“Check out the 13 best military photos of 2020” –Task and Purpose

Feco, a single-purpose bomb dog assigned to a Coast Guard maritime safety and security team, wears protective eye and ear gear and a hoisting vest for hoist operation training at Moffett Air National Guard Base, Calif., June 15, 2020. (Air National Guard photo / Master Sgt. Ray Aquino)

Task and Purpose provides their pick of 13 best military photos of 2020 and provides a link to 72 more. Turns out, two are US Coast Guard related. The one above was presumably taken by an Air National Guard or Air Force Master Sargent, but the other was taken by Seaman Kate Kilroy, one of several from her coverage of the Campbell’s trip into Arctic waters here and here.

Thanks to a formerdirtdart for bringing this to my attention. 

“Minotaur – Creating a connected Coast Guard” –MyCG

New Minotaur operator workstations are being installed on all HC-144Bs. Minotaur provides dramatically improved data fusion and integrates installed sensors and radar. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Aviation Engineering Warrant Officer 3 Randy Jopp.

MyCG has a post about Minotaur. We have talked about this system before in relationship to installations on fixed wing aircraft, but the system apparently is more than I had previously understood. The links sited in the story are not all up to date. There is more current information below.

“Coast Guard delivers ninth Minotaur-missionized HC-144 to fleet” –CG-9 | Chuck Hill’s CG Blog

Coast Guard accepts missionized HC-130J aircraft > United States Coast Guard > Latest Acquisition News (uscg.mil)

“Navy to Field First New Torpedo in Decades” –National Defense

Very Light Weight Torpedo

National Defense reports,

The Navy in January is expected to release a request for proposals to field its first completely new torpedo since the 1990s.

Northrop Grumman has announced its intention to enter the compact rapid attack weapon program, which will seek to find a manufacturer for the prototype of a lightweight torpedo developed at Pennsylvania State University’s Applied Research Laboratory.

This is a weapon we talked about earlier. In that report we learned that the Navy had a program of record to develop the weapon under the name Compact Rapid Attack Weapon (CRAW) in the FY2021 budget. The earlier post also includes a full description of the weapon.

In this new report we learn there is interest in the use of this weapon by the submarine community, the aviation community, and as a weapon for unmanned systems.

It can be used offensively or defensively as a countermeasure anti-torpedo (CAT).

Operators will be able to instantly load software into the weapon, giving it defensive or offensive capabilities shortly before being fired, he said.

“The only difference fundamentally between the defensive capability of the very lightweight torpedo, which is CAT and the offensive capability, which is CRAW, is the software that gets loaded onto the weapon at time of launch.”

If these can be used to destroy incoming torpedoes, we are going to want them on virtually every ship.

Might be helpful if the Coast Guard told the Navy they were interested in these as well.

“Los Angeles patrol boat voted WorkBoat’s 2020 Boat of the Year” –Workboat

WorkBoat’s Boat of the Year. MetalCraft Marine photo

Workboat has announced their choice of Boat of the Year. The 42’6″x13’4″x3’9″ patrol boat, Boat 42, was built and tested at MetalCraft Marine’s two shipyards at Kingston, Ontario, Canada, and Watertown, N.Y. Its mission is interesting.

The Los Angeles Port Police have been using the new patrol boat to “check every vessel that comes into the port,” said Bob Clark, MetalCraft’s, contracts manager. The vessel has a new breed of highly sophisticated, military-grade CBRN equipment aboard that can detect chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear hazards before a ship even enters the port.

Thanks to Paul C. for bringing this to my attention. 

Comments on the Tri-Service Strategy, “Advantage at Sea” –Part 1

USCGC Stratton (WMSL-752), left, and the U.S. Navy Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS McCampbell (DDG-85) maneuver in formation during Talisman Sabre 2019 on July 11, 2019. US Navy Photo

From my Coast Guard perspective, my number one question when viewing the new tri-service strategy, “Advantage at Sea,” is “What is the Coast Guard expected to do?” It does not appear that we have been given a clear answer, particularly in regard to our role in a major conflict.

Below, I quote every part of the strategy that refers uniquely to the Coast Guard. (I have not included those sections where “Coast Guard” or “coast guardsmen” are lumped in with Navy and Marine Corps or sailors and marines.)

In part 2, we will look at the strategy in more detail. I will also talk about what I see as logical use of the Coast Guard in a major conflict.

“The Coast Guard is expanding its global engagements and capacity-building efforts in key vulnerable regions.” –from Foreword

“The Coast Guard’s mission profile makes it the preferred maritime security partner for many nations vulnerable to coercion. Integrating its unique authorities—law enforcement, fisheries protection, marine safety, and maritime security—with Navy and Marine Corps capabilities expands the options we provide to joint force commanders for cooperation and competition.” p.7, “Integrated All-Domain Naval Power”

“In the homeland, the Coast Guard protects the marine transportation system that
underpins America’s economic vitality.” p.10, “Employing Naval Forces, Operating Across the Competition Continuum, In Day-to-Day Competition”

“Navy and Coast Guard ships conduct freedom of navigation operations globally,
challenging excessive and illegal maritime claims. Coast Guard cutters and law enforcement detachments aboard Navy and allied ships exercise unique authorities to counter terrorism, weapons proliferation, transnational crime, and piracy. All three services enforce sanctions through maritime interdiction operations, often as part of international task forces.” p.11, “Employing Naval Forces, Operating Across the Competition Continuum, In Day-to-Day Competition”

“Coast Guard forces provide additional tools for crisis management through capabilities that can de-escalate maritime standoffs nonlethally.” p.12, “Employing Naval Forces, Operating Across the Competition Continuum, In Crisis”

“Rapidly deployable Coast Guard cutters, Port Security Units, and Advanced Interdiction Teams will provide specialized capabilities, augmenting operations in theater.” p.13/14, “Employing Naval Forces, Operating Across the Competition Continuum, In Conflict”

“The Coast Guard will ensure the safe, secure, and efficient marine transportation
system essential to sustaining forces in war.” p.14 “Employing Naval Forces, Operating Across the Competition Continuum, In Conflict”

“A modernized Coast Guard fleet will enhance global deployability and provide expanded options across the competition continuum.” p.15/16, “Developing Naval Forces, Delivering Integrated All-Domain Naval Forces”

“The Coast Guard will prioritize readiness, capacity, and future capability—including cyber, C5ISR, and modernizing the cutter fleet—over legacy capability. ” p.17, “Developing Naval Forces, Delivering Integrated All-Domain Naval Forces, Integrated naval modernization

“The Coast Guard’s fleet modernization, including acquisition of the Offshore Patrol Cutter, Polar Security Cutter, Arctic Security Cutter, and Waterways Commerce Cutter, will provide the capacity and capabilities necessary to facilitate advancing maritime governance and protecting U.S. maritime sovereignty.” p.23, “Annex: Naval Service Investments, Prevailing in day-to-day competition”

“Coast Guard will maintain investments in ships, talent, and infrastructure to operate a modernized cutter fleet.” p.24. “Annex: Naval Service Investments, Operational readiness”


Sea Services’ Strategy–CG News Release

Below is the Coast Guard’s news release regarding the new Tri-Service Strategy

united states coast guard

 News Release

U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters
Contact: Headquarters Public Affairs
Office: (202) 372-4630
Headquarters online newsroom

Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard Release Maritime Strategy

WASHINGTON ̶ The U.S. Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard released a new tri-Service maritime strategy today, entitled Advantage at Sea.

The document provides strategic guidance on how the sea services will prevail in day-to-day competition, crisis, and conflict over the next decade. It also directs the services to deepen tri-service integration, aggressively pursue force modernization, and continue robust cooperation with allies and partners.

“Our integrated Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard must maintain clear-eyed resolve to compete with, deter, and, if necessary, defeat our adversaries while we accelerate development of a modernized, integrated all-domain naval force for the future,” wrote Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Michael M. Gilday, Marine Corps Commandant Gen. David H. Berger, and Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Karl L. Schultz in the strategy’s forward. “Our actions in this decade will shape the maritime balance of power for the rest of this century.”

Advantage at Sea places particular focus on China and Russia due to their increasing maritime aggressiveness, demonstrated intent to dominate key international waters and clear desire to remake the international order in their favor.

“China’s and Russia’s revisionist approaches in the maritime environment threaten U.S. interests, undermine alliances and partnerships, and degrade the free and open international order,” the document states. “Moreover, China’s and Russia’s aggressive naval growth and modernization are eroding U.S. military advantages.”

The strategy also emphasizes the maritime domain is integral not only to America’s security and prosperity but to those of all nations. The oceans connect global markets, provide essential resources, and link societies and businesses. Shared interests create opportunities for greater cooperation with allies and partners.

“As Sailors, we are on the leading edge of Great Power Competition each and every day,” said Gilday. “Sea control, power projection and the capability to dominate the oceans must be our primary focus. Our forces must be ready today, and ready tomorrow, to defend our nation’s interests against potential adversaries at any time. This strategy helps us do exactly that.”

The strategy directs the Services to pursue an agile and aggressive approach to force modernization and experimentation. The future fleet will combine legacy assets with new, smaller ships, lighter amphibious ships, modernized aircraft, expanded logistics, resilient space capabilities, and optionally manned and unmanned platforms. To succeed in a dynamic operating environment, the Services will also invest in warfighter development, delivering innovative training and education to ensure our Sailors, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen remain the world’s premier naval force.

Advantage at Sea also reflects the dual roles of the Service Chiefs: advising on the employment of forces in day-to-day competition, crisis and conflict, and developing a modernized future force that deters potential adversaries and advances and defends U.S. interests.

“The Marine Corps is conducting a sweeping force design transformation to fulfill our role as the Nation’s expeditionary force-in-readiness while simultaneously modernizing the force in accordance with the operating environment described in the National Defense Strategy and the tri-Service maritime strategy. We must embrace new ways of operating within the concepts of integrated U.S. naval power to deter future adversaries and generate better strategic choices,” said Berger.

As the Services pursue greater integration, to include training and education; capabilities and networks; plans, exercises, and experiments; analysis and wargaming; investments and innovation; and force design, Advantage at Sea states they will collaborate with allies and partners to build capability, enhance interoperability, and generate unity of effort. Alongside allies and partners, the Services will be able to establish sea denial and sea control where and when needed, project power, and hold critical adversary targets at risk.

“As the only military service in the Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Coast Guard provides unique multi-mission and intelligence capabilities to complement the ability of our Marines and Navy to protect our national interests when necessary and deliver lethality across the globe,” said Schultz. “Our hallmark is working daily with partner agencies, sister sea services, and international navies and coast guards to counter maritime coercion and uphold the rules-based order – partnerships work.”

To read the full strategy, please visit: https://www.uscg.mil/tsms

“Defense Health Primer: U.S. Coast Guard Health Services” –CRS

New Orleans, September 5, 2005 – A Disaster Medical Assistance Team member (left) assures a rescued man that the trip to the airport will be safe. Thousands of people are airlifted from the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center pickup site to the New Orleans Airport every day. Photo by Win Henderson / FEMA photo.

The Congressional Research Service has another Coast Guard related “primer,” a two page basic explanation, written for congressmen and their staffers, to provide basic understand. This one is on healthcare, “Defense Health Primer: U.S. Coast Guard Health Services.”

It covers mission, organization, budget, USCG healthcare personnel, USPHS support to the USCG, USCG health services, interaction with TriCare, and current challenges including electronic health records, USPHS support, and the disability evaluation system.

Thanks to Bryant’s Maritime Consulting for bringing this to my attention.

Maybe the Largest Self Right Motor Surfboat in the World

Intermarine Launches New SAR Patrol Boat for Italian Coast Guard

Naval News Reports that, “Italian shipbuilder Intermarine launched the longest self-righting and unsinkable boat ever built in Italy.” At 33.6 meters (110′), length overall, this may be the largest self-righting rescue craft in the world.

Our own 52′ Motor lifeboats are becoming unsupportable, as made clear by the recent withdrawal of Victory, now 64 years old, from service. Our 87′ patrol boat are approaching the end of their service life. It may be time to look at what others have done and procure a larger, more powerful, and  extremely seaworthy self righting boat capable of replacing both the 87 footer and the 52 foot MLB, at least in ports where a maritime terrorist threat is extremely unlikely. 

Specifications here: Scheda nave nuova classe cp 420 Natale De Grazia (slideshare.net) (Thanks to W B Young)

A Google Translation: 

Ship board new class cp 420 Natale De Grazia
1. New Naval Unit class CP 420 Technical Sheet CP 420 – Christmas Ship DE GRAZIA…………………………………. (delivery expected December 2020) CP 421 – Ship Roberto ARINGHIERI………………… (delivery expected December 2021) Classification RINA C (✠) Rescue and Maritime Police Self-thinning and Unsinkable – Navigation Unrestricted Length 33.60 m. Width 8.15 m. Draw 1.34 m. Full load displacement ~ 150 tons Max speed 31 knots > 1000 nm. (28 knots) Construction material Aluminum Alloy Propulsion Hydrojet n.2 KONGHSBERG 2 x MTU : 16V2000M96 (2 X 1790 KW / 2 X 2490HP) Electrical generation 2 DDGG Deutz/Koelmo (2 x 85 KW)
2. Boarding capacity 200 people including 50 hospitalized and sitting in the room shipwrecked with adjacent decontamination area and infirmary Crew 10 (logistics accommodations: (2 x 2pl) + (2 x 4pl) T.V. Command (CP) Operating and communication systems no. 2 GPS – no. 2 RADAR (X and S band) – ECDIS – VSAT – VHF/FM – n.2 HF 500/150W RodeSwarts – Warship AIS NAVNET system – Optronic system – Ecosounder Other operating capacities Sea holding 6 – wind F9 Service boat on fly bridge Dedicated area for operations such as Vertrep/Medevac 0.5 ton feeding table crane for shipwreck recovery 75 mc/h high pressure fire monitor Fendering perimeter system: profile “D” (80×40) expanded polyethylene core (closed cell density 33 Kg/mc) coated the polyurea with differentiated thickness with high resistance (to fire 175°C) orange color RAL2004 Capacity : Water Crates 3.6 mc (in addition to the dissalators) Diesel Crates : 55 mc Construction site INTERMARINE spa La Spezia – Shipyard of Messina

31 knots would be remarkably fast for a vessel of this size with the power indicated, faster than either the 87 footers or the 110s with less power than either. 


Coast Guard’s 270-foot medium endurance cutter Bear underway in Africa. (Ensign Connor Brown, U.S. Coast Guard)

Commandant Notice below announces this year’s Hopley Yeaton Cutter Excellence and Superior Cutter Awards. The stories show the resilience and adaptability of our cutter crews.

united states coast guard

R 150718 DEC 20
UNCLAS //N01650//
ALCOAST 451/20
1. The Douglas Munro Chapter of the Surface Navy Association is honored to
announce and congratulate the recipients of the 2020 Hopley Yeaton Cutter
Excellence and Superior Cutterman Awards. This year’s nominations were
absolutely impressive, and were a testament to the hard work being done
by the cutter fleet every day. As nearly half of all USCG personnel serve
afloat in their first four years in the USCG, the cutter fleet is entrusted
with the important task of developing and molding the USCG of the future.
Continue to strive for excellence, while at the same time identifying and
encouraging the future leaders of our fleet.
2. This year’s winners are:
    a. Cutter Excellence Award (Large Cutter): CGC POLAR STAR (WAGB 10)
    b. Cutter Excellence Award (Medium Cutter): CGC BEAR (WMEC 901)
    c. Cutter Excellence Award (Small Cutter): CGC CHEYENNE (WLR 75405)
    d. Superior Cutterman Award (Officer): LCDR Ian Starr – CGC ALEX HALEY (WMEC 39)
    e. Superior Cutterman Award (Enlisted): EMC Dimitri Brisker – CGC WAESCHE (WMSL 751)
3. Hopley Yeaton Cutter Excellence Award (Large) – CGC POLAR STAR (WAGB 10):
    a. POLAR STAR, throughout 325 Day Away from Homeport (DAFHP) in 2020,
completed a remarkable 122 day deployment in support of Operation Deep Freeze
(ODF). During ODF, POLAR STAR established and groomed a 22nm channel through
10 foot thick Antarctic ice to resupply McMurdo Station, conducted a three ship
escort into Winter Quarter’s Bay for a sealift of 8M gallons of life sustaining
fuel, 900 containers, and $480M in materials and supplies for infrastructure
recapitalization. During ODF, POLAR STAR also facilitated the State Department’s
historic treaty inspections of Chinese, Italian, and South Korean facilities,
cementing U.S. leadership and influence in the region. Returning home amidst a
global pandemic, the cutter successfully completed their $7.9M, four month dry
dock. POLAR STAR’s unique people plan required few crewmembers to need to spend
more than 215 DAFHP. Lastly, POLAR STAR’s prototyping of Deployment Based Training
(vice TSTA) is setting well-founded precedents for future cutter training models.
    b. Honorable Mentions for the Large Cutter Award are:
        CGC HAMILTON (WMSL 753)
        CGC BERTHOLF (WMSL 750)
        CGC MUNRO (WMSL 755)
4. Hopley Yeaton Cutter Excellence Award (Medium) – CGC BEAR (WMEC 901):
    a. In 2020 BEAR executed a very high OPTEMPO of 218 DAFHP in a 242 day period,
exhibiting great flexibility in the execution of an unexpected deployment to West
Africa. Initially slated to patrol in the Eastern Pacific, while on patrol BEAR’s
crew responded admirably to a hole in the engine room, battling flooding at sea
for nearly 16 hours. Over a 5 day period BEAR conducted emergency repairs and
requested $250K in parts and supplies for an Out of Hemisphere (OOH) deployment
3,500 miles away from depot level support. BEAR sailed across the Atlantic to
exercise US-Cabo Verde bilateral agreements during 25 LE exchanges, numerous
exercises, and interdiction of a 280 foot freighter. BEAR’s preparations allowed
for completion of a major at-sea shaft seal replacement and replacement of a 1,200
pound fire pump while in AFRICOM. BEAR also completed a 48 day D7 patrol which
included a 4-day boarding of a 300 foot Haitian Freighter, and a 75 day, $2.4M
drydock during the height of the uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.
BEAR hosted three cutterman calls, including an event supporting the search for
USRC BEAR, was published in the CG Compass and the Maritime Executive, conducted
an information operations campaign earning the attention of the National Security
Council, and prototyped the Abbott Now COVID test machine to mitigate COVID risk.
    b. Honorable Mentions for the Medium Cutter Award are:
        CGC VENTUROUS (WMEC 625)
        CGC CAMPBELL (WMEC 909)
        CGC RESOLUTE (WMEC 620)
5. Hopley Yeaton Cutter Excellence Award (Small) – CGC CHEYENNE (WLR-75405):
    a. In remarkable fashion, the 54 year old CHEYENNE, stationed in St. Louis, MO,
serviced over 1,185 buoys and 150 shore aids in FY20. This high optempo across 576
river miles on the Mississippi river and three Sectors, combined with record-high
water, flooding, and other cutter casualties, meant CHEYENNE had more underway
hours than any of the other 33 ATON cutters in D8. Despite the cutter’s age, and
numerous significant casualties including loss of the #1 MDE and cancellation of
the cutter’s drydock, the hard work of CHEYENNE’s crew meant that the cutter only
had 9 days of unscheduled availability, achieving a Ready for Operations rating
of 99%. Despite CHEYENNE’s primary ATON mission, the crew responded to a person
in the water SAR case on June 4th. The watch-stander overheard a “Pan Pan” for a
person in the water near the Gateway Arch, 2.5 miles away. A volunteer boat crew
quickly assembled and launched a small boat, arriving on scene within minutes.
The crew discovered a woman clinging to floating debris up river from a fleet of
barges and moments away from being pulled under by the swift river current. The
boat crew quickly maneuvered through the extreme conditions and rescued the woman,
saving her life. Once onboard the boat crew brought her back to the cutter where
medical personnel provided treatment. This was an especially noteworthy occurrence
because the CHEYENNE does not maintain a SAR ready posture.
    b. Honorable Mentions for the Small Cutter Award are:
        CGC BRISTOL BAY (WTGB 102)
        CGC ISAAC MAYO (WPC 1112)
6. Hopley Yeaton Superior Cutterman Award (Officer) – LCDR Ian Starr:
    a. As Executive Officer of USCGC ALEX HALEY (WMEC 39), LCDR Starr
exemplifies the qualities and characteristics of a Coast Guard Cutterman.
Through his positive engagement with his crew at a remote unit in AK during
a global pandemic, LCDR Starr has been critical to ALEX HALEY’s success in
FY2020. Despite COVID-19, under LCDR Starr’s leadership the overall esprit
de corps of the ALEX HALEY has improved dramatically. Working with HSWL SC
and a broad network of D17 POCs, LCDR Starr was a critical liaison for providing
care to crewmembers suffering from mental health crises during the pandemic,
to include short-notice MEDEVAC of five personnel from the most remote corners
of the D17 AOR. Relying on experience and initiative, LCDR Starr also developed
procedures, later adopted fleet-wide, to expedite testing for individuals underway
in a remote AOR. A caring individual dedicated to crew proficiency, LCDR Starr
also created an extensive JO PRODEV program involving practical shipdriving, a
“speed mentoring” event, and in-depth leadership discussions, including a revival
of ALEX HALEY’s LDAC through engagement of the Chief and First Class messes onboard.
Lastly, LCDR Starr is an expert shipdriver who led the cutter through CART, TSTA,
AVCERT, and Finance and Administration inspections with superb results.
    b. Honorable Mentions for the Superior Cutterman Award (Officer) are:
        LCDR Nolan Cuevas – CGC SPENCER (WMEC 905)
        LCDR Adam Gercon – CGC RICHARD SNYDER (WPC 1127)
        LCDR Nicholas Galati – CGC POLAR STAR (WAGB 10)
7. Hopley Yeaton Superior Cutterman Award (Enlisted) – EMC Dimitri Brisker:
    a. EMC Dimitri Brisker’s is a cutterman to the core. While WAESCHE was
transiting across the Pacific Ocean, 700NM from nearest land, the cutter
experienced a major class bravo fire on one of the MDEs that rapidly climbed
8 decks and spread to the interior bulkhead of the ammunition magazine.
Displaying incredible bravery and forEsightedness as a member of the Rapid
Response Team, EMC Brisker managed initial response efforts. At great risk
to his own personal safety, EMC Brisker then led an attack team topside to
the O-3 level to combat the fire immediately adjacent to several ammunition
magazines, preventing cascading casualties from exploding ordnance. He then
cleared hot spots, overhauled damaged spaces, dewatered compartments, and
enacted makeshift repairs to restore propulsion for avoidance of a fast-approaching
tropical storm. EMC Brisker has been able to pioneer CG-wide changes, including
creation of class-wide MPC cards to address bow thruster start problems and a
class-wide JQR for the Diesel Generator. When WAESCHE also experienced a
crippling casualty to all modes of propulsion, EMC Brisker and his team also
trouble shot the MRG for 10 hours to identify and replace a faulty module
card. EMC Brisker’s list of responsibilities displays the breadth of his
devotion to the crew. He is the Command Chief, the senior EOW, a DCTT &
ETT member, Cutterman qualification program manager, and an advanced Motor
Turbine technician.
    b. Honorable Mentions for the Superior Cutterman Award (Enlisted) are:
        EMCS Theodore Compton – CGC HERBIERTO HERNANDEZ (WPC 1114)
        ET1 Michael Clements – CGC BEAR (WMEC 901)
        BM1 Jason Drexler – CGC MUNRO (WMSL 755)
8. The SNA will coordinate with OPCONs to recognize this year’s winners.
By 10 December, winners in cutter and individual categories are requested
to send a cutter image (can include entire crew) or a professional photo to
LCDR Paul Ledbetter (paul.a.ledbetter@uscg.mil) for inclusion in this year’s
SNA National Symposium. Some level of virtual winner participation will be
requested at this year’s events: https://www.navysnaevents.org/national-symposium/.
9. Bravo Zulu and great work to this year’s Hopley Yeaton Award recipients
and nominees. This year’s nominees were selected by panels consisted of 32
Active Duty and Retired Permanent cuttermen from the ranks of O8 to E7 who
collectively amassed 341 years of sea time. The sheer volume of praiseworthy
nominees, as well as the high quality award write-ups continues to impress.
Thank you to all commands for submitting and reviewing nominations.
10. VADM Scott Buschman, Deputy Commandant for Operations, sends.
11. Internet release is authorized.