Regarding the deployment of WPBs the study noted, “Even though the Coast Guard served a similar mission in Vietnam, there existed no operational plan to provide guidance for OIF planning and preparations.”
If the Coast Guard does not yet have a contingency plan for deployment of patrol vessels there is enough detail to make a fair start on a checklist of things to be done. The experience of the WPBs deployed to the Mediterranean can leave little doubt of the Webber Class’ ability to go almost anywhere, given time to avoid bad weather.
“On May 14, the five cutters (one 378 and four 110s–Chuck) began the return trip; however, this time the smaller cutters followed Dallas across the Atlantic rather than riding on board an MSC vessel. The 5,000-mile voyage set a record as the longest transit ever completed by a 110-foot cutter. The PATFORMED fleet had performed its escort and MIO mission admirably. Moreover, the WPBs in the Mediterranean and the Arabian Gulf had set records for hours of operation with some of them deploying for over thirty days of operation.”
For the future, there might be some advantage in organizing at least a few of the Webber class in deployable divisions (3 units) and squadrons (six units) as discussed earlier, with or without augmentation since there will be several location with three or more WPCs.
The Coast Guard Compass has announced the issuance of an ALCOAST that provides initial information on the results of a “Stem to Stern” review of Deployable Specialized Forces and includes a link that provides the ALCOAST in pdf format. If you would rather not download the pdf, Ryan Erickson has provided the entire text of the ALCOAST at 1790.us.
Below are specific actions the Commandant listed to be taken:
A. I WILL SOON PROMULGATE THE DSF OPERATING CONCEPT AND SNMR
CONOP. ONCE RELEASED, THE DSF OPERATING CONCEPT WILL DESCRIBE HOW
DSF ARE ORGANIZED AND EMPLOYED IN SYNCHRONIZATION WITH OTHER FORCES
TO ACCOMPLISH OUR MISSIONS, IN ALIGNMENT WITH THE QHSR. THE SNMR
CONOP WILL DESCRIBE HOW DSF WILL BE EMPLOYED IN SYNCHRONIZATION
WITH OTHER FORCES TO MEET SHORT-NOTICE MARITIME THREATS TO THE U.S.
B. I AM ENGAGED WITH AND BRIEFING DHS LEADERSHIP AND THE
CONGRESSIONAL OVERSIGHT COMMITTEES ON THE INTEGRATION OF DSF INTO
THE MARITIME TRIDENT OF FORCES UNDER THE OPERATIONAL AND
ADMINISTRATIVE CONTROL OF THE AREA COMMANDERS. THIS PLAN WILL
ENSURE THAT EFFECTIVENESS OF FRONT LINE OPERATIONS IS FULLY
SUSTAINED. THIS IS NOT A RETURN TO THE PAST, BUT A RECOGNITION
THAT UNITY OF COMMAND DEMANDS THAT THE AREA COMMANDERS, AS SENIOR
OPERATIONAL COMMANDERS, BE RESPONSIBLE AND ACCOUNTABLE FOR LEADING,
MANAGING AND EMPLOYING OPERATIONAL FORCES. THIS FOLLOWS A
FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLE OF SERVICE DOCTRINE.
C. DCO SHALL PROMULGATE AND MANAGE POLICY, REQUIREMENTS AND
CAPABILITY DEVELOPMENT FOR DSF, CONSISTENT WITH HOW THOSE FUNCTIONS
ARE MANAGED FOR ALL CG FORCES.
D. DCMS SHALL BE RESPONSIBLE FOR CAPABILITY ACQUISITION AND
PRODUCT LINE MANAGEMENT FOR SUSTAINMENT SUPPORT THROUGH THE DCMS
ENTERPRISE, CONSISTENT WITH HOW THOSE FUNCTIONS ARE MANAGED FOR ALL
CG FORCES. FORCECOM AND SUBORDINATE UNITS, INCLUDING JMTC, SHALL
BE RESPONSIBLE FOR DSF STANDARDIZATION, TTP/DOCTRINE DEVELOPMENT,
TRAINING AND EVALUATION. JMTC WILL BECOME A CENTER OF EXCELLENCE
(COE) FOR DSF TO DEVELOP, ACHIEVE AND SUSTAIN STANDARDIZATION,
TRAINING AND PROFICIENCY OF DSF. THIS WILL INCLUDE CREATION OF A
NEEDED HIGH-RISK TRAINING PROGRAM AND TRANSITION PRIMARILY TO COAST
E. THE COAST GUARD WILL ESTABLISH A SECOND ENHANCED TEAM
(MSRT) ON THE WEST COAST, DRAWN FROM EXISTING DSF RESOURCES. THE
ENHANCED TEAMS WILL CONSIST OF COAST GUARDSMEN WHO HAVE ACHIEVED
THE HIGHEST LEVELS OF PROFICIENCY AND EXPERIENCE FROM PRIOR
ASSIGNMENTS TO OTHER DSF UNITS. THE ENHANCED TEAMS SHALL CONDUCT
OPERATIONS TO COMBAT TERRORISM, ENGAGE IN INTERDICTION, LAW
ENFORCEMENT, AND ADVANCED TACTICAL MARITIME SECURITY OPERATIONS TO
ADDRESS KNOWN OR POTENTIALLY ARMED SECURITY THREATS, INCLUDING NONCOMPLIANT
ACTORS AT SEA, AND PARTICIPATE IN HOMELAND SECURITY,
HOMELAND DEFENSE, AND COUNTERTERRORISM EXERCISES IN THE MARITIME
F. MSSTS WILL CONTINUE TO PROVIDE OPERATIONAL COMMANDERS WITH
PROFICIENT WATERSIDE SECURITY SECTIONS TO MEET EMERGENT AND PLANNED
MISSION REQUIREMENTS. SIMILARLY, NATIONAL STRIKE FORCE, TACLETS,
PSUS AND REGIONAL DIVE LOCKERS WILL CONTINUE TO PROVIDE DEPLOYABLE,
SPECIALIZED CAPABILITIES TO ENSURE OUR OPERATIONAL COMMANDERS AND
INTERAGENCY PARTNERS HAVE THE CAPABILITIES NEEDED TO MEET THE
NATIONS MARITIME RESPONSE REQUIREMENTS.
G. DCO SHALL IMMEDIATELY CHARTER AND LEAD A DSF STS
IMPLEMENTATION TEAM (I-TEAM) TO EXECUTE THESE DECISIONS AND WAY
H. PERSONNEL SUPPORT COMMAND (PSC) SHALL ESTABLISH A
SELECTION AND SCREENING PROCESS FOR CERTAIN DSF BILLETS, TO INCLUDE
CENTRALIZED SCREENING BY PSC-OPM FOR ALL DSF COMMANDING OFFICER
POSITIONS. THIS FOLLOWS MY BROADER DIRECTION THAT PSC-OPM PREPARE
AND CONDUCT CENTRALIZED SCREENING OF CANDIDATES FOR ALL COMMANDING
OFFICER POSITIONS THROUGHOUT THE SERVICE, STARTING AFTER AY12.
I. PSC-EPM WILL IMPLEMENT 6 YEAR TOUR LENGTHS FOR ENLISTED
BILLETS AT SELECT DSF UNITS THAT REQUIRE SUSTAINED PROFICIENCY IN
ADVANCED TACTICAL OPERATIONS.
J. THE COAST GUARD WILL IMPLEMENT THE RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE
TACTICAL FLOTATION AND BUOYANCY WORKING GROUP, INCLUDING
STANDARDIZING THE TACTICAL OPERATOR EQUIPMENT KIT (INCLUDING
MAXIMUM WEIGHT) AND ADOPT A STANDARD AUTO-MANUAL SELECTABLE
TACTICAL FLOTATION SURVIVAL SYSTEM FOR DSF UNITS.
From U.S. 4th Fleet Public Affairs, “EASTERN PACIFIC OCEAN (NNS) — During a routine test flight, a MQ-8B Fire Scout Vertical Take-off and Landing Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (VTUAV) supported its first drug interdiction with USS McInerney (FFG 8) and a U.S. Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment (USCG LEDET) Apr. 3.” Read the rest of the story here.
Looks like UAVs are starting to show what they can do. UAVs flying from the Seychelles, in this case Air Force MQ-9s Reapers, are also having some success looking for pirates.
Hope we start seeing some Coast Guard use of these assets soon.