“Coast Guard to break ground on new air station in Ventura” News Release

Below is a July 26 U.S. Coast Guard 11th District PA Detachment LA/LB news release. Information on Naval Base Ventura County here.

united states coast guard

Coast Guard to break ground on new air station in Ventura

WHO: Vice Adm. Michael McAllister, the Coast Guard Pacific Area commander; Rear Adm. Carola List, the Coast Guard Assistant Commandant for Engineering and Logistics; Armando Gonzalez (representing Congresswoman Brownley); Sam Abutaleb (Whiting Turner Construction); and Capt. Thomas Cooper, the Coast Guard Air Station San Francisco commander; along with other Coast Guard members

WHAT: Senior leaders from the Coast Guard are scheduled to discuss the Coast Guard’s new air station in Ventura

WHEN: Tuesday at 11 a.m.

WHERE: Naval Base Ventura County

SAN PEDRO, Calif. — The Coast Guard is scheduled to break ground for a new facility Tuesday, at naval base Point Mugu for helicopter crews that have been flying out of rented space.

The $53 million Coast Guard Air Station Ventura is scheduled to include a 48,000-square-foot hangar and a 12,200-square-foot administration and berthing facility at Naval Base Ventura County in Point Mugu.

Four MH-65 Dolphin helicopters and 82 personnel are slated to be stationed at the air station when it opens for operations in August 2023. The hangar can also accommodate four MH-60 Jayhawk helicopters should additional capacity be needed in the future.

Previously, the Coast Guard operated Air Station Los Angeles out of the Los Angeles International Airport for more than five decades until it lost its lease in May 2016. The Coast Guard officially closed the air station and shifted aviation operations to a Forward Operating Base (FOB) located at Naval Base Ventura County supported by Coast Guard Air Station San Francisco. The Point Mugu FOB operates out of a leased hangar facility and leased berthing space from the Navy. Currently, 13 permanent service members and approximately 11 rotating crewmembers from San Francisco fly two MH-65 Dolphin helicopters out of Point Mugu.

Coast Guard operations are scheduled to shift from the FOB to the new facilities of Air Station Ventura upon the facility’s completion.

The air station’s area of responsibility covers 350 nautical miles and stretches from Dana Point to Morro Bay, including the Channel Islands. Missions include 24/7 emergency response, search and rescue, drug and migrant interdiction, law enforcement and marine and waterways conservation and protection.

“OMSA deploys Jones Act enforcement vessel”

MarineLog reports that the Offshore Marine Services Association has launched a program to monitor compliance with the Jones Act.

The Offshore Marine Services Association (OMSA) is to use a vessel that it has named the Jones Act Enforcer to gather video and photographic evidence of Jones Act violations. Evidence of violations will be submitted to authorities, made public and shared with the media.

Sounds like the result of a long history of frustration. Otherwise they probably would not be resorting to this sort of action.

Thanks to Hoffman for bringing this to my attention.

Italian Coast Guard Receives Island Class Cutter Sized Self-Righting Cutter –Bairdmaritime

Photo: MarineTraffic.com/Dragec

Baird Maritime reports delivery of an interesting, perhaps unique, patrol vessel. At just over 110 feet long, it combines the size and speed of the Island class with the self righting capability of a 47 foot MLB.

Natale De Grazia is powered by two MTU 16V2000 M96 main diesel engines that each produce 1,790 kW at 2,450 rpm. The engines drive a pair of Kongsberg Kamewa S71-4 steerable waterjets via ZF 5000 gearboxes to deliver a maximum speed in excess of 30 knots, or a range of more than 1,000 nautical miles at a cruising speed of 28 knots. The waterjets have also proven capable of bringing the 33-metre vessel to a complete “crash stop” within just one and a half boat lengths even from a speed of 30 knots.

A 1000 mile range may not sound like much for a vessel of this size, but that is at 28 knots. At a lower speed, range would be much greater. At 16 knots that should translate into a range of about 4,500 nautical miles.

Japan’s New Offshore Patrol Vessel

Screenshot from ATLA Youtube channel ‘TAKUMI, Craftsmen for Defense Equipment’ video.

Japan has started marketing some of its military equipment for export. A recent video featured on Naval News includes information on their planned Offshore Patrol Vessel. The portion of the video about OPV is from time 4:00 to 4:30.

The design emphasizes automation, adaptability, modularity, and sustainability. The crew is only 30 and there is space under the flight deck for containers.

We had an earlier report on this, with a proposal by one of the shipbuilders (link in caption of the illustration below). The illustration above appears more developed. It is similar but not the same. Specifications from the earlier report included a length of 100 meters (328 feet), a 2000 ton displacement and a speed of 25+ knots. As I noted earlier, this design with it 360 degree vision bridge, integrated mast, and two boats launched from stern ramps looks very much like a larger, faster and better armed version of the the French L’Adroit, and her sisters that are being built for the Argentine Navy.

MAST Asia: Mitsui Unveils OPV Design Proposal for JMSDF OPV Requirement – Naval News

“DHS S&T Tests Innovative Autonomous Surface and Underwater Ocean Surveillance Technology” –Seapower

A Triton unmanned underwater vehicle, shown at the University of Southern Mississippi upon completion of its acceptance testing in 2020. UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN MISSISSIPPI

The Navy League’s on-line magazine “Seapower” reports that,

“DHS S&T teamed up with the Coast Guard, University of Southern Mississippi (USM), the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL), the Applied Research Laboratory (ARL) at Penn State, Ocean Aero, Inc., Cherokee Nation Strategic Programs (CNSP), and the Homeland Security Systems Engineering and Development Institute (HSSEDI), to develop, acquire, evaluate, and test specialized, environmentally powered (wind and solar), multi-mission capable, unmanned surface and underwater vessels.”

This looks interesting and the fact that the Department is involved makes it doubly promising.

“3 Charged Over 2018 Duck Boat Sinking on Table Rock Lake” –gCaptain

The Coast Guard oversees the removal of Stretch Duck 7 from Table Rock Lake in Branson, Missouri, July 23, 2018. U.S. Coast Guard Photo

It has taken a while but, gCaptain reports,

“The captain of a World War II-era duck boat and two other employees at “Ride the Ducks Branson” have been hit with criminal charges in relation to the sinking of the Stretch Duck #7 on Missouri’s Table Rock Lake in 2018, resulting in the death of 17 people.

“The Missouri attorney general’s office announced a total of 63 charges against Scott McKee, the boat’s Captain, and Operations Supervisor Charles Baltzell and General Manager Curtis Lanham.

“Coast Guard icebreaker departs for months-long Arctic deployment, circumnavigation of North America” –PACAREA

USCGC Healy (WAGB-20) U.S. Coast Guard photo by Lt. Kellen Browne.

Below is a Pacific Area news release quoted in full. While the press release makes this sound routine, the circumnavigation of North America, which will presumably include transit through the North West Passage, is very different from her normal routine.

It is a bit discouraging to see the statement, “The Polar Security Cutter is still in the design phase…”

united states coast guard 
U.S. Coast Guard Pacific Area News Release July 16, 2021

Coast Guard icebreaker departs for months-long Arctic deployment, circumnavigation of North America

SEATTLE — The Coast Guard Cutter Healy (WAGB 20) departed Seattle on Saturday, July 10, for a months-long Arctic deployment and circumnavigation of North America. 

The crew aboard Healy, a 420’ medium icebreaker, will provide U.S. surface presence in the Arctic, conduct high latitude science and research missions, engage in exercises and professional exchanges with foreign navies and patrols, and conduct other operations as directed throughout the deployment. 

Healy is scheduled to circumnavigate North America via the Northwest Passage and the Panama Canal.  Healy’s deployment supports the Coast Guard’s Arctic Strategy while providing critical training opportunities for Polar sailors and future operations in the Arctic. 

The crew will promote U.S. interests along the U.S. and Russia maritime boundary line. 

“Healy’s deployment provides opportunities to deepen the Coast Guard’s cooperation and commitment with our Arctic allies and partners and to support scientific exploration to increase understanding of the changing Arctic environment and associated impacts,” said Coast Guard Pacific Area Commander Vice Adm. Michael McAllister. 

The Healy deploys annually to the Arctic to support multiple science missions and Operation Arctic Shield, the service’s annual operation to execute U.S. Coast Guard missions, enhance maritime domain awareness, strengthen partnerships, and build preparedness, prevention, and response capabilities across the Arctic domain. 

Commissioned in 1999, Healy is one of two active Polar icebreakers in the Coast Guard’s fleet. The Seattle-based Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star (WAGB 10) is a heavy Polar icebreaker commissioned in 1976. 

The U.S. Coast Guard is recapitalizing its Polar icebreaker fleet to ensure continued access to the polar regions and to protect the country’s economic, commercial, environmental, and national security interests.  The Polar Security Cutter is still in the design phase, and Halter Marine is working toward completing the necessary work to begin construction on this incredibly complex, state-of-the-art icebreaker. The contract delivery date for the first Polar Security Cutter is 2024. 

“Social media posts reveal gruesome marine life slaughter by Chinese fleet” –IndoPacific Defense Forum

Indo-Pacific Defense Forum reports some disturbing news about the practices of at least some Chinese Long Line Fishing Vessels.

“Videos and images recovered from social media posts by non-Chinese crew members on PRC fishing vessels have revealed gruesome, large-scale slaughter of marine mammals in the South Pacific. They depict Chinese boat captains ordering their crews to haul in whales that have been snagged in fishing lines. The whales’ heads are hauled on deck and hydraulic fluid poured into their blowhole to suffocate them. The animals are then shocked with prods or electric power lines shoved in their eyes and mouth. Finally, the whales are decapitated, still alive — by hacksaw.”

“Unmanned Platforms project USSPs is granted EU funding through EDIDP” –European Defense Review

European Defense Review provides a first look at an EU funded Maritime Domain Awareness effort using “Unmaned Semifixed Sea Platforms,” 

“USSPs will develop a highly autonomous, energy efficient unmanned platform prototype, based on miniaturized oil platform technologies and with a wide range of aerial, surface and submarine sensors. It can be deployed in any geographical area, including deep water, and in adverse environmental conditions, so it will be very versatile in operation.”

Naval News reports that Naval Group has been selected as technical coordinator.

U.S., Indonesia building maritime training base in Batam

The IndoPacific Defense Forum reports on the construction of a training facility for the Indonesian Coast Guard, known as Bakamla.

“The training center is a collaborative effort by Bakamla, which was established in 2014, the U.S. Coast Guard; the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs and the U.S. Department of Defense.”

Batam lies just 32 kilometers south of Singapore, across the Straits of Malacca, perhaps the busiest waterway in the world.

Incidentally, Indonesia has a second agency that seems to have overlapping, coast guard style duties.