Brookings Institute–A conversation with Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard Admiral Paul F. Zukunft

Another video, this one almost an hour.

Commandant’s Strategic Intent, Mid-Term Report

Coast Guard Capt. Douglas Nash, commanding officer of Coast Guard Air Sation Sacramento, salutes a Coast Guard C-27J pilot during a change of watch ceremony at Air Station Sacramento's hanger in McClellan Park, Thursday, July 1, 2016. The ceremony marked the final day that an HC-130 Hercules crew stood the watch at Air Station Sacramento and introduced the newest aircraft. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Loumania Stewart

Procurement of 14 C-27J aircraft was one of the achievements sited. C-27Js replace C-130s at CGAS Sacramento. 

The Commandant has issued a mid-term update on his earlier published “Strategic Intent, 2015-2019” (pdf). The new document is available in pdf format. You can find it here: “United States Coast Guard Commandant’s Strategic Intent, 2015-2019, Mid-Term Report.”

It is relatively short and readable at 21 pages. The recurring themes of the Commandant’s administration are all there, starting with TOC (transnational organized crime) and its deleterious effect on Western Hemisphere governance and prosperity. It does read a little like an Officer Evaluation Report input.

There is nothing particularly surprising here, but even for me, the enumeration of the scope the Coast Guard’s authorities, responsibilities, and international contacts is still mind boggling.

I am not going to try to summarize the report, but there were a few things that struck me.

The Commandant mentions service life extension programs for the seagoing buoy tenders (already begun), the 47 foot MLBs, and the 87 foot WPBs (in the future), but there is no mention of what we will do about the inland tender fleet. There will also be a life extension program for helicopters before they are finally replaced.

“Extend the service life of our rotary wing assets and align with DOD’s Future Vertical Lift initiative.”

There is mention of a program I was not aware of, the “Defense Threat Reduction Agency National Coast Watch System project.” The Defense Threat Reduction Agency attempts to track and reduce the WMD threat. It is not really clear what our role is here. We know about the container inspection programs in foreign ports. Is that it, or is there more to this? (that can be discussed at an unclassified level.)

Early Icebreaker Specs

USCGC Polar Sea

USCGC Polar Sea has published  a draft document that gives us a first look at possible specs for the proposed polar icebreaker,

Polar_Icebreaker_Replacement_Draft_Data_Package_13_J…(913.98 Kb)

This is different from what we saw on FedBizOpps only a few days ago.

There is a notional Polar Icebreaker Acquisition Schedule that anticipates contract award between Q4 FY 2018 and Q4 FY2019.

Some of the provisions/characteristics I found interesting were:

  • Sustained Speed, 15 knots.
  • Minimum range of 21,500 nautical miles at 12 kts
  • Capable of independently breaking though ice with a thickness ≥ 6 ft (threshold) / ≥ 8 ft (objective) at a continuous speed ≥ 3 kts.
  • Capable of independently breaking through ridged ice with a thickness of 21 ft.
  • Capable of breaking a single-pass channel to a width of at least 83 ft.
  • Three 9 ft x 35 ft buoys including associated buoy mooring equipment.
  • Six twenty foot equivalent units (TEU) with a maximum weight of 20 tons each.
  • Capable of underway replenishment.
  • Weapons limited to four .50 cal. and boarding party weapons.
  • Aviation facilities include hangaring two H-60s with blades folded.
  • Air-search radar.
  • Capacity to tow astern a vessel not exceeding an equivalent displacement to that of the PIB (Polar Icebreaker) (Not an overly ambitious spec,why don’t we just say 20,000 tons or specify bollard pull?–Chuck)

Again we have Bryant’s Maritime Consulting to thank for the link.