7.62 mm Chain Gun as Coax as optionally installed on 25 mm Mark 38 Mod 3. Image copyrighted by NAVSEA Dahlgren.
Below I have reproduced a story from the MyCG website . As someone who spent a considerable part of my Coast Guard career dealing with the Navy, it is gratifying to see some recognition of the potential and importance of this interface.
Still CG-453 seems to be pretty deeply buried in the Coast Guard HQ organization. Defense Readiness is one of our eleven missions and the interface with the Navy is central to that mission. From 1974 to 78, as a Lieutenant, I worked in the Military Readiness Division, Office of Operations. The division was headed, like this new office, by a Captain, and we also had a Navy Captain liaison officer. We did much the same work being expected of the CG-453, so I’m not sure there has been a lot of progress, but the existence of the National Fleet Board and Permanent Joint Working Group is encouraging.
There is much to do.
This is not just about the Navy giving the Coast Guard a few second rate weapons so that cutters can do law enforcement and look sorta like warships. It should be about the Coast Guard being “Semper Paratus” to make a meaningful contribution to the national defense, if we should find ourselves in an existential fight with a near peer competitor, that will reorder all the national priorities.
Since the breakup of the Soviet Union, the US has enjoyed decades without the need to worry about a near peer competitor, but that has changed. So far, I see little indication the Coast Guard has stepped up to accept a meaningful wartime role in meeting the challenges of a now aggressive and capable Chinese military.
That is not to say we need to become Navy lite, but we have assets that with a little money, thought, and coordination with the Navy, could be useful if mobilization is require. I have suggested one possibility here.
While the Navy has shown little interest in weapons appropriate for small vessels, with the new interest in unmanned vessels, it appears they may be showing interest in weapons that might also equip Coast Guard patrol craft. These might include adaptation of Hellfire/JAGM and the Very Light Weight Torpedo. These systems could allow the Coast Guard to fill its unmet need to be able to forcibly stop vessels regardless of size. That would help a peacetime counter terrorism mission, but we may need the capability in wartime as well.
Textron Systems’ CUSV with Surface Warfare payload including Hellfire/JAGM Vertical Launch System at SAS 2019
If we do get into a conflict with the Chinese, I suspect one of the Coast Guard’s first responsibilities will be to take control of the very large fleets of Chinese controlled fishing and merchant vessels. Forcibly stopping these vessels may be a major problem.
Sep 13, 2021
When the Coast Guard deploys cutters and aircraft alongside Navy battle groups, the two components operate together in support of their mutual homeland security and national defense missions. The new Navy Type Navy Owned Combat Systems Management Division (CG-453) has been established to serve as the principal point of coordination between the Coast Guard and Navy System Commands.
In fiscal year 2021 (FY21), the Coast Guard provided nearly 2,900 cutter patrol days to support Department of Defense priorities including:
- 2,000 major cutter days to Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) for drug interdiction operations.
- National Security Cutter deployments to support Indonesia Pacific Operations.
- National Security Cutter escort of two new Fast Response Cutters (FRC) to Navy’s Fifth Fleet.
- Heavy Icebreaker support for Operation Deep Freeze.
- Six Fast Response Cutters in Patrol Forces Southwest Asia to support Central Command (CENTCOM) and Fifth Fleet.
All of these joint missions were possible through shared common systems that provide the Coast Guard with the capability to act as a force multiplier for the Navy fleet.
The Navy will spend $164 million in FY21 on the acquisition and sustainment of surface, aviation, and command, control, communications, computers, combat systems and interoperability (C5I) equipment installed on our cutters, aircraft, and training centers.
Both Navy and Coast Guard platforms use the Navy Systems Commands, which offers interoperability between services and vessels. They are also being used to increase the Navy’s combatant picture. Because of the increased integration of our newest assets, it is vital to communicate across the:
- Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) engineers, builds, buys, and maintains the U.S. Navy’s fleet of ships and its combat systems.
- Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) supports naval aviation aircraft and airborne weapon systems.
- Naval Information Warfare Systems Command (NAVWAR) is the communication center for information technology, sensors, and systems connecting air, surface, subsurface, space and cyberspace that are vital to the mission and to national security.
- Office of the Chief of Naval Operations (OPNAV) is responsible for developing policy, procedures, and requirements and other logistics/warfare centers.
“Collectively, we work together with the Navy to make sure that requirements for the acquisitions program offices are met as well as any requirements for logistics/service centers,” said Capt. Patrick M. Lineberry, Chief of the NTNO Combat Systems Management Division. “On a daily basis, CG-453 works with Navy partners to ensure that the Navy is providing the common equipment that aligns joint resources and supports the acquisition of interoperable systems installed on Coast Guard surface, air, and land-based assets.”
Some of the types of equipment the office oversees are:
- Fire control and multi-mode RADARs
- Military satellite communication equipment
- Electronic warfare systems
- Large and medium caliber gun weapon systems
“The better stewards we can be of this equipment, the more capable we will be as a joint force in the maritime domain,” said Lineberry. “We will not only offset the Coast Guard budget, but also become more efficient for the taxpayer through common training, maintenance, and logistics systems.”
CG-453 also provides training on interoperable electronics and gun weapon systems to cutter technicians show them how to operate Navy guns and electronics that are also on Navy ships.
The new division was developed in partnership with the National Fleet Board and Permanent Joint Working Group.
“It took over 18 months to solidify culmination of efforts across multiple directorates, but the topic was discussed in some circles for several years before finally taking shape, under the direction of the Executive Steering Committee, led by Rear Adm. Douglas M. Schofield,” said Neal Pratt, Deputy of the NTNO Combat Systems Management Division.
Pratt has been working for 10 years to get the NTNO Program office from development to formal office status and is elated to see both the Coast Guard and the Navy realize the true potential of the NTNO Program, and how each service can mutually benefit from common electronics and weapons systems.
“NT/NO systems are evolving from the stand-alone systems, currently installed on legacy platforms, to complex electronics and gun weapon systems that integrate with command and control capabilities that may be owned by the Coast Guard or another Navy System Command,” added Pratt.
The CG-453 division aligns with “Advantage at Sea” a tri-service (Marine Corps, Navy, and Coast Guard) Joint Maritime Strategy.
Early stage efforts of CG-453 will focus on relationships, communications, and documenting Navy requirements and maintaining Navy systems throughout their entire lifecycle.
Please visit CG Portal site for more information.