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.
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.
Time to learn a new acronym, IPMDA, Indo-Pacific Partnership for Maritime Domain Awareness.
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 Islands, Southeast 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.
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.
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.
Cdr Salamander posted the video above with comments. I felt I had to share it.
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.
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.