Remembering, or Perhaps Losing the Memory, of Pearl Harbor

The video above is from last year. 

The Coast Guard Compass has a post in its Long Blue Line Series looking at the Coast Guard’s role in the events around Hawaii on December 7, 1941 and outlining Coast Guard activities leading up to and during World War II. The video above is from last year.

I looked back on previous posts on this topic, but unfortunately as a result of the Coast Guard’s migration of it’s on-line representation to new servers, it seems we have lost access to much of the historical material that was previously available, most notably the Coast Guard history Pearl Harbor index, as a result my previous posts which largely referred to this historical material now connect only to a singularly unhelpful page at Defense Media Activities.

For what it is worth, here are some previous commemorative post marking this day:

Hopefully I will address the Coast Guard’s Social media efforts relatively soon.

12/1/2017: Summary of keynote address at 11th Annual Arctic Shipping Summit–Coast Guard Maritime Commons

The Coast Guard Maritime commons provided this summary of the keynote address at the 11th annual Arctic Shipping Summit.

Director of Marine Transportation Systems Mr. Mike Emerson presented a Keynote Address on Arctic Waterways Management at the 11th Annual Arctic Shipping Summit in London, England on November 30, 2017.

The two day conference brought together experts and stakeholders to discuss some of the issues associated with Arctic operations, such as limited infrastructure and the harsh environment, and how regulations and technical advancements will impact commercial waterways management.

In his remarks, Emerson gave an overview of highlights from the U.S. Chairmanship of the Arctic Council from 2015-2017, and identified some emergent areas that warrant attention during chairmanships of the Scandinavian countries. He also discussed the Arctic Coast Guard Forum, which continues to demonstrate collaborative value, as evidenced by the success of the multi-national ARCTIC GUARDIAN Search and Rescue Exercise that was conducted off the coast of Iceland in September. Looking forward, Emerson said he anticipates increasing interest from countries outside the Arctic Circle to participate more fully in the Arctic Coast Guard Forum, as well as Arctic Council decision-making.

As Arctic ice recedes, a direct sea route from Europe to Asia is opening up along the coast of Russia, and Emerson said he expects the Northwest Passage across North America to follow suit.

“With more navigable waters, we can expect more shipping activities, and greater demands for waterways management,” Emerson said in his remarks. “The U.S. Coast Guard therefore, is engaging peer agencies across both borders in developing joint proposals for ship routes and areas-to-be-avoided in waterways that we share with Russia and Canada. These efforts, and a fresh focus on charting, polar codes, and acquisition of ice-capable assets are immediate priorities for ensuring marine safety and security.”

Emerson concluded his remarks by forecasting the need for government and industry leadership in infrastructure investments to support increased Arctic shipping, along with resource development, fisheries, and tourism. Finally, he emphasized the need to reconcile waterways management with indigenous communities – an area the Coast Guard is actively addressing.

Conference attendees also heard from representatives from the IMO, Canadian Coast Guard, Transport Canada, the Norwegian Ice Service, and many other private shipping and environmental organizations. Other topics covered included Arctic regulations, safe navigation and communications, effective infrastructure, and crew hiring and training.


Another Tug Rams Another Cutter in the Panama Canal

USCGC Thetis damage sustained in a collision in the Panama Canal 2 June 2016

USCGC Thetis was damaged when struck in the stern by a barge pushed by a tug in the Panama Canal on 2 June, 2016. Now there was a similar accident 18 April 2017. USCGC Tampa was struck in stern by a tug owned by the Panama Canal Authority. My first thought was that perhaps tug operators were being paid by the Drug cartels to disable cutters headed for the transit zone, but in fact Tampa had already finished her deployment to the Eastern Pacific.

Tampa was north bound in Miraflores Lake when the tug Cerro Santiago, south bound, having passed Tampa starboard to starboard, made an abrupt 180 and hit Tampa on the stern 29 minutes after midnight.

The tug master claimed he had fallen asleep. The NTSB  investigation found his claim of fatigue credible, working overtime, at the end of a seventh 8 hour workday, in a stressful environment.

Damage was relatively minor in both accidents, $170,018 in the case of Tampa‘s collision, but still there are lessons to be learned.

“Coast Guard Actions Postaccident:

“The Tampa added a written instruction on the vessel’s port entry checklist that requires the watchstander to verify that the AIS is operating in non-encrypted mode. (AIS was still encrypted when the collision occurred.–Chuck) In addition, for future transits of the canal, the Tampa’s aft lookout will be equipped with an air horn and handheld flares, which may be used when necessary to secure the attention of any vessel not operating in accordance with the rules of navigation. The position of shipping officer also was added back to the bridge watch composition. That position, which is charged with managing input from the CIC and the dedicated lookout, was staffed during the southbound transit; however, considering the staffing in the CIC, it was deemed a redundant capability and therefore removed for the northbound transit. As an organization-wide effort, the lessons learned from this accident have been added to the Coast Guard’s briefing program and will be discussed prior to future transits of the canal during briefings conducted on Coast Guard vessels.”

Thanks to Bryant’s Maritime Consulting for bringing this to my attention. 

The 378 (WHEC) Project Group–On Facebook

See the source image

There is a group on Facebook with the stated intention of obtaining a Hamilton Class 378 foot WHEC for use as a museum exhibit to be added to the Coast Guard Museum in New London. I have provided a copy of their “about” statement below. You can find the group here:

We are a large group of Coast Guard Veterans in the process of acquiring a 378′ High Endurance Cutter to convert into a museum. The response from Veterans all over the country has been overwhelming. We are determined to succeed. We are a non-profit corporation with a board of directors. Our CEOs name is Steve Howard and he is presently with a Coast Guard Attorney in negotiations with Comandant Zukunft and MCPOCG Patton for one of four 378s still in service. MCPOCG Patton is also on the board of directors of the National Coast Guard Museum. He informed me that the museum wanted a 378 to display. The 378 is unique. It was the first warship, in both the Coast Guard  or Navy,  equipped with twin jet turbine engines, bow thrusters, variable pitch props, helicopter flight deck, aluminum superstructure and fly by wire helms. It also had stealth tech, forerunner of Littoral. They served with  distinction in Vietnam as well as their roles in search and rescue and law enforcement. At least on of these ships should be preserved and that is our mission. Won’t you please find it in your heart to either volunteer and/or donate. We are getting the paperwork done so that you can deduct your contribution from your taxes. Join us!

Rex Tillerson: Coast Guard has one ‘crummy’ icebreaking ship–Washington Examiner

USCGC Polar Star. USCGC photo.

“I think we have one functioning icebreaker today,” Tillerson said at the Wilson Center. “The Coast Guard’s very proud of it, as crummy as it is.”

I am only posting this because of who said it.

Secretary Tillerson may not well informed about our icebreaker situation, but generally he got it right. This is a bad news, good news story.

Bad news, the Coast Guard was the butt of the joke.

Good news, at least someone in the Administration knows we need more icebreakers.

19 More Names for Webber class WPCs

The graphic above is a bit dated. 26 of the class have been delivered to date. 

ALCOAST 349/17 has announced, and the Navy League has reported, the names selected for 19 more Webber class WPCs. I have provided a copy ALCOAST below.

To make it a bit easier to read, the Navy League’s listing is immediately below. Unlike the previous listings, I have not seen an explanation of what these individuals did. Hopefully their stories will be provided. I do recognize Maurice Jester as the CO of USCGC Icarus when she sank the U-352 These 19 bring the total number of names selected to 54.

■ Master Chief Angela McShan
■ Surfman Pablo Valent
■ Surfman Frederick Hatch
■ Mustang Officer Maurice Jester
■ Electrician Myrtle Hazard
■ Coxswain Harold Miller
■ Coxswain William Sparling
■ Coxswain Daniel Tarr
■ Coxswain Glenn Harris
■ Coxswain Douglas Denman
■ Pharmacist’s Mate Robert Goldman
■ Steward’s Mate Emlen Tunnel
■ Steward’s Mate Warren Deyampert
■ Seaman John Scheuerman
■ Seaman Charles Moulthrop
■ Boatswain’s Mate Clarence Sutphin
■ Boatswain’s Mate Edgar Culbertson
■ Keeper William Chadwick
■ Keeper John Patterson.

R 221121 NOV 17
ALCOAST 349/17
1. In 1830, the Revenue Cutter Service, predecessor to the modern Coast Guard
launched its first standardized multi-ship class of cutters. The Morris-
class, named for the first cutter in the class, Robert Morris, was designed
with a topsail-schooner rig and a length of 78 feet. These cutters carried
six 9-pound cannons and a crew of 24 officers and men.
2. The thirteen Morris-class cutters fought pirates, interdicted smugglers,
enforced federal maritime laws and operated with American naval forces in
time of war. In the years leading up to the American Civil War, Cutter Morris
and her sister ships formed the backbone of the revenue cutter fleet.
3. As with the Morris class, the Coast Guard is building a class of cutters
designed to serve a multi-mission role. The “Sentinel” – Class Fast Response
Cutters (FRC) perform drug and migrant interdiction; ports, waterways and
coastal security; fishery patrols; search and rescue; and national defense.
4. In the next few years, the Coast Guard will deliver 32 additional cutters
bringing our service numbers up to 58 FRCs intended to replace the fleet of
1980s-era 110-foot patrol boats. The FRCs feature advanced command, control,
communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance
equipment; over-the-horizon cutter boat deployment to reach vessels of
interest; and improved habitability and sea-keeping characteristics.
5. Twenty-six FRCs are currently in service, with six stationed in Miami
Beach, Florida; six in Key West, Florida; six in San Juan, Puerto Rico; two
in Ketchikan, Alaska; two in Cape May, New Jersey; two in Pascagoula,
Mississippi; and two in Honolulu, Hawaii.
6. As with their FRC sister cutters, the next flight of 19 FRCs will bear the
names of enlisted leaders, trailblazers and heroes of the Coast Guard and its
predecessor services of the U.S. Revenue Cutter Service, U.S. Lifesaving
Service and U.S. Lighthouse Service. These new cutters will be named for
Master Chief Angela McShan; Surfmen Pablo Valent and Frederick Hatch; Mustang
Officer Maurice Jester; Electrician Myrtle Hazard; Coxswains Harold Miller,
William Sparling, Daniel Tarr, Glenn Harris and Douglas Denman; Pharmacists
Mate Robert Goldman; Stewards Mates Emlen Tunnel and Warren Deyampert; Seamen
John Scheuerman and Charles Moulthrop; Boatswain’s Mates Clarence Sutphin and
Edgar Culbertson; and Keepers William Chadwick and John Patterson. These
enlisted namesakes include recipients of the Navy Cross Medal, Silver Star
Medal, Bronze Star Medal, Gold Lifesaving Medal, Silver Lifesaving Medal,
Navy & Marine Corps Medal and Purple Heart Medal.
7. The Fast Response Cutters are the mainstay of the Coast Guard’s coastal
patrol fleet, providing multi-mission capabilities and interagency
interoperability. For more information, check the Coast Guard Acquisition
Directorate’s FRC web page at:
8. RADM Peter W. Gautier, Director of Governmental and Public Affairs, sends.
9. Internet release authorized.