“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.