2018 HURRICANE LESSONS LEARNED –ALCOAST 398/18

Just passing this along in case someone with something to add may have missed it. 

ALCOAST 398/18 – NOV 2018 2018 HURRICANE LESSONS LEARNED

R 280722 NOV 18
FM COMDT COGARD WASHINGTON DC//DCO/DCMS//
TO ALCOAST
UNCLAS//N16466//
ALCOAST 398/18
COMDTNOTE 16466
SUBJ:  2018 HURRICANE LESSONS LEARNED
1. Recent hurricanes have underscored our imperative to be ready to respond in times of
crisis. To remain ready, relevant, and responsive in an environment of ever-changing
priorities and emerging needs, we must collect candid and detailed lessons learned.
2. To improve future incident response and recovery efforts, the Deputy Commandant for
Operations (DCO) and Deputy Commandant for Mission Support (DCMS) have opened a
discussion on CG_Ideas@Work to quickly capture this information. Please use the
following link to share your lessons learned. We are eager to receive your input,
regardless of rate, rank, or grade:
https://cg-ideasatwork.ideascale.com/a/ideas/recent/campaigns/23679.
3. This discussion is not intended to supersede the official Hurricane Lessons Learned
collection on CGPortal, but rather provide a means to rapidly share ideas,
innovations, and lessons learned directly from the field to allow for accelerated
collaboration and communication across geographic areas and mission domains, while
knowledge is still fresh.
4. Preserving and institutionalizing the lessons learned from these major response
efforts will be invaluable to Coast Guard operations in future times of crisis.
All members are encouraged to participate!
5. For any questions please contact the Coast Guard Innovation Program Manager,
COMDT (CG-926), CDR Michael O’Neil at Michael.P.O’Neil@uscg.mil or 202-475-3049.
6. VADM Daniel B. Abel, Deputy Commandant for Operations, and VADM Michael F. McAllister,
Deputy Commandant for Mission Support, send.
7. Internet release is authorized.

Coast Guard Authorization Bill Forwarded to President

US Capital West Side, by Martin Falbisoner

Congress has completed action on the Coast Guard Authorization Bill and forwarded it to the President. Note this is an authorization, not a budget. Frequently the budget does not include everything authorized.

An aside: Only our Congress would call the US Coast Guard Authorization bill, “S.140 – A bill to amend the White Mountain Apache Tribe Water Rights Quantification Act of 2010 to clarify the use of amounts in the WMAT Settlement Fund.” Its a mystery how they ever get anything done.

This is the summary of the bill as provided. I will add some more detail below.

Title I reorganizes title 14, Coast Guard, United States Code, the section of the code pertaining to the operation and administration of the U.S. Coast Guard. This section of the code was last reorganized in 1949, and this action will make it easier for the public and the Congress to find the governing laws of the Coast Guard.
Title II authorizes funds for the Coast Guard in fiscal years 2018 and 2019 to provide support for Coast Guard personnel, as well as asset acquisition programs.

Title III makes several changes to laws governing the Coast Guard. It improves training competencies, promotes the use of unmanned technology, and enhances accountability in acquisitions.
Title IV codifies port safety and security together in one chapter of the code.
Title V makes changes to several shipping and navigation laws to improve maritime safety and enhance the efficiency of the maritime transportation system.
Title VI standardizes the rules governing the operations of the Coast Guard’s eight national advisory committees, and authorizes each committee for ten years.
Title VII authorizes funds for the Federal Maritime Commission for fiscal years 2018 and 2019, and amends the Ocean Shipping Act to restrict or prohibit the ability of international shipping alliances from negotiating collectively with U.S. port services providers, unreasonably reducing competition for port services, and participating in multiple agreements that magnify the impact of the use maritime anti-trust exemptions.
Title VIII includes miscellaneous provisions, including a National Academy of Sciences review of existing and emerging unmanned, autonomous, or remotely controlled maritime domain awareness technologies and recommendations on how these technologies can assist the Coast Guard in its mission performance and in more effectively and efficiently allocating its vessels, aircraft, and personnel.
Title IX establishes a regulatory regime to govern discharges incidental to the operation of vessels.
Title X reauthorizes the Hydrographic Services Improvement Act of 1998.

Below are some of the more significant items I found looking through the Senate response to the House version of the Coast Guard authorization bill which was subsequently accepted by the House and forwarded to the President. All references are to that document.

  • For the operation and maintenance of the Coast Guard, not otherwise provided for, $7,914,195,000 for fiscal year 2019.
  • For the procurement, construction, renovation, and improvement of aids to navigation, shore facilities, vessels, aircraft, and systems, including equipment related thereto, and for maintenance, rehabilitation, lease, and operation of facilities and equipment, $2,694,745,000 for fiscal year 2019. This appears to be enough to include the requested $750M for the first Polar Security Cutter and long lead time items for the second, but the Polar Security Cutter is not mentioned anywhere in the bill. Other specific Shipbuilding is also not mentioned.

Section 204, on page 71 authorizes six additional Fast Response Cutter, over and above the 58 in the program of record, three in FY2018 and three in FY2019.

Section ‘‘§1137. Contracting for major acquisitions programs” on page 86 specifically authorizes Block Buys as an approved method of contracting.

Page 87 beginning at line 20

(f) MULTIYEAR CONTRACTS.—The Secretary of the department in which the Coast Guard is operating is authorized to enter into a multiyear contract for the procurement of a tenth, eleventh, and twelfth National Security Cutter and associated government-furnished equipment.

There is also a requirement that the Commandant submit a prioritized “Unfunded Priorities” List within 60 days of budget approval. Beginning p235

SEC. 818. NATIONAL SECURITY CUTTER. 6 (a) STANDARD METHOD FOR TRACKING.—The Commandant of the Coast Guard may not certify an eighth National Security Cutter as Ready for Operations before the date on which the Commandant provides to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate— (1) a notification of a new standard method for tracking operational employment of Coast Guard major cutters that does not include time during which such a cutter is away from its homeport for maintenance or repair; and (2) a report analyzing cost and performance for different approaches to achieving varied levels of operational employment using the standard method required by paragraph (1) that, at a minimum— (A) compares over a 30-year period the average annualized baseline cost and performances  for a certified National Security Cutter that operated for 185 days away from homeport or an equivalent alternative measure of operational tempo— (i) against the cost of a 15 percent increase in days away from homeport or an equivalent alternative measure of operational tempo for a National Security Cutter; and (ii) against the cost of the acquisition and operation of an additional National 10 Security Cutter; and (B) examines the optimal level of operational employment of National Security Cutters to balance National Security Cutter cost and mission performance.

Looks like there is a requirement to revisit the Fleet Mix Study. Beginning on page 232.

SEC. 817. FLEET REQUIREMENTS ASSESSMENT AND STRATEGY. (a) REPORT.—Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary of the department in which the Coast Guard is operating, in consultation with interested Federal and non-Federal stakeholders, shall submit to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate and the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of Representatives a report including— (1) an assessment of Coast Guard at-sea operational fleet requirements to support its statutory missions established in the Homeland Security Act of 2002 (6 U.S.C. 101 et seq.); and (2) a strategic plan for meeting the requirements identified under paragraph (1). (b) CONTENTS.—The report under subsection (a) shall include— (1) an assessment of— (A) the extent to which the Coast Guard at- sea operational fleet requirements referred to in subsection (a)(1) are currently being met; (B) the Coast Guard’s current fleet, its operational lifespan, and how the anticipated changes in the age and distribution of vessels in the fleet will impact the ability to meet at-sea operational requirements; (C) fleet operations and recommended improvements to minimize costs and extend operational vessel life spans; and (D) the number of Fast Response Cutters, Offshore Patrol Cutters, and National Security Cutters needed to meet at-sea operational requirements as compared to planned acquisitions under the current programs of record; (2) an analysis of— (A) how the Coast Guard at-sea operational fleet requirements are currently met, including the use of the Coast Guard’s current cutter fleet, agreements with partners, chartered vessels, and unmanned vehicle technology; and (B) whether existing and planned cutter programs of record (including the Fast Response Cutter, Offshore Patrol Cutter, and National Security Cutter) will enable the Coast Guard to meet at-sea operational requirements; and (3) a description of— acquisition; and (B) how such acquisitions will change the extent to which the Coast Guard at-sea operational requirements are met.

They are apparently serious about building another Great Lakes icebreaker. Beginning page 238.

SEC. 820. GREAT LAKES ICEBREAKER ACQUISITION. (a) ICEBREAKING ON THE GREAT LAKES.—For fiscal years 2018 and 2019, the Commandant of the Coast Guard  may use funds made available pursuant to section 4902 of title 14, United States Code, as amended by this Act, for the construction of an icebreaker that is at least as capable as the Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw to enhance icebreaking capacity on the Great Lakes.  (b) ACQUISITION PLAN.—Not later than 45 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Commandant shall submit a plan to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate and the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of Representatives for acquiring an icebreaker described in subsections (a) and (b). Such plan shall include— (1) the details and schedule of the acquisition activities to be completed; and (2) a description of how the funding for Coast Guard acquisition, construction, and improvements that was appropriated under the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2017 (Public Law 115–31) will be allocated to support the acquisition activities referred to 7 in paragraph (1).

There is also a requirement for study of Strategic assets in the Arctic that might be included in a new Fleet Mix Study. Beginning page 242.

SEC. 822. STRATEGIC ASSETS IN THE ARCTIC. (a) DEFINITION OF ARCTIC.—In this section, the term ‘‘Arctic’’ has the meaning given the term in section 112 of the Arctic Research and Policy Act of 1984 (15 U.S.C. 16 4111). (b) SENSE OF CONGRESS.—It is the sense of Congress that— (1) the Arctic continues to grow in significance to both the national security interests and the economic prosperity of the United States; and (2) the Coast Guard must ensure it is positioned to respond to any accident, incident, or threat with appropriate assets. (c) REPORT.—Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, the Commandant of the Coast Guard, in consultation with the Secretary of Defense and taking into consideration the Department of Defense 2016 Arctic Strategy, shall submit to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate and the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of Representatives a report on the progress toward implementing the strategic objectives described in the United States Coast Guard Arctic Strategy dated May 2013.

(d) CONTENTS.—The report under subsection (c) shall include— (1) a description of the Coast Guard’s progress toward each strategic objective identified in the United States Coast Guard Arctic Strategy dated May 2013; (2) an assessment of the assets and infrastructure necessary to meet the strategic objectives identified in the United States Coast Guard Arctic Strategy dated May 2013 based on factors such as— (A) response time; (B) coverage area; (C) endurance on scene; (D) presence; and (E) deterrence; (3) an analysis of the sufficiency of the distribution of National Security Cutters, Offshore Patrol Cutters, and Fast Response Cutters both stationed in various Alaskan ports and in other locations to meet the strategic objectives identified in the United States Coast Guard Arctic Strategy, dated May 2013; (4) plans to provide communications throughout the entire Coastal Western Alaska Captain of the Port zone to improve waterway safety and mitigate close calls, collisions, and other dangerous interactions between the shipping industry and subsistence hunters; (5) plans to prevent marine casualties, when possible, by ensuring vessels avoid environmentally sensitive areas and permanent security zones; (6) an explanation of— (A) whether it is feasible to establish a vessel traffic service, using existing resources or otherwise; and (B) whether an Arctic Response Center of Expertise is necessary to address the gaps in experience, skills, equipment, resources, training, and doctrine to prepare, respond to, and recover spilled oil in the Arctic; and (7) an assessment of whether sufficient agreements are in place to ensure the Coast Guard is receiving the information it needs to carry out its responsibilities.

There is also reference to the establishment of a backup terrestrial based timing service, but it is to established through the Department of Commerce as a Public/Private cooperation and it appears that the only Coast Guard involvement will be in handing over remaining former LORAN facilities.

New Navy Patrol Boat and Diesel Outboard

40 PB

Marine Log brings us news of a new Navy Patrol Boat, Autonomous Control, and a new 300 HP V-8 Diesel outboard.

Delivering 300 horsepower at the propeller, the CXO300 is the world’s highest power density diesel outboard engine. The four stroke V8 diesel CXO300 offers up to 25% more range compared to gasoline outboards and is designed to last up to three times longer. The engine combines the simplicity and economy of an outboard installation with greatly improved safety and reliability achieved by eliminating the need for highly volatile gasoline.

This is what I reported about the patrol boat in January 2018

MarineLog reports the award of a contract for up to 50 new 40 foot (12 meter) patrol boats for the Navy.

Subject to annual appropriations, the Navy intends to replace approximately 100 to 160 of its existing 25-foot and 34-foot CRF (Coastal Riverine Forces –Chuck) patrol boats with the larger and more modern PB(X) platform over the next fifteen years.
The Navy has placed an initial, immediate order for eleven of the new vessels. Under the terms of the award, potentially worth over $90 million, Metal Shark will build up to 50 PB(X) vessels for the Navy, along with trailers, spares and training packages, and technical support.

This is what was reported here in February 2017 about the diesel outboard.

MarineLink reports,

“The US Coast Guard has entered into a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with British diesel engine innovator, Cox Powertrain. The CRADA will evaluate and test the advantages, disadvantages, required technology enhancements, performance, costs and other issues associated with diesel outboard engine technology.
 –
“There a been a big swell of interest in diesel outboards since NATO introduced its single fuel policy, with the military and naval forces of member countries keen to phase out petrol-fuelled outboards in favour of cleaner diesel alternatives.”
 –
Obvious advantages if we do not need to deal with two different fuels, in addition to the additional range advantage. Reading the rest of the post, sounds like this is close to realization.

Fincantieri Marinette Marine’s Polar Security Cutter


Finally seeing some information on proposed Polar Security Cutter/Icebreaker designs. Got photos of this brochure (above and below) from a classmate. If you click on the photos you should be able to read them, but I’ve tabulated some information below.

  • ABS Ice class: PC2
  • Continuous icebreaking: 6 feet at 3 knots
  • Backing and ramming, up to 21 feet of ice
  • Length: 460 feet
  • Beam: 83 feet
  • Draft: 36 feet
  • Speed: 15 knots
  • Propulsors: 3
  • Accommodations: 171
  • Range: 21,500 miles at 12 knots
  • Endurance: 80 days

Fincantiari is teamed with VARD and AKER Arctic. This is certain to be a major contender because VARD designed the Offshore Patrol Cutter, Fincantiari’s Marinette Marine built the Great Lakes icebreaker, Mackinaw, as well as several other Coast Guard progects, and AKER Arctic is a leader in icebreaker design. Siemens is planning the propulsion and L3 the C4ISR.

Compared to the Polar Star, beam is essentially the same. Length is 61 ft greater. Draft is five feet greater. Presumably displacement will be greater than that of either Polar Star or Healy, probably close to 20,000 tons full load.

Accommodations (171) are fewer than provided on the Polar Star, but more than provided in Healey. Presumably the crew will be smaller than Polar Star, more in line with Healy. Assuming 50+ scientist and an Aviation Detachment, the crew is likely about 100.

Nominal range (21,500@12) is less than Polar Star (28,275@13), but still generous. This probably reflects provision of segregated ballast in the new ship. Max Speed is less than either Polar Star (18) or Healy (17), but probably adequate.

As expected, no armament will be provided as built. Significantly it appears the design will provide adaptable space to meet future requirements.

 

Coast Guard Strategic Plan, 2018-2022

Republic of Korea Coast Guard vessel #3006 in company with U.S. Coast Guard cutter USCGC Boutwell (WHEC-719) during the North Pacific Coast Guard Forum in August 2007. This forum was created to increase international maritime safety and security in the Northern Pacific Ocean and its borders. The Boutwell worked with the Korean coast guard while on their way to Yokosuka, Japan. The Japanese coast guard is one of the six nations involved in the forum.

The Coast Guard has issued a new Strategic Plan for the next five years. It is an amplification of the new Commandants mantra “Ready, Relevant, Responsive.” I’m always a little dubious about these sorts of document since, frequently they look more like public relations documents than real plans, but this may have some actual clues that point to changes of emphasis and direction.

The plan continues the previous Commandant’s intention to counter Transnational Criminal organizations, but there seems to be an increasing emphasis on the Coast Guard’s role in emerging great power competition.

Another shift in the strategic environment is the return to great-power competition. Rival powers, such as China and Russia, are challenging rules-based international order through inter-state aggression, economic coercion, maritime hybrid warfare, gray zone activities, and overreaching territorial claims. Through their actions, they are attempting to diminish American and partner-nation influence abroad. By exploiting pockets of weak governance, these near-peer competitors could undermine democratic institutions, escalate conflict, poach maritime resources, jeopardize access to critical sea lanes, and ultimately disrupt peaceful regions

There is again emphasis on cyber.

The security environment is also affected by the rising importance of the cyber domain – where adversarial nation states, non-state actors, and individuals are attacking our digital infrastructure and eroding the protections historically provided by our geographic borders. At the stroke of a key, rivals in remote regions of the world can attack, disable, and alter our critical infrastructure and financial networks. These bad actors can unleash volatile malware that could have devastating consequences worldwide. While improved interconnectivity expands our capabilities, we must be wary of the corresponding increase in risk

There is recognition that our disaster response role has now become increasingly routine.

The increasing severity and scale of catastrophic incidents is another reality. Coastal regions are densely populated, and ports have become heavily developed. Catastrophic events, whether man-made or natural, can have enormous consequences to our coastal communities and disrupt regional and global commerce. Recent hurricanes, floods, and other maritime disasters have reinforced the Nation’s need to prepare for the size and impact of such incidents.

This is reflected in an objective on page 24:

3.1.1. Lead in Crisis
Whether a maritime disaster or catastrophic event, the Coast Guard is a leader of the integrated response. Drawing on our vast organizational experience, we will:

• Cultivate crisis leadership as a core competency;

• Be the Nation’s premier incident management experts for complex maritime disasters; and

• Enhance the management of surge capabilities and the mobilization of adaptive force packages

There is recognition of increasingly global deployment of Coast Guard assets.

The Coast Guard is deployed globally to promote peace, fortify alliances, attract new partners, and challenge threats far from U.S. soil. For example, we provide United States Southern Command (USSOUTHCOM) detection, monitoring, and response capability in the Western Hemisphere to combat transnational crime in the Transit Zone while building the interdiction and crisis response capabilities of our partner nations. In United States Northern Command (USNORTHCOM), our Rotary Wing Air Intercept assets and Maritime Security Response Teams rapidly deploy as singular elements or as a supplement to joint- force packages in support of Homeland Defense missions. As the Federal surface presence in the Arctic, we advance safe, secure, and environmentally-responsible maritime activity by improving awareness, modernizing governance, and broadening partnerships. In the Indo-Pacific, we are actively building partner capacity and theater security cooperation throughout the region to enhance maritime governance and bolster stability in collaboration with United States Indo-Pacific Command (USINDOPACOM). In United States Central Command (USCENTCOM), our patrol boats and advanced interdiction teams conduct maritime security operations in the Arabian Gulf. Along the West African coast, we support United States Africa Command (USAFRICOM) to strengthen partner-nation capability for self-policing in order to thwart transnational threats such as piracy, illegal fishing, and contraband trafficking.

Among the many bulleted action items there are a few that might indicate change of direction.

• Preserve maritime norms and influence acceptable behavior to facilitate the unimpeded flow of lawful maritime commerce;

• Create opportunities and build avenues for regional information sharing;

Are these looking perhaps at the South China Sea or the West Africa’s Gulf of Guinea?

There were a couple of items that emphasized improved working relations with DHS and DOD:

2.2.1. Strengthen Integration with DHS The Coast Guard employs both distinct and complementary capabilities to help DHS and its components meet their strategic objectives. To maximize our value to the Department, we will:
• Enhance integration with DHS at the strategic, operational, and tactical levels;

• Implement DHS best practices across the Service including joint requirements management, acquisition processes, research and development, and IT solutions; and

• Connect our capabilities with other DHS components to further DHS strategic priorities.

2.2.2. Leverage Joint Capabilities and Authorities to Complement DOD Our unique authorities, specialized capabilities, and established relationships will complement DOD to provide an agile response to contingencies, address sources of maritime discord, and deter threats to our national interests. To better integrate capabilities for national defense, we will:
• Employ our authorities to support National Defense Strategy (NDS) objectives;

• Synchronize engagement, operations, and capacity-building efforts to strengthen maritime governance around the world;

• Leverage DOD to field interoperable equipment and reduce redundancies in the acquisition of new capabilities; and

• Target interoperability with the U.S. Navy and other maritime services to include the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD)

Looks like generally, continuity with long established priorities, and recognition of some new unfortunate realities.

What is missing is the hard decision to reinstate the Coast Guard’s ASW mission.

 

The Salty Millennial–USNI

Would like to recommend a series of posts that appeared in the US Naval Institute Blog. They are written specifically for a Navy audience, but there is probably a lot here that also applies to the Coast Guard. They are written by LCdr Jimmy Drennan, a surface warfare officer and Vice President of the Center for International Maritime Security (CIMSEC), though all but the last were written under the pseudonym, the Salty Millennial.

They are funny, irreverent, and revealing. I have listed them below in the order they appeared, but If you are pressed for time, particularly read the last one. Even if the first few piss you off, read the last one. It is a voice we don’t often hear, but we need to.

I Can’t Even

Happy Anniversary NAVFIT98

The DOD’s Policy on Marijuana Finally Makes Sense Because I am Way High

Orders to the Helm

Never Read the Comments

 

 

 

 

 

“Build a Corvette with a Hornet’s Sting” –USNI

Coast Guard Cutter John F. McCormick (WPC 1121) crew transits through the San Francisco Bay, Saturday, March 4, 2017, during their voyage to homeport in Ketchikan, Alaska. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Loumania Stewart

The US Naval Institute has a short post that proposes a new type of combatant, and it could potentially be based on the Webber class Fast Response Cutter, or as it is referred to in the post, the Sentinel class.

The author suggests some relatively straight forward upgrades for dealing with low-end (swarming) threats, but the heart of the proposal is to think about arming and equipping them much like the FA-18 Hornet including link 16, cooperative engagement capability, and electronic warfare equipment.

“To create the best system, get past the question of the hull; start with weapons and sensors and ask what they can do. A good starting place might be, “Can we accomplish anti-surface warfare (ASuW) if we put Super Hornet capabilities onto a patrol boat?” … the boat should employ a small unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) such as the Boeing RQ-21 Blackjack to give it extended sensing for independent operations. “

All the basic weapons upgrades suggested and a UAS are probably feasible without making serious changes to the Webber class’s basic configuration. The next step up is going to require some compromises.

The author suggests a four-cell Mk-57 vertical-launch system (VLS) which would weigh about 20 tons. This would likely replace the 8 meter over the horizon boat on the stern. That is a lot of weight to be positioned that far aft, but there are alternatives. Inclined deck launchers using the MK41 VLS system have been proposed and would be lighter. Dedicated launchers for Harpoon and particularly NSM would be a lot lighter. All these missiles are shorter than the over the horizon boat.

The Naval Strike Missile certainly seems the most likely since in has been chosen for the Navy’s small combatants, including all LCSs. Because of its smaller size it might be possible to carry more missiles than would be possible with the larger weapons.


Keep in mind that the Navy is going to have to replace it Cyclone class patrol craft. the oldest of the thirteen is now over 25 years old.

It the Navy chose to replace the Cyclone class with modified Webber class, while the over the horizon boat is certainly useful, they could find a lot of potential alternative uses for the stern ramp other than a place for missile launchers including:

  • Support for unmanned surface and sub-surface system that might conduct Mine  Counter Measures (MCM) and possibly other missions.
  • Transporting and deploying a Swimmer Delivery Vehicle for SEAL Team operations
  • Sonar systems for coastal Anti-Submarine Warfare in conjunction with installation of torpedo tubes as suggested earlier.

In reading over the comments on the USNI post there was a good question, forgive me for paraphrasing,

Since the price is about the same why not just buy strike aircraft? The aircraft can get there, release its weapons, return, rearm and strike again.

All true, but total costs are not the same. The aircraft operating and support cost are much higher, including the aircraft carrier, big deck amphib, or airfield it operates from.

A patrol craft has can remain on station much longer than an aircraft.

A group of patrol craft can be spread out in ways a group of aircraft tied to its base afloat or ashore cannot.

Yes, these patrol craft would be easy to kill, but they can only be killed one at a time, and may not be that easy to find. On the other hand, if an anti-ship cruise missile hits a carrier, it may still kill more people than the crew of a patrol craft and when it leaves the theater for months to have the damage repaired, she also takes those 70 or so $100M airplanes with her. If the carrier is sunk, we may lose not only a 7-12 billion dollar carrier, but also the 70 or so $100M aircraft aboard are likely to go down with it. The actual survivability of small warships is usually understated, not because they can take a hit, but because they are usually never hit at all, while the survivability of large warships is overstated, because there is always a huge effort to find, fix, and destroy them. Also the opportunity costs when large ships are taken out of the fight for repairs is often over looked.

Patrol craft are the Naval equivalent of boots on the ground. They see things those flying at 25,000 feet cannot. You don’t try to fight a land war without infantry. You can’t fight a naval war without the small boys.