D-Day, Normandy, 6 June 1944

A convoy of Landing Craft Infantry (Large) sails across the English Channel toward the Normandy Invasion beaches on D-Day, 6 June 1944. Each of these landing craft is towing a barrage balloon for protection against low-flying German aircraft. Among the LCI(L)s present are: LCI(L)-56, at far left; LCI(L)-325; and LCI(L)-4. Photograph from the U.S. Coast Guard Collection in the U.S. National Archives.

Allied troops storm Utah Beach under heavy German artillery and machine gun fire in Normandy, France, June 6, 1944. More than 23,000 men of the U.S. 4th Infantry Division landed on Utah Beach, the westernmost of the assault beaches. (U.S. Coast Guard photo)

The Normandy invasion maked an important day in the history of the World, but also in the history of the Coast Guard. If you would like to look back on this event, here are some Coast Guard stories pulled from my Heritage Page.

D-Day, 6 June 1944

U.S. Coast Guard Rescue Flotilla One at Normandy

D-Day, Normandy Remembered

The Long Blue line: “Lucky Ox”—surviving the killing fields of D-Day

LCI(L) 85: The Four- Leaf Clover

“Coast Guard veteran turns 100, reflects on ‘scary days’ and ‘unbelievable sights’ of D-Day invasion” –D8 Press Release

The Long Blue Line: Seaman First Class Fletch Burton—he went in harm’s way so others might live free

A LCVP (Landing Craft, Vehicle, Personnel) from the U.S. Coast Guard-manned USS Samuel Chase disembarks troops of Company E, 16th Infantry, 1st Infantry Division (the Big Red One) wading onto the Fox Green section of Omaha Beach (Calvados, Basse-Normandie, France) on the morning of June 6, 1944. American soldiers encountered the newly formed German 352nd Division when landing. During the initial landing two-thirds of Company E became casualties.

USCG 83 ft patrol boat, probably June 1944. Photographer unknown.

The President Spoke at the Commandant’s Change of Command

Adm. Linda Fagan relieves Adm. Karl Schultz as the 27th commandant of the Coast Guard during a change of command ceremony at Coast Guard headquarters June 1, 2022. Fagan is the first woman service chief of any U.S. military service. U.S. COAST GUARD / Petty Officer 1st Class Travis Magee

The Navy League’s on line magazine reported on yesterday’s change of command ceremony.

It is a land mark event that a woman has become commandant, but it was also significant that the President chose to be at the event. This may be seen as an exploitation of the novelty of the transition, but it also seems to reflect the increased visibility of the Coast Guard in national security affairs.

The Indo-Pacific Partnership for Maritime Domain Awareness

Coast Guard Cutter Stratton (WMSL 752) sales alongside the Indian coast guard ships Abheed and Shaurya (16) Aug. 23, 2019, while transiting in the Bay of Bengal off the coast of Chennai, India. The Stratton is participating in a professional exchange with the Indian coast guard that includes operational exercises at sea and on shore. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Stephen Esterly)

Time to learn a new acronym, IPMDA, Indo-Pacific Partnership for Maritime Domain Awareness.

The Maritime Executive reports,

The Quadrilateral Security Alliance (Quad), a loose defense cooperation group composed of the U.S., India, Australia and Japan, plans to introduce a joint satellite-based tracking system aimed squarely at Chinese illegal fishing.

Real Clear Defense has another view, ““Black Ships,” the Quad and Space.

A Whitehouse “FACT SHEET: Quad Leaders’ Tokyo Summit 2022” leads of with discussion of the IPMDA. Quoting,

The Indo-Pacific Partnership for Maritime Domain Awareness  

At the Tokyo Summit, the Quad leaders will welcome a major maritime initiative: the Indo-Pacific  Partnership for Maritime Domain Awareness (IPMDA). In close consultations with regional partners, IPMDA will offer a near-real-time, integrated, and cost-effective maritime domain awareness picture. This initiative will transform the ability of partners in the Pacific Islands, Southeast Asia, and the Indian Ocean region to fully monitor the waters on their shores and, in turn, to uphold a free and open Indo-Pacific. Quad countries are committed to contributing to the region’s maritime domain awareness—a fundamental requirement for peace, stability, and prosperity—through an investment in IPMDA over five years. The partnership will innovate upon existing maritime domain awareness efforts, rapidly bringing emerging technologies to bear for the greater good of the Indo-Pacific community.

IPMDA will build a faster, wider, and more accurate maritime picture of near-real-time activities in partners’ waters. This common operating picture will integrate three critical regions—the Pacific IslandsSoutheast Asia, and the Indian Ocean region—in the Indo-Pacific. The benefits of this picture are vast: it will allow tracking of “dark shipping” and other tactical-level activities, such as rendezvous at sea, as well as improve partners’ ability to respond to climate and humanitarian events and to protect their fisheries, which are vital to many Indo-Pacific economies. IPMDA will do so by:

  • Harnessing commercially-available data using existing technologies. Through a combination of Automatic Identification System and radio-frequency technologies, Quad partners can provide an unprecedented “common thread” of activities. Because of its commercial origin, this data will be unclassified, allowing the Quad to provide it to a wide range of partners who wish to benefit.                 
  • Extending support for information-sharing across existing regional fusion centers, such as the Information Fusion Center-Indian Ocean Region, based in India; the Information Fusion Center, based in Singapore; the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency, based in the Solomon Islands, and the Pacific Fusion Center, based in Vanuatu, both of which receive support from Australia.

Quad partners will begin immediate consultations on this opportunity with partners in the region. As the initiative proceeds, the Quad will identify future technologies of promise, allowing IPMDA to remain a cutting-edge partnership that promotes peace and stability throughout the region. 

More on the Quad here.

If this works, similar systems should be extended over the Atlantic and Eastern Pacific as well. In addition to countering Illegal, Unreported, Unregulated (IUU) fishing, such systems have potential for SAR, MEP, interdiction of smuggling activities, counter piracy, disaster response, and sanctions enforcement.

In wartime such systems would have significant implications for Naval Control of Shipping and might alert us to sinkings. Access to this information would, of course, also be useful to our enemies seeking to target ships. Presumably there is planning for these eventualities.

Thanks to Paul for bringing this to my attention.

“Bad News” from the Navy, an Upnote for the Coast Guard

USS Zephyr (PC 8) and U.S. Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment Pacific personnel, conducting operations in support of JIATF-S Operation Martillo. U.S. Navy photo by MC3 Casey J. Hopkins

Texas Public Radio has a report, “A surge in Navy deserters could be a sign of a bigger problem for the military,” that also references recent suicides in the Navy. I would note that, based on their reporting, there has been no comparable surge in other armed services, and there is good news from the Coast Guard.

“But other branches of the military didn’t see a similar increase in the past three years.Desertions in the Army dropped by 47%, from 328 in 2019 to 174 in 2021, and the Marine Corps reported 59 in 2019 and 31 in 2021. The Coast Guard said it didn’t record a single deserter between 2019 and 2021.”

I would also point out, that 157 desertions out of over 340,000 active duty members is still a pretty smaller percentage (<0.046%, about one out of 2,178), only a little worse than the Army’s much improved 2021 figures, and actually much better than the Army’s 2019 figures.

The TPR report is really using this “surge” as basis for discussing the lack of early out options. While we don’t want to spend a lot of money training someone for a high paying civilian job and then release him or her as soon as they go to a job where their boss actually expects them to do their job, there are times when early separation is good for the service.

Early in my career, it was the Vietnam era. Many enlisted in the Coast Guard, not because they wanted to be there, but because it was a way to avoid the draft. The Ocean Station program was ending, so the Coast Guard decided to decommission many of its larger ships and to truncate the WHEC 378 program at 12 instead of the planned 36. The resulting downsizing meant there would be a large reduction in force. We took advantage of this by early, many times compulsary, separation of many trouble makers and poor performers. It always seemed 90% of our personnel problems were caused by fewer than 10% of our people. This purge had a wonderful effect.

All Hands Briefer (AHB)

Got this as an email, am passing it along. Thought some might be interested in signing up. Others might just be pleased to see the effort being made to keep the troops informed. 

I don’t expect to post these on a regular basis. 

united states coast guard

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Below, please find the key announcements and updates from this week. As part of our continual efforts to inform, support, and inspire our workforce, commands are encouraged to share this information with all hands. To receive the All Hands Briefer (AHB) directly, please follow the directions provided below the Calendar section.

NEWS 

SUPPORT 

 INSPIRATION 

CALENDAR
A CAC might be required to access some links. To add a solicitation or event, please e-mail MyCG@uscg.mil
18 MAY: Nominations due for National Defense Transportation Association Award
19 MAY: Change of Watch ceremony for MCPOCG and MCPO-CGR
20 MAY: Nominations due for John J. Jaskot Governmental Affairs Officer of the Year Award
26-31 MAY: CG Gaming Esports Competition
31 MAY: Deadline for the Ideas@Work Challenge on prioritizing Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear readiness.
01 JUN: U.S. Coast Guard Commandant Change of Command
01 JUN: Nominations for CAPT Edward R. Williams Coast Guard Award for Excellence in Diversity
03 JUN: Nominations due for Rescue at Sea 2022 Awards
03-05 JUN: Tom’s Run
15 JUN: Nominations due for Excellence in Safety Award
28 JUN: Nominations due for 2022 Latina Style Distinguished Military Service Award
25-29 JUL: 50th Annual National Naval Officers Association Leadership, Development, and Training Symposium
07-11 AUG: CPOA and CGEA National Conventions
15 AUG: Nominations due for Maritime Security and Response Operations Excellence awards 

Upcoming Officer Personnel Management Virtual Outreach Sessions
For details, please see ALCGOFF 007/22 
25 MAY: Afloat Assignments
08 JUN: Intel/DCMS and Cyberspace Assignments
22 JUN: Aviation Assignments
20 JUL: Chief Warrant Officer Assignments 

Very Respectfully,
Coast Guard Office of Public Affairs (CG-0922)
2703 Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue Southeast, Stop 7103
Washington, D.C., 20593-7103

“US Coast Guard Seeks Information to Purchase Commercial Icebreaker”

Icebreaking Anchor Handling Vessel Aiviq

Maritime Executive reports,

The U.S. Coast Guard released a formal request for information seeking to identify U.S.-built commercial icebreakers that might be available for purchase. With promises of funding from the Biden Administration and the U.S. Congress, the Department of Homeland Security published on May 3, the request for information as the first step in the possible purchase of a vessel to bridge the gap until the newly built polar security cutters, which are behind schedule, are commissioned and available for service late this decade.

We knew there would be such an attempt to find an available icebreaker, but look at the specs.

“…USCG is now seeking to identify commercial vessels that are available for purchase in 2023 or 2024. To meet the request the vessels must not only have been built in a U.S. shipyard but must have PC3 or higher classification and the capability of breaking at least three feet of ice ahead at a continuous speed of three knots. Further, it must have at least 15 years of original design service life remaining and be capable of operations for a minimum of 60 days without resupply. Other specifications include a maximum draft of 29 feet and a landing area of Coast Guard helicopters.”

There cannot be many, there may be only one, there may be none.

If we do find such a vessel, it will probably take some work to bring it up to Coast Guard standards for communications and helicopter operations.

If nothing else, it might fill the perceived need for a second Great Lakes Icebreaker.

Thanks to Paul for bring this to my attention. 

Hyundai to build 6 Philippine Navy OPVs

The Philippine News Agency has announced that Hyundai has been selected to build six Offshore Patrol Vessels for the Philippine Navy. There isn’t much detail about how they are to be equipped. The list below are just options. A length of 81 meters works out to 266 feet.

This does mean Turkey will not be building OPVs for the Philippines. The acquisition process does seem to have been a bit convoluted. Initially Austal in the Philippines was expected to build this class.