Security Force Assistance Brigade training unit to work with allies, Faller added.

We have been hearing that DOD is going to be providing more resources to SOUTHCOM for at least a couple of years. Perhaps this time they mean it. We have seen a couple of LCS deployments to the Area. One of those never got beyond the Caribbean, resulted in no seizures and ended early. Hopefully they will become more effective with more experience.

“Spain seen joining Greece, France, Italy on European Patrol Corvette program” –DefenseNews

Defense News reports that it appears likely that four European countries and perhaps more will join forces to build a class of 3000 ton patrol vessels.

The two firms (Italy’s Fincantieri and France’s Naval Group–Chuck) are hoping to match Italian and French navy requirements with a jointly built, modular vessel that can handle patrol and surveillance missions as well as taking second-tier roles in anti-submarine and anti-surface missions.

The vessels these ships are to replace, perform their respective countries offshore coast guard missions.

The project is one of many being supported by an EU initiative called “Permanent Structured Cooperation” (PESCO) that is to be supported by the entire EU community. It sounds like this may be heading toward a shipbuilding version of Airbus.

According to this report, Bulgaria and Portugal are also joining the program.

French Navy Floreal class surveillance Frigate, FS Ventose

The French Navy intends to replace the six ships of the Floreal class. These “surveillance frigates” are scattered among France’s overseas territories. They have no ASW capability, but are equipped with a pair of Exocet anti-ship missiles (ASCM).

Italy expects to retire the ten ships of the Cassiopea, Sirio, and Commandanti classes 2022-2025. These ships are all about 1500 tons. They have neither ASW equipment or ASCMs.

The Greeks don’t seem to have any ships in this class, but may now see a need.

Spanish Navy Meteoro class OPV Tornado. Photo from Sergio Acosta, via Wikipedia

I was a bit surprised that Spain would join in this effort. They have their own OPV designs supplied by Navantia, and they have been doing pretty well. They have been produced a class of six referred to as BAM, and were expected to procure six more of the same class. In addition they have produced corvettes for Venezuela and have been contracted to produce five corvettes for Saudi Arabia. Navantia had teamed with Bath Iron Works to provide BIW’s proposal for the USCG OPC program, and they are on BIW’s FFG(X)  team. It may be that they feel they have to join now or risk being excluded in the future.

If these ships come equipped as indicated in the diagram at the head of the article, they will be significantly better armed than the ships they replace. They will be a bit larger than the French ships being replaced and more than twice as large as the Italian ships being replaced.

It appears they will be very close in size to the Coast Guard’s Argus Class OPCs, being the same length (110 meters or 360 feet) and only slightly narrower.

“Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard working on ‘tri-service maritime strategy'” –Inside Defense

USS Sterett (DDG-104), front, participates in a photo exercise with Chilean Frigate Almirante Lynch (FF-07), second, Royal Canadian Navy Halifax-class frigate HMCS Ottawa (FFH-341), third, French Navy Floreal-class frigate FS Prairial (F-731), fourth, United States Coast Guard Cutter USCHC Bertholf (WMSL-750), fifth, the dry cargo and ammunition ship USNS Charles Drew (T-AKE 10), sixth, and Royal Canadian Navy commercial container ship Asterix. US Navy Photo

This is the only indication I have seen so far that an update to the existing plan is underway..

SAN DIEGO — The Navy is working with both the Marine Corps and Coast Guard on a joint maritime strategy the services expect to receive from staff this summer. Speaking to attendees at the West 2020 conference here, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Michael Gilday disclosed work on the “tri-service maritime strategy” for the first time publicly. “We are trying to bring things together from a top-down perspective in a more integrated way,” Gilday said. Asked for details by Inside…

The rest is behind the paywall.

We of course already have a tri-service plan, “A Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Seapower: Forward, Engaged, Ready“, published March 2015. The question is, will this be different? Will it  have any effect on how the Coast Guard operates, how it trains or how it is equipped? This will be a document at a very high level, so we can’t expect much in the way of detail. It will be descriptive, rather than prescriptive. Plus there will presumably be a classified supplement.

The previous version seemed to be about how to manage a peaceful environment. The environment now looks much more challenging. The new strategy could and should lead to visible change.

News Release: U.S. Coast Guard signs memorandum of agreement offering up to two years tuition at California State University East Bay

Passing along this news release. 

united states coast guard

News Release

Feb. 28, 2020
U.S. Coast Guard Pacific Area
Contact: Coast Guard Pacific Area Public Affairs
Office: (510) 437-3319
After Hours: (510) 816-1700
D11-DG-M-PACAREA-PA@uscg.mil
Pacific Area online newsroom

 

U.S. Coast Guard signs memorandum of agreement offering up to two years tuition at California State University East Bay

 

U.S. Coast Guard and California State University East Bay representatives sign Memorandum of Agreement for College Student Pre-Commissioning Initiative program
U.S. Coast Guard and California State University East Bay representatives sign Memorandum of Agreement for College Student Pre-Commissioning Initiative program U.S. Coast Guard and California State University East Bay representatives sign Memorandum of Agreement for College Student Pre-Commissioning Initiative program U.S. Coast Guard and California State University East Bay representatives sign Memorandum of Agreement for College Student Pre-Commissioning Initiative program
U.S. Coast Guard and California State University East Bay representatives sign Memorandum of Agreement for College Student Pre-Commissioning Initiative program U.S. Coast Guard and California State University East Bay representatives sign Memorandum of Agreement for College Student Pre-Commissioning Initiative program U.S. Coast Guard and California State University East Bay representatives sign Memorandum of Agreement for College Student Pre-Commissioning Initiative program

Editors’ Note: Click on images to download high resolution version.

ALAMEDA, California — On Friday California State University East Bay became the third school in California to partner with the Coast Guard for the College Student Pre-Commissioning Initiative (CSPI) program. Vice Adm. Linda L. Fagan, Coast Guard Pacific Area commander, and California State University East Bay President Leroy M. Morishita signed a memorandum of agreement during a ceremony on campus.

Students who are accepted into the CSPI program will receive up to two years of tuition, living expenses and a salary while attending school and are guaranteed a commission with the Coast Guard following graduation.

As part of the agreement, Cal State East Bay faculty will also have increased opportunities to work with the Coast Guard on projects of shared interest such as marine biology and environmental science.

“Cal State East Bay is proud to join the U.S. Coast Guard’s College Student Pre-Commissioning Initiative,” said Morishita. “Our students will receive significant resources and real-world training and our faculty can expand their research as a result of this agreement. We look forward to a collaboration that will have lasting impact for the university.”

CSPI is designed for motivated individuals who demonstrate a high caliber of academic and leadership excellence and who desire to serve their country in the United States Coast Guard. More than 470 students have graduated from the program since its inception in 1989.

“To meet the future needs of the Nation, our Coast Guard workforce must be representative of the American public we serve,” said Fagan.  “Diversity is a top priority for the service, and we are excited about our partnership with Cal State East Bay and the shared opportunities the CSPI program will create.”

The fully funded scholarship program is open to students of all races and ethnicities. While enrolled in school, the CSPI student, officer trainee, is enlisted in the Coast Guard with a four-year active duty obligation. While in the program, officer trainees are provided with valuable leadership, management, law enforcement, navigation and marine science skills and professional development training. Upon graduation from college, officer trainees attend Officer Candidate School and are commissioned as ensigns in the service.

“I look at my peers who have thousands of dollars in student debt after graduating from college and I’m so thankful that the Coast Guard not only paid my tuition but also paid me a salary, which allowed me to fully focus on my education.” said Ens. Sarah Connell, a recent CSPI graduate. “Now I’m student loan debt-free with a four year degree, and an officer in the military.”

Students currently enrolled, accepted for enrollment or pending enrollment in a full-time bachelor’s degree program at a designated college or institution with the desire to complete college and receive a guaranteed commission as an officer in the United States Coast Guard can apply for CSPI. Interested applicants can contact their nearest Coast Guard recruiter to start the application process and find more information by visiting www.gocoastguard.com.