2020 Coast Guard Outlook

The crews of the Coast Guard Cutters Midgett (WMSL 757) and Kimball (WMSL 756) transit past Koko Head on Oahu, Hawaii, Aug. 16, 2019. The Kimball and Midgett are both homeported in Honolulu and two of the newest Coast Guard cutters to join the fleet. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Matthew West/Released)

The 2020 Coast Guard Outlook is on line. Can’t say I have read it. There are 127 pages, but looks like there may be some good stuff here.

“Coast Guard to hold memorial service for (20) lost Oregon, Washington Coast Guardsmen” (and four mariners)

Passing along this press release. A potent reminder. 

united states coast guard

News Release

U.S. Coast Guard 13th District PA Detachment Astoria
Contact: Coast Guard PA Detachment Astoria
Office: (503) 861-6380
After Hours: (206) 819-9154
PA Detachment Astoria online newsroom

Coast Guard to hold memorial service for lost Oregon, Washington Coast Guardsmen

Members of the Patriot Guard Riders display American flags in a show of respect for the Coast Guardsmen and fishermen who have lost their lives along the Columbia and Quillayute River bars during a memorial ceremony at Coast Guard Station Cape Disappointment, Jan. 10, 2016. Gordon Huggins, the only surviving crewmember from the capsizing and loss of the 52-foot Motor Life Boat Triumph, January 12, 1961, receives a hug from an attendee of the annual Triumph Memorial ceremony held at the Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center in Ilwaco, Wash., January 13, 2018. Maritime Enforcement Specialist 2nd Class Doug Bruene, Machinery Technician 2nd Class Justin Finney and Seaman Mitch Miller from Coast Guard Station Cape Disappointment in Ilwaco, Wash., prepare to cast a wreath and flowers into the water during a memorial service for the crews of the 52-foot motor lifeboat Triumph and the fishing vessel Mermaid, Jan. 12, 2013.

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

WARRENTON, Ore. — The Coast Guard is scheduled to host a memorial service Saturday at 10 a.m., at the Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center in Ilwaco, Washington, in tribute to Coast Guardsmen and mariners who lost their lives during seven separate tragic incidents that occurred along the Washington and Oregon coasts.

Family, friends, media, former and current Coast Guardsmen and fellow mariners are invited to attend the short ceremony and pay their respects. Scheduled events include remarks from former shipmates; land and sea wreath ceremonies; and a traditional-bell ringing after each name is read in remembrance.

“Memorials provide an important link to the past, and it is important to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice,” said Capt. Jeremy Smith, commander, Coast Guard Sector Columbia River. “These memorials allow us to remember the bravery and courage of those who have come before us, while also reminding us of the risks and dangers of our chosen profession.”

Personnel at Coast Guard Station Cape Disappointment host this memorial service annually at the beginning of the New Year in honor of Coast Guardsmen who paid the ultimate sacrifice.

Along with all of those lost at sea, the memorial service recognizes:

  • The four lives lost, all Coast Guardsmen aboard Motor Life Boat 36384, Feb. 5, 1946, during search efforts for two crab boats near Ocean City, Washington. The crab boats were later discovered to be safely anchored inside Willapa Bay.
  • The seven lives lost, five Coast Guardsmen aboard the 52-foot Motor Life Boat Triumph and two mariners aboard the 38-foot fishing vessel Mermaid, Jan. 12, 1961, during the attempted rescue of fishermen aboard the Mermaid near the Columbia River Bar.
  • The three lives lost of 10 Coast Guardsmen aboard the Coast Guard 41-foot Utility Boat 41332, Nov. 15, 1977, during night navigation training near the Columbia River Bar.
  • The one life lost, Coast Guard aviator #911 aboard Coast Guard helicopter 1353, Nov. 14, 1981 during night search efforts for a fishing vessel in distress off the coast of Coos Bay, Oregon.
  • The three lives lost, one Coast Guardsman and two mariners, Jan. 11, 1991, during rescue operations, of the 75-foot fishing vessel Sea King, in which two Sea King crewmembers were rescued near the Columbia River Bar.
  • The three lives lost, all Coast Guardsmen aboard Motor Life Boat 44363, Feb. 12, 1997 during rescue operations of two crewmembers aboard the 31-foot sailing vessel Gale Runner near the Quillayute River Bar.
  • The three lives lost, all Coast Guard aviators aboard Coast Guard helicopter 6017, July 7, 2010, near La Push, Washington. The helicopter crashed while transiting between Astoria, Oregon, and Sitka, Alaska.

“Iran Launched Missiles at Iraqi Bases with US Forces, Pentagon Says” –DefenseOne

DefenseOne.Com is reporting that,

More than a dozen ballistic missiles were fired at the Al-Assad air base in Anbar province and a base in Irbil, in Iraqi Kurdistan, a DOD statement said.

“The 2020s Will Change The World Submarine Balance” –Forbes

nuclear-capable underwater drone called Ocean Multipurpose System Status-6.

Forbes has a short article about anticipated advancements in the global submarine fleets. Technology is improving. More nations are starting to export submarines. Nations that have never had submarines before are putting them into service.

Perhaps most ominously a range of autonomous underwater vehicles with offensive capabilities are entering service. They range from torpedoes with artificial intelligence or mines that position themselves to a predetermined location, to an entirely new class of intercontinental range, nuclear powered, nuclear armed drones. In effect these include underwater cruise missiles. Since nations have seen fit to share cruise missiles with terrorist organizations, there is no reason not to expect that they will also share at least some of these weapons.

Thanks for a Great 2019

USCGC Duane on North Atlantic Convoy Duty

Thanks to the those who have come by to see what we have been discussing and especially to those who put in their two cents, your interest has made the effort more than worthwhile. This has been a remarkably civil and knowledgeable group. Nice to see that all experience and knowledge levels are respected.

It has been a very successful year for this blog. Readership was up 18.7% over the previous best year, 2017, to 255,331 views. This is the first time there have been more than a quarter million views in a year. Individual visits to the blog were up 49% over the previous best year, 2018, to 86,140, due in large part to one post, “Navy this is Coast Guard, we need to talk” that was viewed 18,245 times.

Readership for eight of the twelve months was higher than any previous corresponding month. Until this year, the blog had never had more than three month with more than 19,000 views, and never more than two months with more than 20,000, nor more than 20,881 in a single month. For 2019, ten months had more than 19,000 views, eight had more than 20,000, and one 31,500.

I would also like to thank other bloggers who have seen fit to reference our little corner of the internet, including:  Center for International Maritime Security (CIMSEC) “Next War Blog”, Eaglespeak, and Cdr Salamander.

We had 1,733 comments. This kind of feedback is most welcome. The post with the most comments was Navy Awards FFG Conceptual Design Contracts for FFG(X)–Speculation on a NSC Derivative (Feb. 2018), with 123.

Would particularly like to thanks Tups for bringing his special Icebreaker knowledge to the blog.

Just over 25% of the readers were from outside the US. Visitors from 19 different nations came by for more than 1000 views. In order, they were the Philippines (8,509), the UK (8,327), Canada (5,051), Australia (4,199), Germany (2,344), the Netherlands (2,323), Finland (2,316), Japan (2,097), Greece (1,958), Chile (1,801), New Zealand (1,399), India (1,352), Russia (1,192), Spain (1,187), Malaysia (1,151), Ireland (1,146), China (1,107), Argentina (1,092), and Norway (1,087).

There were 311 new posts in 2019, pushing the total to 2,562 posts.

The top ten post for 2019 were

  1. Navy this is Coast Guard, we need to talk (2019)
  2. An Offshore Patrol Vessel With Teeth (2019)
  3. The Sharrow Propeller (2018)
  4. “The Coast Guard Does Not Exist Solely for Preparing for War” –USNI (2019)
  5. “Coast Guard Cutter Procurement: Background and Issues for Congress Updated November 27, 2019” –CRS
  6. What Does It Take to Sink a Ship? (2011)
  7. The 87 Foot WPB Replacement –Response Boat, Large –Interceptor (2019)
  8. New 40mm Gun (2016)
  9. 50mm Chain Gun, More Detail (2019)
  10. Navy Awards Conceptual Design for FFG(X)–Speculation on an NSC Derivative (2019)

I have updated the “Top Ten Posts” page to reflect both top ten for 2019 and the top ten over the history of the blog.

If anyone has any suggestions, or would like to write a post for publication here, you can contact me at chuckhhill@aol.com.

Looking at the year ahead, the OPC debacle has damaged the Coast Guard’s procurement planning reputation, which had been on the rise, because of the suspicion that Eastern was never really qualified to build the OPC. It will take some time to rebuild confidence. Unfortunately this is likely to make Coast Guard acquisitions even more cautious, leading to further delays. We really need to see both the OPC and Polar Security Cutter programs proceed smoothly for here on out.

As noted, long term planning has not met the demands of the Congress, and more importantly seems to lead to long delays in funding Procurement, Construction, and Improvement projects. Hopefully we will see improvement in this area.

The Geopolitical situation seems to be deteriorating at an alarming rate. I don’t expect we will have a new war in South West Asia. I do expect to see incidents. Trouble with Russia, North Korea, and in Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, and the Persian Gulf will continue to distract us and sap our strength, while China is the real threat. They play the long game and push outward where ever they find weakness. They are on the move in Oceania, Africa, Latin America, the Arctic, and the Antarctic. The US and China are in a naval arms race, but only China seems to recognize that fact. The Coast Guard has a significant part to play. It is time to recall the wisdom and foresight of Admiral Waesche in preparation for WWII.

“Coast Guard vessel capsizes near 36th Street pier in Astoria, Ore.” –D13

Below you will find a D13 press release. While it may be embarrassing to have your boat capsize, there is an element in this story that I find very heartening.

At 11:39 a.m., watchstanders at the 13th Coast Guard District command center in Seattle received four Personal Locator Beacon alerts registered to Coast Guard Aids to Navigation Team Astoria.

That each man was provided with a personal locator beacon shows genuine concern for those working on the water.

united states coast guard

News Release

U.S. Coast Guard 13th District PA Detachment Astoria
Contact: Coast Guard PA Detachment Astoria
Office: (503) 861-6380
After Hours: (206) 220-7237
PA Detachment Astoria online newsroom

Coast Guard vessel capsizes near 36th Street pier in Astoria, Ore.

Coast Guard services Columbia River Aides to Navigation

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

ASTORIA, Ore. — A 26-foot Coast Guard Trailerable Aids to Navigation Boat capsized Saturday with four crew members aboard near Pier 39 in Astoria.

Four Coast Guardsmen were aboard the vessel conducting routine operations when the capsizing occurred. The vessel reportedly encountered a series of heavy wakes that came over the bow, which resulted in an unrecoverable starboard list that capsized the vessel.

At 11:39 a.m., watchstanders at the 13th Coast Guard District command center in Seattle received four Personal Locator Beacon alerts registered to Coast Guard Aids to Navigation Team Astoria.

The beacons’ positions correlated with multiple good Samaritans’ reports of visual distress signals in the vicinity of Pier 39 in Astoria, Oregon. Correlating reports were also received by Astoria 911 dispatch.

At approximately 11:50 a.m., watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Columbia River issued an urgent marine information broadcast (UMIB) and directed a Coast Guard Air Station Astoria MH-60 Jayhawk crew and a Coast Guard Station Cape Disappointment 47-foot Motor Lifeboat crew to respond.

At 12:09 p.m., crew members aboard the Columbia Bar Pilot vessel Connor Foss contacted the Coast Guard reporting they had recovered the four Coast Guardsmen from the water after responding to the UMIB and were en route to awaiting medical personnel at the 17th Street pier.

Clatsop County Sheriff Marine Unit assisted in the recovery by towing the capsized vessel to the 17th Street pier.

All persons involved are reported to be in healthy condition after being evaluated at Columbia Memorial Hospital. 

The Coast Guard is overseeing salvage operations and has initiated the mishap board review process.

“Khulna Shipyard lays keel for five more Padma-class patrol vessels for Bangladeshi Navy” –Navy Recognition

NavyRecognition reports.

“Bangladesh’s Khulna Shipyard Ltd has begun construction of the second batch of five Padma-class patrol vessels on order for the Bangladeshi Navy (BN).

“… first batch was built in Bangladesh by BN-owned Khulna Shipyard in collaboration with mainland China’s Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding through the China Shipbuilding & Offshore International Corporation (CSOC).”

The Padma class is used by both the Bangladesh Navy and Coast Guard. According to Wikipedia, eight have been completed, five for the Navy and three for their Coast Guard, with a total of 23 planned. It is similar in size to the Webber class. They are a bit slower at 23 knots but have a considerably larger crew, 45.

The Bangladesh Navy and Coast Guard have vessels from a number of sources including the US, UK, Italy and South Korea, including two former USCG 378s, but most of their vessel of late seem to be coming from China or like these are Chinese designs built in Bangladesh.