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2018-2019 EDITION

INTERVIEWS: Commandant Adm. Karl L. Schultz Vice Commandant Adm. Charles W. Ray UPDATE: Offshore Patrol Cutter

Always Ready Rotary Wing 75th Anniversary of Helicopters in the USCG


The Coast Guard Cutter Joseph Tezanos conducts sea trials off the coast of Key West, Florida, on July 19, 2016. The Joseph Tezanos is a fast response cutter commissioned in August 2016.

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CONTENTS 6 INTERVIEW: Adm. Karl L. Schultz Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard By Craig Collins

16 INTERVIEW: Adm. Charles W. Ray Vice Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard By Rhonda Carpenter

26 Always Ready Rotary Wing Coast Guard helicopters evolved from struggling experiments to powerful lifesavers and continue to acquire new capabilities for broader missions. by Frank Colucci

38 Maritime Drug Interdiction: A “Force Multiplier” By Craig Collins 46 Coast Guard and Partners Work Together for Maritime Law Enforcement By Edward Lundquist

50 Short-range Unmanned Aircraft Systems:



Doing Yeoman’s Work In a promising new pilot program, short-range UAS systems are rapidly changing the way Coast Guard units do their work. By Craig Collins

54 Multi-mission National Security Cutter Can Switch Mission Hats Quickly By Edward Lundquist

62 Rapidly Changing Physical Environment Is the “Arctic Security Catalyst” More than just an icebreaker, the polar security cutter is a multi-mission Coast Guard cutter that breaks ice. By Edward Lundquist

66 Fast Response Cutters Require a New Mindset The Sentinel class is a solid ride. By Edward Lundquist

70 New Cutters Represent a New Normal The offshore patrol cutter will replace aging medium-endurance cutters. By Edward Lundquist

74 The Coast Guard RDT&E Program Celebrating 50 years of innovation By J.R. Wilson



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Accelerating the pace of change. Photo courtesy of the U.S. Coast Guard. Use of this photo does not imply or constitute endorsement by the USCG.


CONTENTS 78 The U.S. Coast Guard Motion Picture & Television Office Producing pictures worth thousands of words By J.R. Wilson

82 North Atlantic Coast Guard Forum Partners on the leading edge of their mission areas By Edward Lundquist

84 Lt. Jay Perdue Sector Miami Prevention Department Blimp Pilot, Goodyear By Anastasia Devlin, Reservist magazine

86 The Cutters, Boats, and Aircraft of the U.S. Coast Guard 119 Snapshot 120 Flag Leadership

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ADM. KARL L. SCHULTZ Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard BY CRAIG COLLINS

Adm. Karl L. Schultz assumed the duties as the 26th commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard on June 1, 2018. He previously served from August 2016 to May 2018 as commander, Atlantic Area, where he was the operational commander for all Coast Guard missions spanning five Coast Guard districts and 40 states. He concurrently served as director, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Joint Task Force-East, responsible for achieving the objectives of the DHS Southern Border and Approaches Campaign Plan throughout the Caribbean Sea and Eastern Pacific Region, including Central America. Prior flag assignments include director of operations (J3), U.S. Southern Command in Doral, Florida; commander, 11th Coast Guard District in Alameda, California; and director of governmental and public affairs at Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington, D.C. Previous operational assignments include sector commander in Miami, Florida, as well as command tours aboard cutters Venturous, Acacia, and Farallon. His senior staff assignments include chief of the Office of Congressional and Governmental Affairs; congressional liaison to the U.S. House of Representatives; liaison officer to the U.S. Department of State, Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs; assignment officer at the Coast Guard Personnel Command; and command duty officer in the 7th Coast Guard District Operations Center in Miami. A native of Connecticut, Schultz graduated from the Coast Guard Academy in 1983, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering. In 1992, he was awarded a master’s in public administration from the University of Connecticut, and in 2006, completed a oneyear National Security Fellowship at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. He and his wife, Dawn, have five children: Kelsey, Lindsey, Annaliese, Eric, and Zachary.

COAST GUARD OUTLOOK: In an appearance at the Center for Strategic and International Studies this summer, shortly after taking command, you said the demand for Coast Guard services had never been greater. Which services did you have in mind when you said this – and what events or trends do you think are driving this demand? ADM. KARL L. SCHULTZ: Some of those events you can control, and some you can’t. For example, before


Coast Guard OUTLOOK

Hurricane Matthew in 2016, we’d had about a decade without any major weather phenomena. Matthew was actually a bit of a tune-up for the Coast Guard. We had a lot of mid-grade folks who hadn’t done a whole lot of disaster response or hurricane response operations. On the heels of that, starting in August of 2017, we had one of the busiest, most challenging Atlantic Basin hurricane seasons in a long time, probably in my 35 years as a coastie. And then this


His personal awards include the Coast Guard Distinguished Service Medal, Defense Superior Service Medal, four Legions of Merit, four Meritorious Service Medals, three Coast Guard Commendation medals, two Coast Guard Achievement Medals, and various other personal and unit awards.

Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard Adm. Karl L. Schultz.

year, we’ve had some pretty challenging large storms with Florence and Michael, two very different types of storms. So we’ve experienced sort of crescendoing requirements for capabilities and capacity in response to these kinds of natural disasters. There’s also a challenge ongoing in – I think my predecessor said it’s not a war on drugs, but really a campaign. It’s going to outlast my career and even my life. The Colombian government and the FARC [Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia] cut some deals to stop aerial eradication back in 2015, so there’s more coca being cultivated in Colombia right now than ever. So we’re in the thick of that fight. We’re pushing more Coast Guard capacity downrange, mostly in the Eastern Pacific, to thwart that. But there’s a large capacity conversation to be had here. High-demand and low-density assets are creating a little bit of risk for us in some locations, for fisheries enforcement and other missions, to support that counterdrug fight. At the same time, the Arctic is upon us now as an operational area. And presence equals influence in

the Arctic. We’re up there currently with the Coast Guard Cutter Healy, our medium icebreaker, supporting science work for a few different customers – the National Science Foundation, Office of Naval Research, and NOAA [the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration]. But outside of the Healy up there, the one heavy breaker we have in our inventory, the Polar Star, does its annual sojourn down to break out McMurdo Station [in Antarctica] and then she pretty much comes back and we patch her up to do that again next year. So we really have a limited amount of capacity to push into the Arctic, where there are expanding mission sets and expeditionary cruises. You’ve got gold mining going on out of Kotzebue, an evolving demand for Coast Guard services there. And it’s truly a competitive space. Our secretary of defense talks about cooperating where you can, and competing where you must – and competing vigorously where you must. I would say for the Coast Guard, and for the nation, the Arctic is a competitive space. China has been up there every year since 2016 with their research vessel, the Xue Long 1. For almost a decade, they’ve been up there persistently establishing their claims, where there’s about 13 or 14 percent of the world’s untapped petroleum, about a third of the untapped natural gas. There’s about a trillion dollars of minerals. So there are a lot of different places consuming Coast Guard capacity here. On the global front, we’re supporting the combatant commanders – the COCOMs – at a pace we never have before. On any given day, the Coast Guard is contributing to the work of five of the six – sometimes all six – COCOMs. Fifteen, 17 years ago, these operations were funded through about $340 million in non-discretionary Department of Defense [DOD] funding that went to what we call the 050 account: Coast Guard operations in support of DOD. That’s closer to about a billion dollars today, probably about $850 million to $900 million. So we’re pushing more Coast Guard capacity to support the COCOMs across the globe. So when you roll that all up, to me that’s an unprecedented demand signal for Coast Guard services: supporting our own department and the combatant commanders in the Department of Defense. We’re really protecting the United States’ global influence here, because the maritime domain is so important to the prosperity of the nation.

You mentioned a “crescendo” in the demand for operational capacity during the past two hurricane seasons. Has the Coast Guard had to adjust the way it responds to destructive storms of this size? I think a lot has changed. I was the Atlantic Area commander when Hurricane Harvey kicked off the

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Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Karl L. Schultz meets with Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer and Alaska Republican Sen. Dan Sullivan in Nome and Port Clarence, Alaska, to discuss the construction of deep-draft ports in western Alaska, Aug. 13, 2018. This would allow the Coast Guard and Navy to have a strong presence in the U.S. Arctic.


Coast Guard OUTLOOK

we ever did to make sure we don’t come up short, in terms of resources and the ability to respond – that bias for action. I’d rather overshoot with too much capacity on scene, and walk it back, than come late to the need.

You also mentioned that pushing assets down into the Eastern Pacific for counterdrug operations creates some risk, by subtracting from capacity elsewhere. How do you hope to continue to surge capacity into drug and migrant interdictions while managing that risk? When you talk about border security, what unfolds at our Southwest border is sort of a home game and an away game. The Coast Guard’s major contribution to border security is the away game. It’s pushing the maritime border 1,500 miles from American shores, interdicting those illicit narcotics that come out of the transit zone countries and make their way by ocean to Central America. We have the ability to break the chain of corruption and violence that lies behind that, and keep those drugs from landing in [Central America], where it’s disaggregated into smaller loads bound for the United States. But we’re also doing all of that a little differently. We’re in the second phase of a multilateral effort with Colombia and Mexico and about 11 or 12 of the Central American countries, where the Colombians and Mexicans are taking some leadership. The Colombians are adding additional capacity, with their


2017 season. We were watching it closely, and it looked like it was disaggregating off the coast of Mexico. But it picked up some force and it turned into two sort of separate events: a fast-moving, high-impact wind event with a lot of devastation, where it made landfall near Roberts, Texas, and a sustained, devastating flooding event around the cities of Houston and Beaumont, with 52 inches of rain – the equivalent of the area’s annual rainfall – in about 36 to 48 hours. The forecasting was very good on that storm, and we were told this thing might become a slow-moving water event when it got a little bit inland. And that’s exactly what it was. So we anticipated the need for urban SAR [search and rescue]. And when you start to look at how we’re postured with forces, we’ve got three Dolphin helicopters in New Orleans and three in Houston. We needed more lift. So, we brought in bodies from as far away as Alaska and Hawaii, and brought helicopters from our seasonal air facilities in the Great Lakes and from as far away as Cape Cod. We went down to one helicopter there to make one helicopter for the Harvey response, and took some risk there, anticipating a large surge of forces – and that’s exactly what it shook out to be. We were well positioned, and I think Harvey changed our thinking. But because the weather forecasting is so good in the modern era, we took the event seriously and planned ahead. And I think it translated to a pretty successful response, rescuing over 11,000 people. I think we’re leaning in more than

Students from the California State University Maritime Academy tour the dry dock floor below the Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star while the cutter undergoes critical maintenance and repair at a dry dock facility in Vallejo, California, Oct. 3, 2018. The Seattle-based Polar Star is the Coast Guard’s only remaining operational heavy icebreaker.

marines, to have some impact in what we call the “fluvial region,” the rivers down there. If you can stymie the drugs from getting out off the coast, that’s another way to squeeze the balloon for effect, and take some pressure off at-sea interdiction. So, we’re going to continue to work multilaterally, in the international front, while we focus on our organic Coast Guard capabilities.

Let’s talk about some of those organic capabilities. The Coast Guard’s fleet recapitalization strategy calls for the construction of a heavy icebreaker – but that account was raided in a recent House committee markup in order to transfer funding to construction of a border wall. Where do things stand now with the heavy icebreaker? We are guardedly optimistic. We’re under a continuing resolution, like most of the other parts of the federal government, until Dec. 7. But the president asked in the 2019 budget for a $750 million line item for the heavy icebreaker, which we’re now referencing as the “polar security cutter.” The Senate, in their markup, included that, but the House went in a little different direction, trying to give the president more money toward the wall. There’s a lot of discussion going on ... and I’m guardedly optimistic about buying the Coast Guard its first heavy icebreaker in more than four-and-a-half decades.


Why do you think it’s important to call it a polar security cutter? Do you envision it as something different from the Polar Star? Right now, what’s different is simply the nomenclature. The Coast Guard resides in the Department of Homeland Security. And the term polar security cutter resonates better within our own department, because we’re projecting U.S. sovereign influence. I mentioned that presence equals influence in

the Arctic, and when you’re not there and others are there, you open yourself up to the “constructive presence” argument that countries like China – which recently declared itself a “near-Arctic state” – make. China’s investing in the Arctic. They’ve just built their second research vessel, the Xuelong 2, and they’ve got designs to build a heavy icebreaker. So, it’s a place where we absolutely need to be. The mission has evolved so that you need to break ice to get to the mission, and just being there and accessing the Arctic is a projection of national sovereignty. It’s a national security mission, and we felt the name of the vessel ought to reflect that.

The Coast Guard recently issued a couple of Requests for Information (RFIs) to shipbuilders to investigate the design of what it’s calling the waterways commerce cutter, which will replace a

“There’s a lot of discussion going on ... and I’m guardedly optimistic about buying the Coast Guard its first heavy icebreaker in more than four-and-a-half decades.” 2018 -2019 Edition


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The CGC Escanaba departs Boston Harbor July 12, 2018, heading for Grand Haven, Michigan, for Coast Guard Day. Escanaba is a 270-foot Coast Guard medium-endurance cutter homeported in Boston, Massachusetts. The 270-foot cutter fleet will be replaced by the offshore patrol cutter.


fleet of inland river vessels that vary widely in age, size, and purpose. Is the waterways commerce cutter going to be one multipurpose vessel, or will it appear in maybe a few different configurations? Those are the exact questions we’re asking. There have been a couple of RFIs to begin discussions of what kind of vessel you would use to replace these Coast Guard vessels. The Army Corps [of Engineers] has a vessel operating in the vicinity of St. Louis that they built a couple of years back, and we’re looking at how that prototype proof-ofconcept vessel might align with our needs. I think the waterways commerce cutter needs to be fairly modest in its requirements. We do have a hodgepodge of an inland fleet. We have 160-foot construction tenders. We have 100-foot river tenders. We have 75-foot tugs that push bigger barges ... I think we are looking for a standard configuration, a basic baseline hull form. Maybe there’s a barge component that gets added on for use in some locations. That’s the subset these various RFIs are shaping right now. There is high interest from the Congress on this waterways commerce cutter initiative. We’ve got a $25 million above-asked level of funding in the 2018

omnibus, and I think that sends a pretty clear signal that folks are interested in replacing these. I think the Smilax now [a 100-foot construction tender, commissioned in November 1944] is almost 74 years old. The average age of the inland fleet is more than a halfcentury old. So, it’s about time to start replacing these vessels and do right by our men and women doing the missions. But we’ve got to work those details out, exactly what baseline platform is going to best serve our interests and how we work around that to meet some of the various requirements.

Are you happy with the rate of production for the offshore patrol cutter (OPC)? Some of the 210- and 270-foot medium-endurance cutters they’re replacing are 60 years old or so. If you’re acquiring a fleet of 25 at a rate of one and then two a year, is it going to be less cost-effective in terms of maintaining and retrofitting those older cutters? That’s a fair question. We just awarded the contract for the first offshore patrol cutter, and a long lead-time on the second; I think it was Sept. 28. The OPC is really the mainstay of our deep-water fleet. We

2018 -2019 Edition



U.S. Marine Corps Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard Adm. Karl L. Schultz meet before Dunford’s segment of the Military Reporters and Editors Conference in Arlington, Virginia, Oct. 26, 2018. The conference was attended by members of the Washington, D.C., defense press corps, and journalism students.

have funding through 11 national security cutters ... and 58 fast response cutters, FRCs – and actually a bit beyond that, now that Congress has provided funding to recapitalize those patrol boats operated by our Patrol Forces Southwest Asia. The OPC is envisioned as a fleet of 25, and we hope to splash the first one in 2021, and have it operational within a year or year-and-a-half. In terms of pace, once we get past the initial production of the first couple of hulls, we’re hoping to do two ships a year. When you put the cost of an OPC into the Coast Guard capital account, that’s about what we have the ability to manage as we’re building – hopefully – a polar security cutter and finishing up the fast response cutters. We’ve got to make some investment in rotaryand fixed-wing aviation down the road. So, we’ll look at possibly a service life extension [SLEP] on some of the 270s [Famous-class mediumendurance cutters] – it won’t be the entire fleet of 13 270s, but we’ll do a SLEP on some of those. The 210s [Reliance-class medium-endurance cutters] are 50-plus years old now, but we’re managing to keep them running. The mission support side of the Coast Guard is averaging about 92 percent availability on our major cutter fleet, and that is pretty remarkable

on half-century-old ships. I’m confident we’ll be able to bridge that gap. Is it ideal? Maybe not. But it’s probably where we are going to be. This is the first year of your tenure, and your “Commandant’s Strategic Plan” is going to be coming out this month. Do you want to provide a preview of your top priorities? I think the No. 1 priority for my tenure here will be service readiness. And there are many aspects of that. There’s a people aspect: We’re less than 42,000 activeduty end strength. We’re at about 6,200 reservists. An immediate need is to grow that Reserve force up to our authorized 7,000. We’ve got to lean in on that. I’ve talked about a Coast Guard that is more representative of the society we serve, so we need to focus on diversity and inclusion. We need to be drawing the best from America’s pool of talent. It’s a competitive field out there for recruiting. Unemployment is 3.7 percent. We just entered a new era called the blended retirement system, and we’ve had probably the highest rates of any of the services in both officer and enlisted retention ... but if we’re not investing in people seeing the Coast Guard as a career where we create opportunities for them to develop personally and professionally,

“I’ve talked about a Coast Guard that is more representative of the society we serve, so we need to focus on diversity and inclusion. We need to be drawing the best from America’s pool of talent.” 2018 -2019 Edition



A U.S. Coast Guardsman aboard an interceptor boat launched from the CGC Steadfast pursues a suspected drug-smuggling vessel as alleged bales of cocaine are thrown overboard during a high-speed chase in the Eastern Pacific, July 11, 2018. The suspected smugglers were able to evade capture, but the interdiction resulted in the seizure of more than 5,000 kilograms of cocaine.

and where we take care of them and their families, they’ll vote with their feet and pursue other options. And if they’re good investors and they came in under the blended retirement model, they’ll take some money with them. I’m not saying everybody needs to stay in and be a 20-plus-year coastie, but I’d like that to be a tough choice. I want to be an employer of choice with people who want to serve their nation and stay associated with the Coast Guard brand. We’ve got to keep pilots in, too. There is a huge sucking sound in the civilian aviation sector. For the next 10 years, that’s going to draw 20,000 pilots in, and the military is losing pilots. And we’re not exempt from that in the Coast Guard, particularly our fixedwing pilots. We need to continue the momentum on recapitalizing with steady, predictable, stable funding. If we can be at about $2 billion a year, I think we can continue to really march down the field and make good headway. At the end of the day, the acquisition part of the budget has been funded fairly steadily and solidly. My biggest concern, in terms of readiness, is the operation side of our budget. We’re seven years into this Budget Control Act. After 2011, when it

was enacted, we lost 10 percent of our purchasing power in the operating side of the budget. We’ve been flatlined, even a bit decremental. When the president came into office, he signed a national security memo that talked about restoring readiness for the armed forces. DOD achieved about a 12 percent bump in their O&S [operations and support] over 2017 and 2018. We were outside of that, being the armed force that is in DHS – in the nondefense, discretionary part of the budget. We had about a 4 percent uptick in our O&S funding in 2017 and 2018, and the 2019 budget estimate submitted by the president is about 1.8 percent, which really is short of where we need to be. To me, success looks like 5 percent steady growth on the operations and support side of the budget. If we can get there, I can deliver to Secretary [Kirstjen] Nielsen, our Homeland Security secretary. I can deliver to the combatant commanders. I can help the administration, writ large, put Coast Guard goodness out there as a check against other global maritime influences. So, there are plenty of challenges out there, but really my No. 1 priority is readiness.

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ADM. CHARLES W. RAY Vice Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard BY RHONDA CARPENTER

Adm. Charles W. Ray assumed the duties as the 31st vice commandant on May 24, 2018. As the vice service chief and chief operating officer, Ray executes the commandant’s strategic Intent, manages internal organizational governance, and serves as the component acquisition executive. Prior to this appointment, Ray served as the deputy commandant for operations, responsible for establishing and providing operational strategy, policy, guidance and resources to meet national priorities for Coast Guard missions, programs, and services. His previous flag officer assignments include Pacific Area commander, Pacific Area deputy commander, the 14th Coast Guard District commander, service with U.S. forces Iraq as director of the Iraq Training and Advisory Mission for the Ministry of Interior, and the military adviser to the secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. A native of Newport, Arkansas, he graduated from the Coast Guard Academy in 1981. After an assignment as a deck watch officer aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Acushnet, he was selected for naval flight training and earned his wings in 1984. He served at six Coast Guard air stations from Alaska to the Caribbean, accumulating more than 5,000 hours of helicopter flight time. Ray was designated an aeronautical engineer in 1988 and served as engineering officer at three stations and at the Aviation Logistics Center as the program manager for the development of the Coast Guard’s Aviation Logistics Management System. He commanded Coast Guard Air Station Borinquen, Puerto Rico, from 2002 through 2005. Ray is the longest-serving active-duty Coast Guard aviator, which has earned him the distinction of being Coast Guard’s 25th Ancient Albatross. His staff assignments include a tour as chief of the Office of Performance Management at Coast Guard Headquarters followed by a tour as the chief of staff of the 14th Coast Guard District. Ray earned a Master of Science in industrial administration from Purdue University and a Master of Science in national resource strategy from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces (now known as the Dwight D. Eisenhower School for National Security and Resource Strategy) in Washington, D.C. Ray’s personal awards include the Coast Guard Distinguished Service Medal, five Legion of Merit Medals, one Bronze Star Medal, two Meritorious Service Medals, one Coast Guard Air Medal, three Coast Guard Commendation Medals, and the Coast Guard Achievement Medal.


Coast Guard OUTLOOK


Left: Vice Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard Adm. Charles W. Ray. Above: Adm. Charles W. Ray signs the U.S. Coast Guard’s next HC-130J Super Hercules aircraft during a tour of the Lockheed Martin facility in Marietta, Georgia, Oct. 23, 2018. The facility is also home to the Hercules Training Center and other military aircraft.

COAST GUARD OUTLOOK: You’ve been on the job for about six months. Have you identified an area on which you’re focusing first? If so, what is it?


ADM. CHARLES W. RAY: Yes, to answer your question, I’m in the execution phase. The commandant and I have kind of worked through our roles and missions for each other and with each other. And I’m kind of the guy that keeps the railroads running on time. We’ve got great assistant commandants and deputy commandants and a lot of work in progress right now. My primary mission as I see is just to enable that, do the things that those folks need, whether it is engaging with our department or engaging with anybody else, so that our guys can do their work to deliver the capability that the Coast Guard needs. This year marks the 75th anniversary of U.S. Coast Guard rotary-wing aviation. What are your thoughts on this? Could you tell us about the significance of the service’s contribution to helicopter flight? If you think about it, just 75 years ago was kind of the beginning of lifesaving missions of helicopters. And now we have missions certainly around the world. Every developed country around the world uses helicopters for search and rescue. They are a key – as you know from your Army career – attribute of what we need to support both to do warfighting and

to support those that are doing warfighting. In other words, they’re just such a tremendous lifesaver. To think that the Coast Guard was on the ground floor of helicopter aviation 75 years ago – and we literally were. We had people who were pioneers with Sikorsky – Cmdr. Frank Erickson and people like him. Oliver Berry, who was one of the first … machinist’s mate mechanics for helicopters, was a coastie. And the things that they developed about 75 years ago – there are literally millions of people alive today that wouldn’t be were it not for that. As a helicopter pilot, you have the distinction of being the service’s 25th Ancient Albatross. Could you tell our readers what the moniker represents, and what does it mean to you to be an Ancient Albatross? Well, first it means I’m old, Rhonda. That’s one thing it means. At any rate, I don’t think it’s any particular reflection on me. It’s just the good fortune I have to continue to get to serve for several years now. I think there is a connection there. When I travel around to visit operational Coast Guard women and men, being the Ancient Albatross just by definition means that I was a front-line operator. So, I think there is a connection with young coasties there that maybe I wouldn’t have as strong were I not that. And then secondly, I think it gives me a unique perspective on where we have been and perhaps where we need to be moving forward with regard to aviation capability. Of the airframes you’ve flown, do you have a favorite? If so, would you share that with us? Well, I loved them all when I flew them. And I’d pick

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Then-Vice Adm. Charles W. Ray wears traditional flight gear as part of the change-of-watch ceremony. Ray relieved Rear Adm. John Korn as the service’s 25th Ancient Albatross at a ceremony held at Air Station New Orleans, Louisiana.

any one of them now over, believe it or not, going to a lot of meetings. At the time, I liked every one of them. But I’ll tell you the one that I think I liked most in hindsight, and looking forward, the Coast Guard H-60 program is so important to our service. And it was just a success from the very beginning. We were able to learn from the Department of Defense’s lessons. And some of our best acquisitions have come when we’ve done that, you know, learn what they’ve learned. We do best when we are kind of recipients that pay attention to other people. So, we piggybacked on our Department of Defense contract originally, which made the program a success in the beginning. And the good thing about H-60 is, as we move forward, there will be H-60s flying in this country and in this world for many years to come. So, it’s a very sustainable platform. And then operationally, it is just really a super aircraft. I’ve flown it in a lot of bad weather. I had the good fortune of being in a lot of good missions with it. It’s just an extremely capable helicopter that is perfectly suited for Coast Guard missions. And as we get our new cutters fielded – national security cutters, offshore patrol cutters – they are all H-60 capable [to operate the aircraft]. So, that will make that shipboard-helicopter team, which I think is the real strength of our service.

The Coast Guard is observing another anniversary this year: the 50th anniversary of the Office of Research, Development, Test and Evaluation (RDT&E). One of its programs under development, with the Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate, is the Polar Scout. Could you briefly explain what it is, and how much of a game-changer will this be for the service? When is the scheduled launch? We’re pretty excited about it. It is the beginning of our foray into the world where we are the ones driving the space capabilities that meet our requirements, which is really interesting. And we’re working of course with DHS Science and Technology, the Air Force and NOAA. So, it’s a team effort. But these CubeSats are specifically designed to support Coast Guard search and rescue missions in regions that were heretofore not accessible, or we didn’t have any eyes or ears in the sky listening. So, it’s a test run for the next year. We’re going to launch [Dec. 3], and we’ve got a pretty well-thought-out plan in order to run these evaluations. But the bottom line is: this is completely capable with our operational plans for the Arctic region. We understand we need to be able to operate up there. And this is another capability that will allow us to have better domain awareness of what is happening in the Arctic region. So, it’s a combination of us cooperating with other [agencies] in space, where we haven’t been the originator, we’ve just been the user of space products, and now we’re kind of the originator, with some good teammates. It’s driven right towards the Coast Guard search and rescue requirements, and it’s driven right towards an area where we know we need to operate. It’s a growing area of operations. What is the status of the C-27J program? Well, it’s better … we’ve fielded them at Air Station Sacramento. Probably the best thing I can tell you that we’ve done in the last two years of that program is

“And the good thing about H-60 is, as we move forward, there will be H-60s flying in this country and in this world for many years to come. So, it’s a very sustainable platform. And then operationally, it is just really a super aircraft.” 2018 -2019 Edition


Over 25 years of partnership with the US Coast Guard. From the retiring Island class of patrol boats to the brand-new Sentinel class, ZF has been a very proud component supplier to the US Coast Guard. As a world leader in marine propulsion technology, we have provided full round-the-clock support – from delivering OEM transmissions to offering complete gearbox repair and overhaul programs. You can depend on ZF for the reliability and durability required, so you can focus on keeping the United States safe and secure.


Adm. Charles Ray speaks during the vice commandant change-of-watch ceremony at Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington, D.C., May 24, 2018. During the event, Ray became the 31st vice commandant of the Coast Guard.

we’ve banded together with other Spartan [operators] – the name of the C-27s is Spartan – so I’ve talked to these people directly, that is the U.S. Army special operations guys, and then the Aussies are operating the C-27s as well. So, we’ve banded together to create this users’ group and thereby we have more purchasing power. We have more power with the original equipment manufacturer with regard to engineering changes that need to be made. It’s really nothing new. But in this case, it’s been very helpful, because we collectively are the largest C-27 operator group in the world. So, we are able to therefore increase the availability of that airframe and the reliability of that airframe. And that’s a great thing. As far as Coast Guard operational capability, right now the big piece that is missing on the C-27 is the sensor package, and that’s still in development. We’re going to follow the similar technology that we’re using in our C-130s [Hercules] and our C-144s [Ocean Sentries], because we believe there is benefit to this common technology. But it’s taken a little time and the C-27 is the third of those three aircraft that we’ll outfit with the sensor package, the Minotaur sensor package. So, what we’re doing in the interim is we’ve got kind of a palletized roll-on version of a sensor package that we’ll be able to use, because that will make those aircraft much more effective for Coast Guard operations. So, getting the aircraft where it was reliable and maintainable was Step A, because we had to get that airplane where it would fly. And

now we’re missionizing it. And the long-term solution to missionization will take a little while. So, we’ve got an interim solution that is ongoing, [and] I think bears promise. Could you list one or two of the things that the Coast Guard does best? Is there an area where the service could improve? I think where we do best is in our agility. As you know, the commandant has made it very clear that one of his highest priorities and one of the things we’re focused on is readiness for the Coast Guard. What we’ve demonstrated the last couple years across a host of mission sets, whether it is responding to national contingencies as a result of hurricanes, or whether it is responding to an influx of illegal smuggling in any part of the ocean south of us, or just think of things that we’ve responded to in the last few years. Our agility is directly related to our readiness, which is directly an area of emphasis that we pride ourselves on. Where we’ve struggled is having the resources to ensure we’re ready. We’ve done pretty well. Our elected officials have done a great job of supplying the Coast Guard with the new assets that we need. But the thing where we haven’t been as successful is demonstrating that we need these operations and [support] funds to maintain our readiness. And that is the day in and day out funds that you buy spare parts with and you train with, and you make sure that your Coast Guard

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personnel are ready to roll, whether it’s medically, or with regard to all the other things. So, this kind of operating funding is where we have not done as well in terms of ensuring that people understand what our requirements are. In a September 2017 Business Insider article, you referred to drug trafficking in the Eastern Pacific and around the Galapagos Islands as a “capacity challenge.” What did you mean, and how is the Coast Guard combating traffickers in such a vast area of ocean? Is it a matter of leveraging assets to stem the flow of smugglers along this corridor? When I was talking about it being a capacity problem, I was directly referring to the fact that because of the new capabilities we have – and because of the teamwork within the federal agencies whose job it is to prevent drug smuggling – we’ve got just

better awareness of where the movements are and where the drug vessels are. So, it’s literally a case of – we know where approximately 80 percent of the smuggling events are happening, and yet we’ve got resources to only get after about 20 percent of that. If I had more resources, I have good intelligence to put them on target to make more of a difference. But we never have perfect intelligence. So, we’re continually refining our processes, working with other nations in the transit zone, working with other government agencies from the United States to just continually get better at that and to target specific routes that the smugglers use. But really, it’s a capacity issue. Just like I said then, it still is now. Now the blessing is that we just took delivery of another national security cutter. So, that program is bearing a lot of fruit when it comes to addressing the smuggling challenges in all the approaches. Right

“Well, the way we are doing our mission in the Arctic region now is we’re using our major cutters in the season, basically between June and October, when the areas just off the north slope are ice free, or [have] less ice, so we can sail up there in a non-ice breaking vessel.” 22

Coast Guard OUTLOOK


Adm. Charles W. Ray, vice commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard, talks with a crewmember aboard a 45-foot response boatmedium from Station New York, Oct. 4, 2018. During the visit, the admiral visited various Coast Guard units and assets in the Sector New York area of responsibility.


Then-Vice Adm. Charles W. Ray delivers the keynote address at the Arctic Encounter Symposium 2016, held at the University of Washington in Seattle, Washington, Jan. 15, 2016. The Arctic Encounter Symposium is the largest annual Arctic policy event in the United States.

now, it’s in the Eastern Pacific. But it could be in any vector. And then we just [awarded] the contract to start construction of the offshore patrol cutters, the first of that class of cutters, about two months ago. So, that is a significant leap forward. But while these ships are being built, we will remain in a capacity-constrained environment. You mentioned the Arctic before. You delivered the keynote address at the Arctic Encounter Symposium 2016 at which you referred to the Arctic region as having a “new ocean up there.” There is increased maritime activity due to ecotourism, oil and gas exploration, and fisheries enforcement, to name a few. How is the Coast Guard able to carry out its statutory missions in

this remote environment? What additional resources are needed to tackle these 21st century problems to protect the nation and its interests? Well, the way we are doing our mission in the Arctic region now is we’re using our major cutters in the season, basically between June and October, when the areas just off the north slope are ice free, or [have] less ice, so we can sail up there in a non-ice breaking vessel. We’re using that for part of the solution. We’re using aviation on a seasonal basis. And then, of course, we have an icebreaker, the Coast Guard Cutter Healy, up there during that period as well. And they are still up there. So, my point is, we use the normal Coast Guard assets right now to learn to operate up there, whether it is on the surface or in aviation or

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“One of the things that keeps me up [at right] is how thinly spread we are, with regard to this ice breaking mission. If we get a ship up in the polar regions or down in the polar regions in Antarctica and they have some sort of a casualty, I don’t have any way to go – there is no backup.” communications, or, as we talked about earlier, the Polar CubeSats. I think the assets that we need – in order to have the year-round presence in the Arctic region and Antarctic as well, although the primary emphasis is on the Arctic – are icebreakers. We need a fleet of icebreakers. I’m talking about six icebreakers, is what we’ve identified through a couple of different studies, and three of them need to be heavy icebreakers. The truth is we need one right now. Our nation hasn’t built a heavy icebreaker in 40 years. So, we need to be moving forward on that. We’ve gotten pretty good support, but we need to continue that. And what that will allow us to do moving forward is to operate in the Arctic and polar regions year-round, in the Arctic year-round. So that is where we need to be because of all the reasons you listed: more human access, more competition, exploration, and competition for petroleum products and other natural resources. Just in general, an ability to exert our sovereignty in the regions that belong to the United States and the ability to operate there when we want to operate. On Aug. 26, the Nationwide Automatic Identification System (NAIS) became fully operational. Could you briefly explain what the NAIS is? How will the NAIS affect the Coast Guard, and how will it affect the maritime industry? So, the NAIS is a network infrastructure that allows us to improve our maritime domain awareness in the approaches to our harbors and all of our waterways. You know the United States is blessed with this really kind of unique geography where we have the major river systems and over 300 ports around the nation. We’re a maritime nation. So, using the NAIS, and with the cooperation of the maritime public and those that approach the United States, we’re able to understand who is approaching the United States through these electronic messages that go back and forth on this network. And it also provides a “blue-force tracker,” where we know where the ships – federal or state assets are – that would be in charge of our approaches. When you put all this together and we enable it by over 200 sites around the country, including Alaska and Puerto Rico and the inland rivers, we’re able to see … who is approaching our country, and what their destination


Coast Guard OUTLOOK

is. We can pull up and identify each vessel and determine their characteristics and where they are going and identify them. And then the other really kind of side benefit that we’ve demonstrated in the last couple of years is that using the same network system, we can actually create electronic aids to navigation, which is super important following a storm when the traditional physical aids to navigation – like down in the Gulf Coast last year – are taken out of commission by the bad weather. We can use electronic AIS to create aids to navigation. Because these ships are all participating in that system, they can use those to mark good water, bad water obstructions, and things like that. With the Coast Guard’s myriad challenges, what keeps you up at night, admiral? Not a lot keeps me up. We’ve got great Coast Guard folks. They are well led at the tactical level, very well led. I think the thing that probably keeps me up, it’s seasonal. One of the things that keeps me up is how thinly spread we are, with regard to this ice breaking mission. If we get a ship up in the polar regions or down in the polar regions in Antarctica and they have some sort of a casualty, I don’t have any way to go – there is no backup. You’ve got Plan A and that’s what you’ve got. So that causes me a little challenge. The only other thing is that what the Coast Guard provides to [the] nation. With just a few more resources, we could improve that so that our readiness is driven to even a higher level, and we could therefore be of even greater assistance in more than one incident. So, if you had an incident on the West Coast, you could go, and on the East Coast, you could go. So, we could provide that capability – that unique thing that we contribute to the United States – in more places at the same time. Where do you see the U.S. Coast Guard in five years? Ten years? Ten years, I’ll pick that. In 10 years, we’re going to have a fleet of cutters – we’ll be in better shape than we’ve been in modern times – I’ll say since World War II. We will have a better capability and capacity. I see us being a more diverse workforce that brings to bear all the talents that America has on the problem sets

Then-Vice Adm. Charles Ray, Coast Guard Pacific Area commander, works alongside Chief Petty Officer Kevin Ball at a cooking competition held at Training Center Petaluma, California, on Nov. 12, 2015. The competition between the Coast Guard Pacific Area commander and the Atlantic Area commander served to raise awareness for the work completed by Coast Guard food service specialists.


we have. And that’s really the strength of the service – the folks who make up our Coast Guard. So, I see us as continuing to improve there. And then I think we will continue to be what we have been for the last 228 years. And that is when America has a crisis that has to do with the maritime approaches or anything in the maritime, America calls on the Coast Guard, and we’re there to answer the bell. For fun and for a good cause, and while you were the Pacific Area commander, you and your team won against the Atlantic Area commander and his team in the third annual cooking competition – your team’s third attempt – in 2015. Could you explain the significance of the competition? What did you and your team prepare? What we prepared? It was some kind of duck dish. What’s significant about it, it’s really important. I’ll tell you it goes back to what I said earlier that the strength of the Coast Guard are the women and men who make up the Coast Guard. All the ships and airplanes are important. But what’s really the strength is our people. And one of the key groups of people that we found over the years is really hard to attract are people who want to be a culinary specialist. And

you’ve got to have it. When you’re out there on the high seas operating for a month or two at a pop, one of your primary sources of morale is the food you eat. So, promoting the Coast Guard folks who do that for a living is super important. We really go to great efforts to go and support these young folks that are learning that trade. That’s what I was doing with this cooking contest. It was actually, like you said, my third time doing it. And I was going against my good friend, who is retired now, Vice Adm. Dean Lee. And we had a head-to-head contest. And luckily, we had a lot of adult supervision by some of the young culinary specialists who were there in school and on staff. So, bottom line, it was by showing an interest in this group of Coast Guardsmen who have chosen to be culinary specialists, we were emphasizing how important they are to our service – as every coastie is. But on that particular day we were emphasizing the importance of those culinary specialists. And that’s why we participated in this kind of goodwill tournament or competition. How was it? I thought it was really good. And thank goodness the judges did too. Yeah, it was good.

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ALWAYS READY ROTARY WING Coast Guard helicopters evolved from struggling experiments to powerful lifesavers and continue to acquire new capabilities for broader missions. BY FRANK COLUCCI

EARLY EXPERIMENTS Coast Guard capabilities have also evolved in parallel with helicopter technology. On April 20, 1942, the chief of the Aviation Engineering Division, Cmdr. William Kossler, and the commanding officer of AirSta Brooklyn, New York, Cmdr. Watson Burton, watched the Vought-Sikorsky VS-300 fly at Bridgeport, Connecticut.


Coast Guard OUTLOOK

A Coast Guard Sikorsky HNS-1 in a hover with a patient in a Stokes litter on the starboard side. It has inflatable pontoons mounted for water landings. The HNS-1 at Coast Guard Air Station Brooklyn was used to develop rescue hoists in 1944.

Controlled helicopter flight with side-by-side rotors was demonstrated in prewar Germany, but Igor Sikorsky’s experimental VS-300 made dominant the more compact single main rotor layout with anti-torque tail rotor. The VS-300 refined helicopter handling qualities and made vertical lift an option for wartime missions. While Burton advocated the helicopter as an air-sea rescue platform and alternative to harbor patrol blimps, Lt. Cmdr. Frank Erickson proposed helicopters flying from Atlantic convoy ships with dipping sonar and radar to counter German submarine attacks, according to the April 2018 Sikorsky Archives News. Kossler served on an interagency board for joint Army-Navy/Coast Guard helicopter buys and noted Sikorsky’s 2,500-pound S-47/R-4 in production for the Army could carry two crewmembers,


When Hurricane Michael smashed the Florida Gulf Coast last October, Coast Guard helicopters pre-positioned from air stations as far away as Detroit and Traverse City, Michigan, helped save 63 lives. When Hurricane Florence flooded the Carolinas in September, MH-60T Jayhawks and MH-65D Dolphins saved 199 storm victims and assisted 100 more. The Coast Guard now has 45 MH-60Ts and 98 MH-65s, and today’s helicopters do a lot more than search and rescue (SAR). Dolphins from the National Capitol Region Air Defense Facility routinely enforce the special flight rules area protecting the White House. Last spring, a Jayhawk from Coast Guard Air Station (AirSta) San Diego, California, placed a new light off Seal Beach, California, one task in helicopter support for maritime navigation aids. In 2017, Dolphins from the Helicopter Interdiction Tactical Squadron (HITRON) homebased at Jacksonville, Florida, scored their 500th drug bust when they intercepted a go-fast smuggling boat in the Eastern Pacific. Later that year, Jayhawks from Coast Guard AirSta Miami airlifted food and water around Puerto Rico to survivors of Hurricane Maria. The Coast Guard has about 600 helicopter pilots who train at their home stations and return to the Aviation Training Center in Mobile, Alabama, for annual standardization. Cmdr. Michael Brimblecom in the Office of Aviation Forces noted, “The Coast Guard has seen a large growth in mission sets to include national defense, air intercept, and airborne use of force, to go along with its more traditional role of search and rescue and law enforcement missions. Our missions have evolved as the nation’s interests and global threats have evolved.”


a depth charge, and four hours of fuel for antisubmarine warfare (ASW). Coast Guard Commandant Vice Adm. Russell Waesche approved the idea, but contracts kept the Coast Guard from taking the early Army helicopters. After meeting with Waesche in February 1943, Chief of Naval Operations Ernest King directed the Navy Bureau of Aeronautics to test helicopters on merchant ships. Waesche meanwhile ordered Kossler to create a training program for helicopter pilots and maintainers and plan for supporting air stations.

Coast Guard HNS-1s conducting hoisting operations in Jamaica Bay, New York. The HNS-1 was the Coast Guard’s first helicopter, with more than 10 procured.

Erickson trained at the Sikorsky plant to become the first Coast Guard helicopter pilot, and he accepted the first Navy HNS-1 (equivalent to the production Army R-4) in October 1943. In November 1943, AirSta Brooklyn at Floyd Bennett Field became the joint-service helicopter training base under Erickson, with three HNS-1s on

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SUPPORTING THOSE WHO SAVE LIVES When hurricanes strike, vessels wreck at sea or a cruise ship passenger needs to get to a hospital fast the U.S. Coast Guard takes the call and responds. Saving lives is what Coast Guard crews do. Airbus salutes the can-do spirit, bravery, and dedication of the Coast Guard. With you, we remain: Always Ready.

Important to you. Essential to us.


Here, an HOS-1 Hoverfly II flies over Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina, Dec. 17, 1947. The service operated 27 HOS-1 helicopters between 1945 and 1949.

hand to train U.S. Army, Navy, and Coast Guard pilots and pilots of the British Helicopter Service Trials Unit. While working at the Connecticut helicopter factory, Sikorsky’s son, Sergei, attained draft age and joined the Coast Guard in 1943. He was assigned to Floyd Bennett Field late that year as a Seaman 2nd Class helicopter mechanic. Sergei Sikorsky recalled, “I remember Cmdr. Erickson, USCG, with respect and admiration. He saw the role that the helicopter would play as the ‘flying lifeboat’ for the Coast Guard. It was Erickson who began developing the helicopter rescue hoist, the rescue basket, now called the Erickson Basket, and much more.” Sikorsky added, “His vision of the helicopter did not sit well with Coast Guard Headquarters, where the focus was on the fixed-wing flying boats. He was the Coast Guard’s Billy Mitchell.” On Jan. 3, 1944, Erickson dramatically demonstrated the value of the helicopter when the destroyer USS Turner blew up in Ambrose Channel off Sandy Hook, New Jersey. The Coast Guard pilot flew an HNS-1 from South Ferry, Manhattan, through rain, sleet, and snow to deliver two cases of blood plasma to a New Jersey shore hospital in just 14 minutes. Surface transport would have taken hours. Open-sea trials by British and American pilots in early 1943 showed flying YR-4Bs from merchant ships was hazardous. In January 1944, Coast Guard helicopter pilot No. 2, Lt. j.g. Stewart Graham, made the first flight from the deck of a merchant ship in convoy in the North Atlantic, but with the early helicopters judged unsuitable for ASW, development focused on rescue.

In early 1944, an Army YR-4B in Burma recovered four airplane crash survivors with four landings in Japanesecontested territory. According to Sergei Sikorsky, “While reading the mission report, Erickson realized that a hoist-equipped helicopter could have lifted the survivors to safety far more quickly, and the concept of the helicopter rescue hoist was born.” Igor Sikorsky himself visited AirSta Brooklyn in August 1944 and rode the rescue hoist a few feet in the air under Erickson’s hovering helicopter. “By October 1944, we were hoisting Stokes litters.”

SAVING LIVES, SCOUTING ICE The end of World War II closed the Brooklyn helicopter schoolhouse. In February 1946, Graham became the project officer for the Naval Research Laboratory helicopter dipping sonar program, but the Coast Guard Rotary Wing Development Project Unit at Elizabeth City, North Carolina, continued rescue work. On Sept. 22-23, 1946, Coast Guard pilots Cmdr. Frank Erickson, Lt. “Stew” Graham, Lt. Gus Kleisch, and Lt. Walt Bolton were airlifted by Army C-54 to Newfoundland with an HNS-1 helicopter to evacuate survivors of an airliner crash 20 miles from Gander. They were joined by a new HOS-1 (the Sikorsky S-49/R-6) from AirSta Brooklyn. The two helicopters flying from makeshift helipads saved 18 injured passengers. The Coast Guard subsequently ordered nine Sikorsky S-51s (HO3S-1Gs) delivered from 1946 to 1950. The 5,500-pound helicopter with a 450-horsepower Pratt and Whitney Wasp Jr. engine could seat a pilot and three passengers. In March 1949, Erickson was the chief helicopter development engineer at Elizabeth City, North Carolina, and flew one of the aircraft for an hour hands off with stabilizing

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Coast Guard OUTLOOK

The HO3S-1G (S-51) was used for rescue helicopter development at Elizabeth City, North Carolina. Between 1946 and 1954, the Coast Guard flew nine Sikorsky HO2/3S-1G helicopters. The Navy version was immortalized in the movie The Bridges at Toko-Ri.

MORE POWERFUL PISTONS Small, light helicopters initially operated by the Coast Guard were limited in performance and payload. When the U.S. Air Force sent prototype Sikorsky S-55s to Korea in March 1951, it launched a series of more capable 10-seat helicopters adopted by all the U.S. armed services – Air Force and Army H-19s, Marine Corps HRS, and Navy and Coast Guard HO4S aircraft. The Coast Guard received the first of seven HO4S-2Gs with 550-horsepower Wright radial engines in November 1951. On Jan. 19, 1952, Lt. Cmdr. Gordon MacLane flew a new HO4S-2 from AirSta Port Angeles, Washington, to rescue five survivors of an Air Force SB-17 SAR aircraft from a 5,000-foot-high crash site on Tyler Peak in Washington state. Starting in January 1952, 23 follow-on HO4S-3G helicopters introduced 700-horsepower engines and night/instrument flight rule capability. Then-Cmdr. Stew Graham flew the first recorded night hoist rescue in the Gulf of Mexico in January 1955. Another eight Marine HRS-3s were transferred to the Coast Guard. Coast Guard rescue still relied on fixed-wing amphibians. However, an HO4S-3G reshaped public helicopter perceptions and Coast Guard aviation


airfoils under the main rotor. Elizabeth City also tested inflatable helicopter floats for emergency water landings. Meanwhile, Coast Guard helicopters continued to respond to real emergencies. In February 1950, Lt. Fletcher Brown flew an HO3S-1G from Elizabeth City to Arkansas to transport doctors and nurses to families cut off by St. Francis River flooding. In addition to the early Sikorsky aircraft, the Coast Guard acquired Bell Model 47 training and utility helicopters for varied missions. The first two-seat HTL-1 taken from the Navy in 1947 surveyed and patrolled New York Harbor. An HTL-4 with floats flew ice reconnaissance from the Coast Guard Cutter Storis off Nome, Alaska. Three HTL-5s received in 1952 likewise scouted passages through arctic ice, and flew personnel and cargo from ship to shore over ice blockages. One was lost in a fatal accident from the icebreaker Northwind in 1954. Two four-place HUL-1Gs were transferred from the Navy in 1959, and flew ice reconnaissance from the Northwind, and later SAR and utility missions from the Storis in the Bering Sea. On April 12 and 13, 1961, Cmdr. Chester Richmond used one of the helicopters to fly a doctor and emergency medical supplies 43 miles over water in total darkness and hazardous weather from St. Paul Island, Alaska, to St. George Island to treat two critically burned people. He returned the doctor and patients to St. Paul Island at first light. Two more floatequipped HTL-7s loaned to the Coast Guard by the Navy in 1962 remained in service until 1968.


plans when a broken levee on the Feather River flooded Yuba City, California, on Dec. 23, 1955. The single helicopter from AirSta San Francisco hoisted 138 flood victims to safety in 29 continuous operating hours. The first 58 rescues were at night, and Lt. Henry Pfeiffer maneuvered his aircraft among trees, power and telephone lines, and TV antennas to hoist people from flooded homes and deliver them to high ground. Lt. Cmdr. George Thometz relieved Pfeiffer at the controls and continued rescues without shutting the aircraft down. On one sortie, he rescued 14 adults and children from a roof while hovering close to a dangerous obstruction. Nationwide media coverage helped make the helicopter the dominant rescue platform of Coast Guard aviation. The Coast Guard HO4S (later designated the HH-19G) was based on the Navy’s first operational ASW helicopter. The Navy’s wish for a longerendurance hunter/killer able to carry sonar and weapons simultaneously led to the 14,000-pound Sikorsky S-58 (Navy HSS-1) with a 1,525-horsepower Wright radial engine and automatic hover capability. The Coast Guard aviation plan of 1957 specified 79 medium-range helicopters capable of rescuing six survivors 300 nautical miles offshore, and the service ordered six S-58/HUS-1G helicopters in 1959. In 1960, Lt. Cmdr. James Sigman flew one from AirSta New Orleans into Hurricane Ethel to search for a lost fishing vessel. Though the HUS-1G (later redesignated HH-34F) was a more capable, more sophisticated aircraft than

Nine of the more powerful, more capable Sikorsky HUS-1G (aka HH-34 Seahorse) helicopters, which introduced hands-off night hover capability, flew for the Coast Guard between 1959 and 1963. While able to carry more load greater distances, helicopters to this point had been dependent upon heavy and sometimes unreliable piston engines for power.

the HO4S-1, two of the big piston engine helicopters crashed into Tampa Bay during a single rescue in September 1960. Another was lost in November 1962 in the Gulf of Mexico. The remaining HH-34Fs were relinquished soon after, and the Coast Guard looked to a new generation of amphibious, turbine-powered helicopters.

TURBINE TRANSITION Despite its substantial size and installed power, the HUS-1G was limited by its heavy reciprocating engine, especially at high ambient temperatures. Turboshaft engines promised more power in a far lighter package with greater reliability. Sikorsky flew twin General Electric T58 turboshafts on an HSS-1F test helicopter in February 1957. Later that same year, the company announced development of the 8,300-pound S-62 with a single T58 de-rated to 730 shaft horse power, HO4S dynamics, 10-passenger cabin, and a boat hull for water landings. The commercial S-62 became the Coast Guard HU2S-1G or HH-52A Seaguard, with hydraulic rescue hoist and fold-out platform for water rescues. The

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The HH-52 Seaguard brought lightweight, reliable turbine power to the Coast Guard helicopter fleet. The Seaguard was credited with more than 15,000 rescues.

HH-52A stability augmentation system also provided a beep-to-a-hover function that brought the helicopter to a stable hover over water at night. The HH-52A first flew in 1958 and passed a Coast Guard-directed test program at the Naval Air Test Center at Patuxent River, Maryland. The first operational delivery was made to AirSta Salem, Massachusetts, in December 1962. The last of 99 HH-52As was delivered in 1969. During their time on alert, HH-52As were credited with more than 15,000 “saves.” On the night of Dec. 21, 1968, Lt. Cmdr. George Garbe flew an HH-52A to rescue five sailors from a fishing vessel grounded and breaking up off Marmot Island, Alaska. Unable to climb higher because of freezing conditions, Garbe proceeded in darkness through heavy

snow showers and fog. He executed a beep-to-a-hover approach, turned off aircraft lights to eliminate reflections from sea spray and snow, and landed in the water about a mile from the vessel. With searchlight back on, Garbe taxied the helicopter toward the vessel until rocks appeared. He lifted again to air-taxi over the ship and held the HH-52A over the stern while staying clear of surrounding terrain and ship’s rigging. He returned five times to rescue the crew. HH-52s served the Coast Guard well from 1963 to 1986, but they were limited to a rescue radius of about 150 nautical miles and on hot days could typically carry only three survivors and crew. The Coast Guard wanted a mediumrange recovery (MRR) helicopter to fly 300 nautical miles, loiter 30 minutes, and return with six survivors plus crew. The twin-turbine, long-body Sikorsky S-61R amphibian in production for the Air Force won the MRR competition. It was the HH-3E Jolly Green Giant combat SAR helicopter of the Air Force in Southeast Asia. Significantly, three Coast Guard aviators flew with Air Force rescue

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Coast Guard OUTLOOK

On March 15, 1991, Lt. Laura Guth and crew flew an HH-3F 600 nautical miles across the Alaska peninsula and open water to rescue eight sailors from the icetrapped Alaskan Monarch in the Bering Sea near St. Paul, Alaska. Before commercial helicopter emergency medical services were widespread, long-range HH-3Fs were called upon for MAST – Military Assistance to Safety and Traffic – missions, flying emergency cases with medical teams to hospitals. The HH-3F supported aids to navigation – carrying work crews and equipment to automated lighthouses, beacons, and buoys. The big helicopter occasionally hauled the 4,200-pound ADAPTS – the Air Deployable Antipollution Transfer System – to pump out tankers grounded. Though the Coast Guard started deploying HH-52As on surface vessels in 1973 for drug interdiction, HH-3F structures were never stressed for shipboard operations. However, in the 1980s, the big HH-3F carried drug enforcement agents for OPBAT – Operations


squadrons in Vietnam. Lt. Jack Rittichier was lost on June 9, 1968, trying to rescue a downed Marine pilot and was awarded the Silver Star posthumously. The Coast Guard HH-3F first flew on Oct. 11, 1967, and 40 “Pelicans” were delivered from December 1968 to June 1972. (In 1990, the Coast Guard bolstered the fleet with a mix of nine Air Force HH-3Es and CH-3Es.) The HH-3F first implementation station was AirSta New Orleans. At around 19,000-pounds normal mission weight, the HH-3F with 4,000-pound normal fuel had 3 to 3.5 hours endurance plus reserves. Maximum gross weight with up to 6,000-pounds of internal auxiliary fuel was 22,050 pounds. On March 1, 1977, Lt. James Stiles rescued four crewmen from a fishing vessel sinking off Cape Sarichef, Alaska. From AirSta Kodiak, his HH-3F flew 475 miles under ceilings as low as 100 feet with half-mile visibility in heavy snow showers, icing, and winds gusting to 70 knots. On scene, Stiles hovered over the vessel while his crew hoisted the four sailors aboard to return in treacherous weather. Less than two years later, Stiles and two of his crew were lost attempting to rescue an injured sailor from a Japanese fishing vessel 200 nautical miles from AirSta Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

The HH-3F Pelican expanded the size, range, and lifting power of Coast Guard amphibious helicopters. More than 40 were operated between 1968 and 1994.

A crewmember maintains tension on a tagline attached to a rescue basket during hoist training with an MH-65 Dolphin aircrew, Oct. 3, 2018. The Coast Guard’s short-range recovery helicopter since 1984 has been the H-65 Dolphin. Nearly 100 have been upgraded through several versions, with the latest upgrade underway to MH-65E standard.

Bahamas Turks and Caicos. Coast Guard crews flying from forward operating locations also inserted, extracted, and supplied enforcement teams in Central America. The Coast Guard gave helicopter crews night vision goggles in the late 1980s and equipped some HH-3Fs with thermal imagers. The size of the HH-3F made it a preferred aircraft for drug interdiction teams, and AirSta Clearwater, Florida, close to the action, was the last air station to retire the helicopters in May 1994.


DOLPHINS AND JAYHAWKS The Coast Guard began the search for a short-range recovery (SRR) helicopter to replace the HH-52A in 1974. Source selection authorities wanted a production twinturbine helicopter with a 150-nautical-mile radius and able to carry three survivors and three crewmembers. The French Aerospatiale SA-365 Dauphin was adapted to Coast Guard requirements with U.S.-made Lycoming LTS101 engines and Rockwell Collins avionics, including a coupled autopilot that could bring the helicopter to a hands-off hover over a pre-set point. The Coast Guard accepted the first of 96 HH-65A (SA-366G) Dolphins on Nov. 14, 1984. On the night of March 14, 1988, Lt. Cmdr. Gary Gamble took an HH-65A from AirSta Savannah, Georgia, in search of a fishing boat in danger of sinking 65 miles east of Georgetown, South Carolina. He arrived to find the vessel tossed in 40-knot winds and 15-foot seas. The helicopter crew lowered a trail line to the stern and first delivered two dewatering pumps. With the boat still sinking, Gamble quickly maneuvered his helicopter to

hoist the crew of five aboard. One sailor missed the rescue basket, and the helicopter pilot took direction from the rescue crewman to scoop the sailor out of the water. With fuel low, the Dolphin quickly recovered the other four sailors and returned to land. The Coast Guard SRR helicopter mission has broadened and the Dolphin has changed since American Eurocopter (now Airbus Helicopters) delivered the HH-65A. The Elizabeth City Aircraft Repair and Supply Center (today’s Aviation Logistics Center or ALC) upgraded the HH-65A to HH-65B standards with new navigators and multifunction displays in 2001. Threats to homeland security gave the helicopter heavy guns and armor for Airborne Use of Force (AUF) missions. The HH-65C delivered in 2004 replaced twin Lycoming/Honeywell turboshafts with Turbomeca Arriel engines for 40 percent more power and upped maximum takeoff weight from 8,900 pounds to 9,480 pounds. The first Coast Guard rescue after Hurricane Katrina ravaged New Orleans in 2005 was made by a Dolphin operating in 60-knot winds. The Coast Guard assumed the Washington, D.C., air defense mission in 2006 and ordered six new HH-65Cs to supplement Dolphin conversions. The Coast Guard leased both the MD Helicopters MD900 and Agusta 109E (MH-90 Enforcer and MH-68 Stingray) for the counterdrug and counterterrorism Helicopter Interdiction Tactical Squadron (HITRON) commissioned in 2000. HITRON ultimately received armed MH-65C Dolphins in 2008 and, today, has 10 MH-65Ds for ship- and shore-based missions. The Coast Guard now has 86 MH-65Ds in service, 10 more in programmed depot maintenance (PDM), and two upgraded to MH-65Es with the Common Avionics Architecture System in the MH-60T Jayhawk. Conversion of the entire fleet to MH-65E standards will begin in fiscal year 2020. The Coast Guard MRR Jayhawk is based on the Sikorsky S-70 Black Hawk and Seahawk helicopters of the U.S. Army and Navy. Coast Guard plans for an MRR helicopter to replace the HH-3F coincided with a Navy requirement for a new strike rescue and special warfare support helicopter based on the subhunting SH-60F. Simultaneous development and production of the Navy HH-60H and Coast Guard MRR promised savings. Coast Guard officials signed the contract Sept. 29, 1986, and the first HH-60J Jayhawk

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with weather radar and other Coast Guard equipment was delivered in March 1990. With external fuel, the 22,000-pound Jayhawk has up to 7 hours endurance. On the night of Oct. 28, 1991, an Elizabeth City HH-60J aircrew commanded by Lt. Paul Lange flew into Hurricane Grace responding to a distress call from the sailing vessel Anne Kristina about 300 nautical miles east of Cape Henry, Virginia. The Jayhawk crew refueled on the aircraft carrier USS America conducting sea trials 100 nautical miles offshore and arrived on the rescue scene to execute an automatic precision approach-to-coupled hover. They located the sinking schooner with night vision goggles, dropped a rescue swimmer into 40-foot seas, and hovered in 60-knot winds and driving rain to hoist nine sailors from the Atlantic. The Jayhawk returned to USS America with 13 people aboard. Sikorsky delivered the last of 42 new HH-60Js to the Coast Guard in 1996. In PDM, Jayhawks acquired night visionics, health and usage monitoring systems, and other improvements. Aging airframes, obsolescent avionics, and the armed AUF mission after 9/11 led the ALC at Elizabeth City, North Carolina, to rebuild the HH-60J fleet to MH-60T standards with digital “glass” cockpits and the Common Avionics Architecture System. On Oct. 29, 2012, during Superstorm Sandy, an MH-60T piloted by Lt. Cmdr. Steven Cerveny rescued sailors from the sinking HMS Bounty replica. The aircrew flew in darkness, 60-knot winds, and driving rain to execute an instrument descent to the debris field

An MH-60 Jayhawk painted in vintage Coast Guard yellow lowers a rescue basket during training off Washington state in July 2018. The service has 38 MH-60T models in service and seven in programmed depot maintenance today. The most recent MH-60T update gave the Jayhawk digital avionics and night vision electro-optics.

of the ship. The rescue swimmer was deployed in gale force winds and 30-foot seas to hoist one survivor. The helicopter crew found the remaining survivors in two life rafts and rescued four more sailors. Forced to withdraw with low fuel, they positioned another Jayhawk to recover the remaining nine survivors. The Coast Guard completed MH-60T upgrades in August 2016 and now has 38 Tango models in service and seven in PDM. In addition to extending the service life of the MH-60, the Coast Guard plans to acquire up to 60 Navy SH-60Fs for Tango-model conversions. Both the MH-60T and MH-65E are expected in service until the mid-2030s, and according to Brimblecom, “As these aircraft only continue to get older, we are constantly looking at ways to extend them as long as we can to get as much as we can out of them.” He added, “Our current fleet of helicopters is being upgraded and given a service life extension to extend them as long as we can as the military studies and looks into the next generation of helicopters. Future vertical lift is a joint program with all the services that will hopefully define the next era of vertical-lift flight.”

2018 -2019 Edition



In mid-September 2018, at the conclusion of a deployment that had taken it from maritime domain awareness patrols off the Alaska North Slope to counterdrug operations off the coasts of South and Central America, the CGC Stratton, a 418-foot Legendclass national security cutter (NSC), stopped in San Diego to offload more than 11 tons of cocaine. The drugs had been seized in less than a month, in joint interdictions performed with international partners and the Coast Guard cutters Seneca and Active. “We were in vector for less than 30 days,” said Capt. Craig Wieschhorster, the Stratton’s commanding officer, “and saw seven cases down there.” The 2016 fiscal year was a record-setting year for illicit drug seizures in the Transit Zone, the northward maritime approaches to Central and North America; the Coast Guard and its partners seized about 450,000 pounds of cocaine, worth nearly $6 billion. In June 2018, when the Stratton left its homeport at Coast Guard Island in Alameda, California, the service was on pace to break that record, seizing cocaine shipments at a rate of nearly a ton a day. The increase in seizures mirrors record increases in production; in September 2018, the United Nation’s Office on Drugs and Crime reported Colombia’s coca production to be at an all-time high, and increasing at a rate of 45 percent annually. “We’ve gotten better at it [counterdrug operations] over the past two decades,” said Cmdr. Jason Brennell, deputy chief of the Coast Guard’s Office of Maritime Law Enforcement. “But at the same time, I’d say over the past several years there’s been a lot more cocaine on the water.” The Coast Guard wants to do better than keep pace with this increase; it wants to take a bigger bite of those illegal shipments overall. It confronts several significant challenges, both strategic and tactical, but in recent years, the service and its partners have joined forces to overcome those challenges in innovative and often surprising ways.


Coast Guard OUTLOOK

THE STRATEGY The adversaries in the Transit Zone aren’t mere drug dealers: They are deep-pocketed and well-connected criminal organizations with tentacles that extend deeply into Latin American and Caribbean societies. The illegal drug trade is just one way these groups finance their activities; the same networks are used to move money, contraband, weapons, and people. In Latin American and Caribbean nations, this transnational web of crime undermines economic development, human rights, and the rule of law through violence and corruption; in the United States, these organizations threaten public health and national security. Because of this, the effort to disrupt their influence begins at the highest levels of government and involves partners throughout the Western Hemisphere. The Coast Guard and the U.S. Department of State work together to plan and conduct regular engagements with counterparts from other nations. These multilateral summits include the semi-annual Multilateral Maritime Counter Drug Summit, which focuses on the Central and South American regions, and the annual Multilateral Maritime Interdiction and Prosecution Summit, which focuses on the Caribbean region. The summits support key elements of U.S. policy, including last year’s Presidential Executive Order on Enforcing Federal Law with Respect to Transnational Criminal Organizations and Preventing International Trafficking, the State Department’s Central America Regional Security Initiative (CARSI) and Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI), and the Coast Guard’s Western Hemisphere Strategy. Lt. Cmdr. Paul Windt, from the Coast Guard Office of Law Enforcement Policy, describes these meetings as “free exchanges of information about how we and our partner nations can combat transnational criminal organizations in the maritime domain.” The summits are operationally focused and involve close coordination among naval and coast guard forces from partner nations.



Above: Boarding team members from the Coast Guard Cutter Bertholf and Pacific Tactical Law Enforcement Team, supported by an aircrew from the Coast Guard Helicopter Interdiction Tactical Squadron aboard a MH-65D Dolphin helicopter and an aircrew from the Department of Homeland Security aboard a P-3 aircraft during the cutter’s counternarcotic patrol in the Eastern Pacific, board a low-profile go-fast vessel suspected of smuggling illicit drugs, March 3, 2018. Left: The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Active, a 210-foot medium endurance Reliance-class cutter homeported in Port Angeles, Washington, interdicts more than 1 ton of cocaine from four suspected drug smugglers during a counternarcotics patrol in the Eastern Pacific, May 18, 2018.

The overarching difficulty the Coast Guard and its partners face in the transit zone is its size: 7 million square miles of ocean, an expanse about twice the size of the continental United States. The vastness of this area has compelled the lead U.S. counterdrug organization in the region – U.S. Southern Command’s (SOUTHCOM) Joint Interagency Task Force South (JIATF-South) – to join forces not only with other federal agencies, such as the FBI, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and Customs and Border Protection (CBP), but also with naval and coast guard partners in the Western Hemisphere and Europe. In 2012, these 15 international partners began Operation Martillo, a program of joint maritime patrols and interdictions aimed at fighting drug trafficking, enhancing regional security, and promoting stability and prosperity throughout Central and South America. Despite their considerable reach, JIATF-South and its enforcement partners can’t be everywhere in the

Transit Zone, and they exert little or no influence over production, one of the most important factors driving the increase in illegal drug shipments. The Coast Guard and its counterparts often form more narrowly focused bilateral or multilateral operational partnerships with the goal of building the capacity of partner nations to help address these problems. In spring 2018, the service launched joint operations with the naval forces of Mexico and Colombia, aimed at improving information sharing and coordination of patrols through welltraveled smuggling routes, with leadership from senior Mexican and Colombian officials. The first such operation, a 30-day joint patrol named Operation Betelgeuse, resulted in 16 interdictions, during which about 21,000 pounds of drugs were seized and 55 traffickers apprehended. That’s a great haul for a 30-day operation, but according to Brennell, perhaps the most promising outcome of Operation Betelgeuse was the degree to

2018 -2019 Edition


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which Mexican and Colombian officials took charge in planning and executing operations. “Our partner nations’ institutions are able to handle more,” he said. “Costa Rica and Panama are great examples, busting up corruption and getting real results. Partner nation interdictions are up as well.” In 2018, for example, the Colombian navy intercepted 14 of the difficult-totrack smuggling vessels known as “narco-subs,” semisubmersible craft built to avoid detection – more than triple the number it seized last year.

A suspected smuggler, who jumped from his burning vessel, is pulled aboard an interceptor boat from the Cyclone-class patrol coastal USS Zephyr by members of the U.S. Coast Guard and Navy in international waters of the Eastern Pacific, on April 7, 2018. The suspected smuggling vessel went ablaze as Coast Guard and Navy personnel approached to intercept it. All four suspected smugglers who abandoned the burning boat were rescued, the fire was extinguished, and approximately 1,080 pounds of cocaine were removed from the hull before it was sunk as a hazard to navigation.


TACTICAL CHALLENGES A strategic thrust of Operation Martillo has been to push illicit shipments farther out to sea, but the success of this push has created new challenges, particularly in detecting these shipments. The mainstays of maritime surveillance, the Coast Guard’s HC-130 and CBP’s Orion P-3 airplanes, despite their ranges of up to 4,900 nautical miles, often don’t have the legs to detect vessels that often, to avoid detection, swing out west of the Galapagos Islands. But according to Wieschhorster, the service’s new national security cutters offer a far better suite of tactical capabilities for counterdrug operations than older surface platforms. “The capability difference between our legacy fleet and these new national security cutters is completely night and day,” he said. “It’s like going from a horse and carriage to a spacecraft.” With a state-of-the-art sensor package, the ability to launch both short- and long-range pursuit boats from its stern, and a flight deck that can dispatch

an armed Helicopter Interdiction Tactical Squadron (HITRON), the NSC extends both the range and speed of the Coast Guard’s interdiction capabilities. “We have the ability to see things that our legacy cutters just can’t,” said Wieschhorster – and that ability was recently boosted by a medium-range unmanned aircraft system (UAS), the fixed-wing ScanEagle, that can be launched from the deck of the NSC and observe traffickers from a distance. “Not only can we tell what these guys are doing right away and rule out whether they’re a target or not,” said Wieschhorster, “but we can also record whether they are meeting up with certain vessels ... It allows us to keep eyes on these guys and be virtually undetectable. We can get everything we need in terms of the authority to go board that vessel.” Some of the Stratton’s recent interdictions occurred southwest of the Galapagos, and three involved a new kind of vessel that hybridizes the capabilities of semisubmersibles and the “go-fast” boats built to outrun

2018 -2019 Edition


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pursuers. Known as “very slender vessels,” or VSVs, they ride nearly level with the ocean surface, and can move quickly, making them difficult to both detect and intercept. Wieschhorster reads the appearance of a new kind of smuggling craft as a positive sign. “We’re seeing more of these low-profile go-fast vessels,” he said, “and when these traffickers switch tactics like that, it means we’ve been very successful in shutting down another mode of conveyance for them.”


THE OUTCOMES When a cutter such as the Stratton returns to port after a counterdrug operation, media reports of the patrol are usually accompanied by photos of the haul: bales of cocaine and cash, piled on deck or dockside. This is when members of the public often stop paying attention, but according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph Ruddy, chief of the transnational organized crime section for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida, a maritime drug interdiction is “the first domino” to fall in an investigative process that may lead to the upper echelons of a criminal organization. “I call it the investigative point of entry into the smuggling organization,” said Ruddy. Ruddy is lead prosecutor for the Panama Express Strike Force, a group comprised of agents and analysts from the Coast Guard, the DEA, the FBI, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the U.S. Navy, and other parts of JIATF-South. A maritime interdiction has important short-term outcomes, Ruddy said: “One, you’ve prevented the drugs from reaching the United States. That’s huge. Two, when it’s seized out on the water, that is a direct loss to the cocaine owner.” In this way, he said, the seizures act as “force multipliers,” disrupting the upward movement of transport organizers within the organization.

Crewmembers of the Coast Guard Cutter Mohawk and Tactical Law Enforcement Team South interdict suspected smugglers and evidence July 3, 2018. The Coast Guard, Navy, Customs and Border Protection, FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement, along with allied and international partner agencies, play a role in counterdrug operations.

But the goal of Ruddy and of everyone involved in maritime drug interdiction is not to merely seize drugs and cost criminals money – it’s to erase these criminal organizations entirely, and to weaken their sweeping influence on societies throughout the Americas. After the drugs are taken off the water, they’re not particularly useful to investigators for these purposes. However, drug-smuggling mariners – whom Ruddy calls “subcontractors for the cocaine owners” – detained by Coast Guard law enforcement teams can lead investigators up the organizational hierarchy: obtaining evidence against members of the transportation organization and then leveraging transporters’ legal jeopardy to encourage cooperation in identifying and incriminating organizational leaders. “It works, and it helps us to dismantle these organizations before they get too entrenched into those countries, before they’ve established influence politically, economically, or with the police or military,” said Ruddy. These far-reaching effects of maritime drug interdiction may not be as easily photographed as a huge stash of cocaine, but they’re not lost on anyone in the Coast Guard. “When these drugs get into Central and South America, they get broken down into smaller loads,” said Wieschhorster. “They’re hard to detect. And they’re trafficked with such violence that it subverts the rule of law there, and that drives the pressure of migration toward the U.S. southern border. So the more effective we are, the more we help stabilize the Central and South America region and ease pressure on the border. That’s why this mission is so important.”

2018 -2019 Edition


TH E O PIOID C RISIS : A Maritime Per sp ec tive



o a s t G u a r d p e r s o n n e l a r e a c c u s to m e d to v i e w i n g d r u g a b u s e a s l aw e nf o r c e m e n t p r o f e s s i o n a l s , l o o k i n g i n to c r i m i n a l a c ti v i t y f r o m t h e o u t s i d e . B u t a s t h e s t a ti s ti c s o f A m e r i c a ’s w o r s e ni n g opioid crisis indicate, increasingly fewer A m e r i c a n s c a n cl a i m n o t to h av e b e e n a f f e c t e d b y i t . M o r e t h a n 11 m illi o n p e o p l e a b u s e d p r e s c r i p ti o n o p i o i d s i n 2 016 , a n d e v e r y d ay m o r e t h a n 1,0 0 0 Americans are treated in emergenc y depar tments for misusing them. More t h a n 4 6 p e o p l e d i e e v e r y d ay f r o m ov e r d o s e s i nvo l v i n g p r e s c r i p ti o n o p i o i d s . T h e N a ti o n a l I n s ti t u t e o n D r u g A b u s e r e p o r t e d i n 2 016 t h a t p r e s c r i p ti o n s f o r n a l oxo n e (N A RC A N ® ), t h e ra p i d r e s p o n s e d r u g d e s i g n e d to r e v e r s e o p i o i d ov e r d o s e , h a d i n c r e a s e d m o r e t h a n t e nf o l d b e t w e e n 2 013 a n d 2 015 . I t ’s a p u b li c h e a l t h c r i s i s t h a t a f f e c t s m illi o n s o f A m e r i c a n s , i n clu d i n g t h o s e i n t h e C o a s t G u a r d a n d t h e m a r i ti m e i n d u s t r i e s t h e y s e r v e . L a s t ye a r, t h e U. S . D e p a r t m e n t o f Tra n s p o r t a ti o n u p d a t e d i t s d r u g - t e s ti n g p r o g ra m to i n clu d e a n a l y s i s f o r f o u r s e m i - s y n t h e ti c o p i o i d s a n d to b e a d m i n i s t e r e d to f e d e ra l e m p l o ye e s i nvo l v e d i n t ra n s p o r t a ti o n s a f e t y, i n clu d i n g C o a s t G u a r d p e r s o n n e l . T h i s s u m m e r, t h e M a s s a c h u s e t t s D e p a r t m e n t o f P u b li c H e a l t h r e p o r t e d t h a t t h e co n s t r u c ti o n a n d f i s hi n g i n d u s t r i e s – t ra d e s m o r e li ke l y t h a n o t h e r s to i nvo l v e p hy s i c a l p ai n o r i nju r i e s t r e a t e d w i t h p r e s c r i p ti o n p ai n k ill e r s – a c co u n t e d f o r t h e s t a t e ’s hi g h e s t o p i o i d d e a t h ra t e s . U. S . f i s h i n g f l e e t s i n g e n e ra l h av e s u f f e r e d g r e a tl y i n t h e o p i o i d c r i s i s . L a s t s u m m e r, t h e C o a s t G u a r d l a u n c h e d e f f o r t s a i m e d a t p r o t e c ti n g b o t h t h e i r ser vice members and members of the p u b li c f r o m t h e d a n g e r s o f o p i o i d m i s u s e . Fi r s t , t h e s e r v i c e r e v i s e d i t s p o li c y g u i d e li n e s f o r h a n d li n g d r u g s

e n co u n t e r e d d u r i n g t h e co u r s e o f C o a s t G u a r d o p e ra ti o n s , to i n clu d e s y n t h e ti c o p i o i d s s u c h a s f e n t a ny l o r f e n t a ny l analogues. M o r e co n s p i c u o u s l y, t h e C o a s t G u a r d e x p a n d e d t h e d i s t r i b u ti o n o f, a n d t rai ni n g i n t h e u s e o f, n a l oxo n e a m o n g i t s f i e l d u ni t s . W hil e t h e i nj e c t a b l e f o r m o f N A RC A N h a s l o n g b e e n avail a b l e to l a r g e C o a s t G u a r d u ni t s s u c h a s c u t t e r c r e w s , w h o r o u ti n e l y w o r k i n i s o l a ti o n away f r o m m e d i c a l fa cili ti e s , t h e p r o g ra m l a u n c h e d i n Au g u s t 2 017 a u t h o r ize s a n d p r ov i d e s f u n d i n g f o r t h e m o r e e a s il y a d m i ni s t e r e d n a s a l m i s t to b e d i s t r i b u t e d a m o n g u ni t s t h r o u g h o u t t h e Coast Guard. Lt . C m d r. Pa u l W i n d t , w h o w o r k s i n t h e C o a s t G u a r d ’s O f f i c e o f L aw Enf o r c e m e n t P o li c y i n Wa s hi n g to n , D.C . , a n d ov e r s e e s t h e s e r v i c e ’s co u n t e r d r u g p o li c y a n d s t ra t e g y, s ai d t h e n e w t rai ni n g p ro g ra m i s i n a li g n m e n t w i t h t h e D e p a r t m e n t o f H o m e l a n d S e c u r i t y ’s O f f i c e o f H e a l t h Af fai r s , w hi c h t e a c h e s p a r ti ci p a n t s h o w to r e co g nize t h e s i g n s o f i m p ai r m e n t o r s u s p e c t e d ov e r d o s e a n d h o w to a d m i ni s t e r n a l oxo n e . “A l o t o f o u r o p e ra to r s co m e i n to co n t a c t w i t h illi ci t d r u g s i n t h e f i e l d – m ai n l y co c ai n e – w hil e p e r f o r m i n g m a r i ti m e d r u g i n t e r d i c ti o n s a n d t ra n s f e r s ,” s ai d W i n d t . B u t w e s e e the opioid epidemic taking hold in t h e f i s hi n g f l e e t s , i n p l a c e s li ke t h e N o r t h e a s t a n d Pa ci f i c N o r t hw e s t . We wa n t e d to g e t a h e a d o f t h e c u r v e a n d t a ke a c ti o n a s a p r e v e n ti v e m e a s u r e , a n d n o t a s a r e a c ti o n a r y m e a s u r e – f o r the safet y of our own ser vice members d u r i n g t h e co u r s e o f o p e ra ti o n s a n d i n a s e a r c h a n d r e s c u e c a p a ci t y. We i n t e ra c t w i t h t h e p u b li c o n a d ail y b a s i s , a n d i t ’s o u r j o b to ke e p t h e m s a f e .” 2018 -2019 Edition



Maritime law enforcement is a huge mission for the U.S. Coast Guard, both in scope and magnitude. It includes everything from enforcing boating safety regulations to drug interdiction to living marine resources enforcement. And nearly every asset the Coast Guard has is involved. For fiscal year 2017 alone, Coast Guard crews seized 223 metric tons of cocaine, 31,190 pounds of marijuana, 6 kilograms of heroin and other opiates, and 168 kilograms of methamphetamines. And that’s just drug smuggling. The Coast Guard also boarded 5,518 domestic fishing vessels to ensure critical fish stocks remain available for future generations, and Coast Guard crews interdicted 2,512 undocumented migrants. Cmdr. Heather Kelly is deputy chief of enforcement for District 11, with an area of responsibility (AOR) from the California-Oregon border to the Pacific Ocean, and all the way down to the Peru-Ecuador border. To help conduct enforcement missions, Kelly said that District 11 has 13 Marine Protector-class 87-foot coastal patrol boats, which are based at ports along the California coast, including Crescent City, Eureka, Bodega Bay, San Francisco, Monterey, Santa Barbara, Oxnard, Marina del Ray, Corona del Mar, and San Diego. “We’re getting the four FRCs – the new fast response cutters – which are going to be our assets,” said Kelly. The FRCs will replace the 87-foot and 110-foot patrol boats, with the first one arriving at San Pedro in November 2018. District 11’s last 110-foot Island-class patrol boat was decommissioned in 2017. In addition to the patrol boats that work for District 11, Pacific Area has national security cutters, mediumendurance cutters, and buoy tenders that operate in District 11’s AOR. “There are a lot of drugs coming from Central and South America,” said Kelly. “We work with our international partners so we can all attack those concerns together. We have a lot of bilateral agreements with these countries, which we use on practically a daily basis during operations. And we have a trilateral


Coast Guard OUTLOOK

agreement operating procedure with our Mexico and Canadian partners, which is the North American Security Initiative. So, we basically [have] agreements in place from Ecuador all the way up through Central America and Mexico as well as Canada.” Some of the decommissioned 110s will be turned over to partner nations, like Costa Rica. She said Costa Rica is an example of an effective partner. “They are very aggressive in their law enforcement and their pursuit of smugglers, but they’re also very aggressive on prosecuting offenders. We’ve had Coast Guard people go to Costa Rica, or appear on a video teleconference, to testify for Costa Rican cases,” she said. Kelly said she uses all the tools in the tool box. Buoy tenders primarily service aids to navigation, and they are also built for marine environmental response with the Spilled Oil Recovery System (SORS) aboard. So, they are multi-mission cutters. They can conduct search and rescue, and they have a boarding team aboard that can do law enforcement missions. Several years ago, the San Francisco-based CGC Aspen, which is a 225-foot buoy tender, seized 8,500 pounds of marijuana in 340 bales from a panga boat about 160 miles west of Los Angeles. In another case, Aspen helped to interdict a vessel carrying more than 224 pounds of cocaine along with the apprehension of six suspected smugglers. Even today, Kelly said Aspen is underway to conduct fisheries boardings. District 11 also has the 175-foot coastal buoy tender CGC George Cobb. They are not built nor crewed for law enforcement. But while the coastal buoy tenders don’t have a specific capability for law enforcement, they have the ability to support smaller boats and crews. “They can embark shipriders, and have the deck space and the ability to launch and recover boats. They do that pretty routinely to enforce both state and federal fisheries regulations.” Living marine resource enforcement is part of the overarching law enforcement mission of the Coast Guard. But, Kelly said, it requires a very specialized set


Chief Sonar Technician William Imfeld, assigned to the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Shoup (DDG 86), inspects a fish refrigerator hold aboard a foreign fishing vessel during an Oceania Maritime Security Initiative (OMSI) boarding mission with U.S. Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment 107 in the Western Pacific Ocean, Oct. 21, 2018.

of training. “With fisheries, there are many local and regional regulations, especially if you’re doing a state fishery or a regional fishery because there’s different kinds of species, gear, and nets. Season openers are challenging because you don’t know exactly when it’s going to happen. It depends on what the fish stocks are doing, or if it’s a migratory species, you might be waiting on the water temperature just right in order for the fish to move. “We might be checking to see if they are catching fish that are too small. Or we may be inspecting the boats, because there are also a lot of vessel safety concerns,” she said. Kelly said that the Boeing Insitu ScanEagle small unmanned aircraft system (sUAS) has been a helpful tool in extending the areas at sea that can be patrolled. “ScanEagle allows us to get good video of bad guys doing bad guy stuff so we could take that back for prosecution. That’s a game-changer. It helps us plan our interdictions. We can watch a suspect vessel, and wait until everything is aligned so we can time the interdiction. We want to get as much information as we can and collect the evidence when we conduct these interdictions, so we can get convictions.”

“In some cases, they patrol at a higher level than the Coast Guard. Texas Parks and Wildlife [TPWD] and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission [FWC] are just two state agencies, and each has about 800 sworn officers. Texas Parks and Wildlife has more than 500 boats. They are capable of conducting search and rescue and interdiction.” DuPont says his organization provides training to certify officers and boat crews to the national standard. This is critical, he said, so that they can work together, understand the same terminology, and follow the same tactics, techniques, and procedures. “Marine law enforcement officers at all levels can integrate seamlessly if they have been trained and certified to the same standard.” The National Marine Fisheries Service, an office of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, works with these local agencies to help enforce national and state fishing regulations at sea. By doing so, they also provide maritime domain awareness and are another node in a sophisticated law enforcement network. TPWD, FWC, and other state agencies conduct fisheries patrols up to the limit of the U.S. exclusive economic zone (EEZ). “So the more we work with partners, the more we can do,” said DuPont.



According to Mark DuPont, executive director of the National Maritime Law Enforcement Academy, federal, state, local, and tribal partners do much more than extend the reach and capability of the Coast Guard.

“We have many bilateral ‘Shiprider’ agreements, where we can help our partners with those enforcement duties, whether it’s smuggling or fisheries enforcement,” Kelly said.

2018 -2019 Edition


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The Coast Guard has law enforcement detachments (LEDETs) that deploy aboard U.S. Navy ships to provide them with the right people with the right authorities to enforce laws at sea. The U.S. Navy has three 179-foot coastal patrol boats (PCs) stationed at Mayport, Florida, which deploy to the Caribbean to support the Joint Interagency Task Force (JIATF) South, working alongside the Coast Guard. Coast Guard LEDETS will come aboard to enable prosecutions. “The Mayport PCs work with us on a regular basis,” said Kelly, whose previous duty station was in San Juan, Puerto Rico. “We kind of consider them part of the family.” Another region where the Navy and Coast Guard work together is in the Middle East. In the Arabian Gulf, the U.S. Fifth Fleet has a Bahrain home-ported force of 10 PCs and six Coast Guard 110foot patrol boats (WPBs). “They’re super capable,” said Navy Rear Adm. Paul Schlise, deputy commander of Naval Forces Central Command and the U.S. Fifth Fleet. “We keep all those ships really busy.” According to Schlise, these smaller combatants have an outsized mission in the region. “They are experts in interactions with the local fishing boats and dhows that are trading in the Gulf. When we talk about our interactions with the Iranians, they know just how to do their business out there. Our crews live here and they’re out interacting with them on a practically daily basis.” The WPBs are part of Patrol Forces Southwest Asia, which also includes the Coast Guard Maritime Engagement Team and the Maritime Security Response Team. The Coast Guard law enforcement professionals share their expertise in boardings, inspections, and interdictions with their Navy counterparts and even partner nations, who are eager to receive the training.

Suspected illegal migrants wait to be taken into custody by Immigration and Customs Enforcement personnel after being apprehended trying to enter the United States in a smuggling boat off the coast of Oceanside, California, by Department of Homeland Security authorities Friday, Feb. 5, 2010. A Navy helicopter first sighted the smuggling boat and alerted Customs and Border Protection and the Coast Guard, who responded to the scene.

“They are professional boarding officers,” said Capt. Pete Mirisola, deputy commodore of Destroyer Squadron 50 and CTF (Combined Task Force) 55. “They come with all of their law enforcement authorities behind them, and they are capable of conducting VBSS [visit, board, search, and seizure] operations up to opposed boardings; and they are capable of surface infiltration and extraction, using hooking and climbing ladders, as well as fast-roping out of helicopters, so they can also do vertical insertion and extraction. So, it’s a very high-end capability that we have here in theater, at the fleet commander’s disposal.” “We’ve got great Coast Guard expertise here for VBSS training,” Schlise said. “Ships’ boarding teams are able to practice boarding with a real dhow maintained in a warehouse, which they refer to as the ‘boat in a box.’ Whatever VBSS skills our Navy crews have received through their training pipeline, this Coast Guard-led training makes them better. This training pays off.” The Coast Guard, with its vast missions and law enforcement expertise, can do a lot of things, but not always by itself. The best defense – or offense – is one that is integrated and utilizing all the tools in the box. Local, State and federal partners all have tools to bring to the game, and if trained together, they can work together to preserve and protect our maritime domain.

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Lt. Trevor Clark, aids to navigation program manager/design engineer for Civil Engineering Unit Oakland, conducts a damage assessment in Hilo Harbor, Hawaii, after Hurricane Lane using Yuneec’s hexacopter drone.

In a promising new pilot program, short-range UAS systems are rapidly changing the way Coast Guard units do their work. By CRAIG COLLINS

On June 17, 2018, not long after the 990-foot cargo vessel American Spirit, fully loaded with iron ore, grounded in Duluth Harbor, Minnesota, Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit (MSU) Duluth had learned nobody had been injured. But an important question remained: Did the harbor have a pollution incident on its hands? Within a half-hour of the grounding, Chief Scott Lenz of Station Duluth’s Aids to Navigation Team had left his son’s baseball game and was on his way back to the harbor. In a phone call with his sector command, he learned the nearest Coast Guard Air Station, in Traverse City, Michigan – 342 miles away, by air – was preparing to dispatch a helicopter and crew to survey the harbor for signs of pollution.


Coast Guard OUTLOOK

Just a couple of weeks earlier, as part of a Coast Guard pilot project, Lenz’s unit had been the first recipient of a short-range unmanned aircraft system (SR-UAS), the Typhoon H, a battery-powered hexacopter less than 2 feet wide, weighing a little over 16 pounds and equipped with a video camera. Lenz thought the new drone could do the job faster and with significant cost savings. “I said: ‘I’m about 35 minutes out of Duluth. Can I get there and put this UAS up?’ We had never done it before. No one in the Coast Guard had ever done it before. We didn’t even really know how to do it.” It was true: Nobody had ever used a drone to perform an aerial pollution verification for the Coast Guard. But the whole point of the new program was to figure out what was possible with a short-range UAS. Lenz was told



to launch the drone. “In 15 minutes, I verified there was no pollution,” he said. “The images I get off this thing are way better than any Coast Guard helicopter crew is going to get with their iPhone®, shooting while hanging out over the side of the helicopter. This is instantaneous. I’m sharing them with the MSU, with district, with staff – within minutes, and not two or three hours later.” According to Lt. Cmdr. Ryan Lampe, who manages the short-range UAS program for the Coast Guard’s Office of Aviation Forces, the use of small drones for routine survey and inspection work isn’t all that groundbreaking in itself. The systems are pretty simple, actually: remotecontrolled aircraft outfitted with digital cameras. And yet, Lampe said, he doesn’t remember the last time the Coast Guard was this excited about a new development. “We’re not doing anything fundamentally different in the Coast Guard with these systems,” Lampe said. “We’re doing the same jobs we’ve done forever. We just get to do them faster, safer, and more cheaply.” In his 15-minute survey of the scene in Duluth Harbor, Lenz prevented an expensive chain of events: the flight of an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter and crew from Traverse City to Duluth; probably an overnight stay, because of poor weather; and the loss of that helicopter and crew in Traverse City. Altogether, Lampe estimates that this event – the Coast Guard’s first use of a short-range UAS – saved the service nearly $100,000 in less than 30 minutes. It seems painfully obvious that using a small drone to film 15 minutes of video, instead of flying a helicopter and crew across Lake Michigan and the state of Wisconsin, is a more efficient use of resources. But it was literally impossible before spring 2016, when the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) released its draft Part 107 regulations, governing the non-recreational use of civilian UASs weighing less than 55 pounds – regulations that weren’t finalized until August 2018. Using these new regulations for guidance, the Coast Guard’s Office of Aviation Forces launched its Group-1 UAS Prototype Program Initiative – the GUPPI program – as a test and demonstration project to explore the capabilities of short-range unmanned aircraft systems. After training and licensing its first group of remote pilots, the service has distributed short-range systems, so far all of them Typhoon H hexacopters, to seven units. According to Lampe, the early success of the program has prompted an expansion phase that will train more pilots and send short-range systems, including possibly an alternative to the Typhoon H, to at least nine additional units. The program’s parameters, Lampe said, allow the use of these systems for most Coast Guard mission areas except law enforcement, counterdrug, and search and rescue operations. The service is approaching the use of SR-UAS for these operations cautiously, due to privacy concerns. Two things about the GUPPI program make it completely different from a typical Coast Guard acquisition. First, the Typhoon H can be ordered online by anybody, for a price starting at $750. “One of the commandant’s precepts,” Lampe said, “is to find state-of-the-market

An SR-UAS takes video of at-sea gunnery exercises for the crew of the CGC Terrapin.

equipment and not to waste a lot of money trying to develop and manufacture these things ourselves. We’re using the best the market has to offer, at a reasonable cost, to increase our capability.” Second, the SR-UAS being used now by Coast Guard personnel will be an effective bridge to longer-term solutions. There are currently no servicewide guidelines for their use, which is focused solely on exploring SR-UAS capabilities. Those guidelines will come, Lampe said, after the Coast Guard learns more about a capability it has yet to leverage in a meaningful way. “A fundamental difference between the GUPPI program versus other traditional acquisition and procurement programs,” he said, “is that we are learning how to use this new capability at the deck-plate level, so we’re not yet providing something to somebody with a full spectrum of support. We’re depending on them to learn from it and tell us how they use it.” In just a few months, the Coast Guard’s new shortrange UASs have demonstrated they can do a lot. Lenz and his team have used theirs for a number of missions, including aerial surveillance and reconnaissance before and during President Donald Trump’s visit to Duluth, a few days after the American Spirit grounding, and an August visit from Vice President Mike Pence. Out West, Lt. Trevor Clark, aids to navigation (ATON) program manager/design engineer for Civil Engineering Unit Oakland, is in charge of aids to navigation along the entire West Coast. His unit received its SR-UAS in early August and within 60 days had used it for shore-launched inspections of fixed aids to navigation from California to Washington; for a post-Hurricane Lane damage survey of Hilo Harbor on the big island of Hawaii; for taking video of at-sea gunnery exercises for the crew of the CGC Terrapin; for ATON inspections launched from small boats; and for inspecting the structure of one of the outbuildings adjacent to the Point Bonita Lighthouse, near the Golden Gate Bridge.

2018 -2019 Edition


Clark’s team has also used it for close inspection of the 112-year-old Mile Rocks Lighthouse, about a mile southwest of the Golden Gate Bridge. Though its light tower was removed more than 50 years ago, the lighthouse’s first story remains an important aid to navigation. Set amid heavy currents, rough surf, and a cluster of other rocks, it’s virtually inaccessible by boat, so a helicopter landing pad was placed atop the base to allow access for inspection and maintenance crews. With the SR-UAS, Clark’s team is no longer dependent on putting a helicopter and aircrew in the sky just to have a look. “With the UAS,” he said, “we can get close enough to monitor Mile Rocks’ condition, and better plan for repair work.” On a couple of occasions, Clark’s SR-UAS has proved not only faster and cheaper than the traditional Coast Guard solution for a certain application; in the rough surf of the Pacific, particularly in the Northwest, it’s also a tool that can reduce risks for both boat and aviation crews. In Grays Harbor, Washington, Clark’s team confronted rough seas when it came time to inspect a pair of old range towers, about a half-mile from the harbor, that were slated for demolition. A few dozen cormorants had taken up residence and built nests in the towers, and Clark and his team, in order to get the appropriate demolition permit, needed to see if there were any hatchlings, nestlings, or juveniles among the birds. “I didn’t really recognize the danger of sending a boat out there until I went out there myself in that small ATON work boat,” Clark said. Within five minutes of his arrival, the surf had intensified from about a foot or two to 2- to 6-foot swells, and he promptly turned back for the harbor. Once on shore, he sent out the UAS to take pictures and video and document the colony’s status. The GUPPI program is the Coast Guard’s first step toward what is likely to be the widespread adoption of short-range UAS technology throughout the

A distant photo of Point Bonita Lighthouse, San Francisco Bay. Using the Typhoon H SR-UAS, the ATON crew was able to inspect the structural foundation on the northwest side of the lighthouse from a distance of about 20 feet.

service. “There isn’t a single rate or a single mission in the Coast Guard,” said Lampe, “that couldn’t use this for something. There aren’t that many things that happen in the Coast Guard that have the potential to affect the entire Coast Guard, and this is one of [those] things. Short-range UAS is going to make life significantly better for the far-flung, forgotten dark corners of our organization.” An additional advantage of using off-the-shelf, commercially available systems, Lampe said, is that they can be easily replaced: Despite the versatility of the system used by the Coast Guard, short-range UAS is a new technology, and like all new technologies, its current generation will probably be obsolescent in about 18 months. If the service’s first experience with short-range UAS is any indication, there will be a lot more systems in service by then, and over time Lampe expects to see a diversification of the SR-UAS fleet. “Eventually we’re going to have a list of authorized systems,” Lampe said, “because there is no one-size-fits-all piece of equipment. Some units will have one system, and another unit will want a different one, and a third unit may need both. We’d like for them to be able to pick and choose, to use what works best for them.” The Coast Guard’s adoption of short-range UAS is happening fast – and after a few months of using his drone in Duluth, Lenz expects the pace to accelerate as other units catch on. “If I can do this, anyone can,” he said. “Five years from now, these things are going to be at every Coast Guard unit.”

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The Coast Guard’s national security cutter (NSC) has quickly proven itself as the most capable cutter in the fleet based on extremely successful deployments in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, and even up into the Arctic. Known as the “Legend class,” with the ships being named after famous Coast Guard people, the original program of record was eight NSCs to replace the 12 378-foot Hamilton-class high-endurance cutters. But Congress has funded 11, with nine of them built or ordered, and contracts with the shipyard, Huntington-Ingalls of Pascagoula, Mississippi, have been made for long lead-time materials for the 10th and 11th. The 378s entered service between 1967 and 1972, and so were much in need of replacement. As of this writing, three remain in active service with the Coast Guard, with the remainder decommissioned and transferred to foreign navies and coast guards in Nigeria, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Vietnam, and Nigeria. At 418 feet in length and displacing about 4,500 tons, the NSCs are larger and more capable that the 378s. The NSC has a range of 12,000 nautical

The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Bertholf arrives at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, in preparation for the Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise 2018. Twenty-five nations, more than 45 ships and submarines, approximately 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel were participating in RIMPAC in and around the Hawaiian Islands and Southern California.


Coas t Guard OUTLOOK


miles, and an endurance of up to 90 days for independent patrols. They can be refueled at sea to extend their deployments, as well as be integrated into naval operations. The NSC has improved seakeeping and can launch and recover small boats more safely and efficiently from the stern. It also has a flight deck and hangars for helicopters and unmanned aerial vehicles. The lead ship of the class, CGC Bertholf, was commissioned in August of 2008. The seventh NSC, Kimball, will be commissioned at her new homeport of Honolulu, Hawaii in January 2019. According to an October 2018 report by the Congressional Research Service, the NSC has an estimated average procurement cost of about $682 million per ship. Capt. Craig Wieschhorster, commanding officer of the CGC Stratton, said his ship has a crew of about 125 people, and can carry additional personnel, such as an aviation detachment, support personnel, contractors or representatives from partner agencies. “We’re a multimission crew ship with a multi-mission crew. We support all 11 of the Coast Guard’s statutory missions. The

operational flexibility and operational efficiency of the ship is just leaps and bounds ahead of our legacy fleet. It’s a national asset.” Wieschhorster said the most interesting thing about his ship in his nearly two years in command is the diversity of the mission sets. “We run the full gamut of Coast Guard mission support, all in one patrol. It’s been a great ride.” “And just to give you some perspective on that, we started our last patrol in June and July up off the North Slope of Alaska, all the way up to the ice edge, doing Arctic domain awareness. Then we came down into the Bering Sea to conduct living marine resource (LMR) enforcement. Fisheries is a $6 billion industry there, so enforcement of that mission is critical to sustain our future fish stocks. And then we were diverted south all the way down to South America to do counterdrug ops,” Wieschhorster said. “Our ship is capable, and the crew is trained to a level to be able to switch mission hats quickly.” The NSC’s weapons are furnished by the Navy. Stratton has the same 57 mm gun as the Navy’s littoral combat ship, and the Phalanx CIWS, which is also found on the Navy’s cruisers and destroyers. Wieschhorster describes his ship as a “frigate-like” vessel. “I say that because it is partly designed to fulfill some of those Department of Defense (DOD) support missions. We have the capabilities to support DOD for low intensity conflict, should that need arise. We’re not designed for heavy combat at sea. But we can be very useful in phase zero shaping operations that we can do in advance of any potential conflict. We’re not designed to sit off the coast of California. We’re a global deployer, so we can help DOD in that realm and support national objectives, wherever that may be.

2018 -2019 Edition


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The NSC is also designed to operate in the harshest conditions. “You need a platform like this to be able to conduct long-range search and rescue and fisheries enforcement. I’m saying ‘long-range’ because when you’re operating in the Bering Sea, you’re a day, day-anda-half-steaming from anything, and the conditions in the Bering Sea are unforgiving. Routinely, you’re operating in 12 to 15 foot seas, and you’re expected to conduct mission execution in those conditions.” In bad weather, merchant ships, fishermen and pleasure craft can get into extremis, which can result in a distress call to the Coast Guard. “If ships get into trouble in those conditions, we need to be able to launch aircraft. And this ship can launch and recover aircraft and boats in sea state 5.” Wieschhorster said it is also important for a ship like the NSC to have range, endurance and technology to be able to conduct operations like law enforcement off South and Central America, thousands of miles from shore. The NSC has the ability to conduct highly classified operations, and can execute missions based on a very sophisticated intelligence network.

The Legend-class cutter CGC Stratton, littoral combat ship USS Coronado (LCS 4), and Royal Canadian Navy frigate HMCS Calgary (FFH 335) steam in formation while transiting to Rim of the Pacific 2016.

Stratton is the first Coast Guard ship to deploy with a small unmanned aircraft system (sUAS). The Boeing Insitu ScanEagle unmanned aircraft carry sensors to help patrol large areas for long-duration flights of 12 hours or more. While deployed, for example, Stratton got a call to perform a Medevac for a mariner who was in distress on a fishing vessel. “ScanEagle was airborne, and was able to show my helicopter pilots the vessel they were going to be hoisting the patient from. We were able to have the fishing boat move some deck equipment around so we could drop the basket and get the rescue swimmer down to the deck. That gave the aircrew more time on scene so they’re not arriving and then talking to the fishing captain on the radio to move things around while the helo is burning gas. All that stuff can be done in advance. We’re able to do a lot of things with ScanEagle, and it’s really been a force multiplier for us.”

2018 -2019 Edition


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Coast Guard Cutter Bertholf crewmembers prepare to launch an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter from the cutter’s flight deck during a counterdrug patrol in the Eastern Pacific Ocean, March 8, 2018. Aircrew members from Helicopter Interdiction Tactical Squadron aircrew and Air Station Humboldt Bay deployed aboard Bertholf, with the MH-65 Dolphin acting as a force multiplier during the cutter’s counterdrug patrol.

“I would never want to not deploy with it. And that’s for all mission sets,” said Wieschhorster. “We’ve really refined our tactics and procedures. It gives us a real tactical advantage when we’re out there. We can gather all sorts of information on a target without being detected. The drone allows us to stay overtop of suspects and time the interdictions to where it’s tactically advantageous to us, while also reducing a lot of risk for our crews.” Wieschhorster said these pursuits are going at a fast pace. “They’re not coming up to a vessel that’s stopped. These guys are rolling in at 30 knots, and we’re basically on a collision course with them to get them to stop. So it reduces a lot of risk for us there. It also records everything that these guys are doing. So in case we do get spotted, and they see our boat coming over the horizon, and they start to jettison their contraband, we’ve got them on video. When they roll into court, there’s no defense. These guys are going to jail because we can prove it with video evidence. That’s what gives us a litigation advantage, as well, when the assistant U.S. attorneys prosecute these cases.” The NSC can also conduct LMR missions far from homeport. Fisheries patrols in the Bering Sea involves looking for foreign ships fishing within the U.S. exclusive economic zone without permission, conducting illegal driftnet fishing, exceeding limits, or taking unauthorized species. U.S. fishing boats can be operating illegally, too. Although the Bering Sea is a remote and inhospitable area, there’s always a cutter there. “We’re up there all the time for fisheries enforcement and search and rescue, along with every other Coast Guard mission,” said Wieschhorster. With overfishing, over time those biomasses are going to dwindle, Wieschhorster said. “We’ve seen that on the east coast with the cod fishery in the North Atlantic. There are a number of domestic fisheries laws where types of fisheries are open at certain times, closed at

certain times, or there are limits to the amount of tonnage that is brought in for certain types of species. All that is managed by the National Fisheries Service, and we’re the enforcement arm of that. So the better presence that we have out there, the more eyes we can have on those fisheries to protect the resource.” The NSC has a flight deck and hangars to carry two helicopters, like the MH-60 Jayhawk or MH-65 Dolphin, or a helicopter and unmanned aircraft like ScanEagle. Boardings – either for inspection or interdiction, are conducted by boat. The NSC can carry three boats, including a 36-foot long-range interceptor and two 26-foot overthe-horizon cutter boats. Two can be carried in the stern notch, and one of the OTH boats is carried in the starboard boat davit. The LRI launches from the stern, and has a cabin to protect the crew on longer missions. There is a pool of LRIs for the Alameda based cutters, and they’ll take one with them when they deploy. “We’ll have two pursuit teams – primary and secondary – ready to go, and a third team available as backup,” said Lt. Nick Mandozzi, Stratton’s gunnery officer and a boarding team officer. “A lot of times we’ll start with one – just a primary team – we’ll watch them with the SUAS. The secondary team might be sitting on the mess deck completely gunned up, ready to go.” “We can deploy with HITRON,” said Mandozzi, referring to the MH-65s of Helicopter Interdiction Tactical Squadron (HITRON) in Jacksonville, Florida, with aircraft armed with an M240 machine gun and an M107 .50-caliber precision fire weapon that can disable the engines of a boat, even at high speed. “They’re different than search and rescue aircraft. The have a gunner on board instead of a rescue swimmer.” “We always brief the mission, stress safety, and make sure we’re all on the same page,” said Mandozzi. “But when the alarm rings, the gunner’s mates open up the small arms locker and the teams draw their weapons; we’re putting on our body armor and grabbing our life jackets; and the deck crew is getting ready to launch the boats. Realistically, we can be in the water in a couple of minutes.” The embarked ScanEagle SUAS enhances the pre-mission briefs for boarding parties and interdiction teams, and well as providing real-time imagery while an interdiction is taking place. “The captain is seeing what his boarding team is seeing,” said Mandozzi. “With the communications we have, you’ve got the captain right there with you.”

2018 -2019 Edition


Full - missio n B rid ge Sim ulato r Train s C rews Pe t aluma training facilit y in s tills comp e tence and confidence. B y E d wa r d L u n d q u i s t


s the ship enters an unfamiliar port, the watch team on the bridge is trying to stay on course amid shifting currents, strong winds, heavy seas and poor visibility. The contacts are numerous, the lights are confusing and the radio chatter is distracting. But this isn’t a ship, and the watch team is not at sea. Instead, they are on a base situated on rolling hills, surrounded by cow pastures on the edge of California’s famous wine country. This is the full mission bridge simulator (FMBS) at the Coast Guard’s Training Center (TRACEN) Petaluma, the service’s largest training facility on the West Coast. It is home to A and C schools for seven of the Coast Guard’s enlisted ratings, as well as the Chief Petty Officer Academy. According to Capt. Paul Flynn, TRACEN’s commanding officer, “We can put our bridge teams in an environment where they can replicate the scenarios they’re going to face at sea, and to be able to complete those scenarios – over and over again – until they have really good teamwork. You can’t always create those situations at sea so that you can practice them. In the simulator, you can practice going in and out of Dutch Harbor or Kodiak in heavy fog, or at night, over and over again, to build confidence. “We can have the students practicing simple things, such as talking on the radio. If you have a lot of new people on the bridge, they may not all be familiar with talking on the radio, especially when there are different conversations on three different speakers. We can make scenarios be increasingly more complicated,” Flynn said. “Even for the most experienced watchstanders, the simulator can remind you of how complicated it can be. “Most ships don’t pull in and out of port at night – except when there’s a situation and they have to. So, we give them the opportunity to practice that. We want to identify the area where we need to make the team stronger, and address those gaps in a controlled environment. “You can run more scenarios in the morning than you could in weeks at sea,” Flynn said. TRACEN also has a combat information center simulator to train the operations specialist and officer watchstanders. The bridge and CIC trainers are integrated, so that the bridge watch can coordinate the navigation detail with the CIC team. “They’re working together. Just like on the ship, they can’t even see each other, but they’re working with each other, building that teamwork and that confidence in one another,” said Flynn. According to John Wright, simulation center specialist at the TRACEN, the FMBS, made by Kongsberg, offers high-fidelity representations of 24 different ports, including all of the larger Coast Guard homeports and others where cutters call frequently.


Coas t Guard OUTLOOK

The Full Mission Bridge Simulator (FMBS) at work at TRACEN Petaluma, California.

The simulations can vary the amount of shipping, or environmental factors like wind and currents. Radio traffic can be intensified to make the transit more challenging for the watch teams. Most ships can be replicated, from patrol boats and buoy tenders to national security cutters and icebreakers. There are a few exceptions. The 283-foot CGC Alex Haley, formerly a Navy salvage ship, is the only ship in its class in the Coast Guard fleet, so her crew will train using a 270-foot medium endurance cutter simulation. Coast Guard cutters routinely operate independently, but they have a national defense mission, and can operate with Navy ships and allies. “We can conduct underway replenishment and formation steaming, so our students can learn how to operate in close proximity with other ships,” said Wright. He said he has programmed scenarios of real-world incidents, not for practice, but to allow students to experience how collisions, allisions, and groundings have occurred. The simulator has a helicopter mode, which provides a birdseye view of the scenario. “We can conduct a ‘fam flight’ through port for the crew before they have to try it,” said Wright. “We can point out the landmarks and features. They can see where they’re going to go before they drive through it.” The simulators are busy. Precommissioning crews come from Pascagoula, where their ships are being built, and the Alameda-based cutters send their crews to the simulators on a regular basis. “The simulator is a way to safely practice what our crews are going to be doing in real time,” said Flynn. “They can become competent and confident, and perhaps just as important the simulators can prevent people from becoming overconfident.”

The Insitu team operating ScanEagle occupies the portside hangar bay on the Stratton. “That’s where they keep all their equipment, such as the launchers and recovery systems, and do their maintenance,” said Mandozzi. “The starboard side hangar is used for the embarked helicopter, but it is also where the ship would hold detainees if they interdict migrants or traffickers.” At its normal flying altitude, the ScanEagle can’t be seen or heard by people on the boat. “When we pre-brief up in CIC, the SUAS allows us to see the boat, and how many people are on board. You can even see if there’s contraband right there on deck. If they start dumping the contraband as we approach, the ScanEagle collects that video, and can even keep an eye on where it is so we can recover it,” Mandozzi said. Mandozzi said that fisheries boardings are not as fastpaced as drug interdictions, but they can be hazardous. “The SUAS can show our coxswain how the fishing boat is riding, the on-sea conditions, and the best side to approach. It removes some of the uncertainty when

you come alongside because you’ve already had a good look at the boat. You can talk to the commanding officer and the executive officer, and your team, and know how you’re going to execute,” he said. The ship coordinates the efforts of its boats, SUAS and helicopter, and any other assets, such as a maritime patrol aircraft (MPA), to safely and effectively prosecute a mission. When conducting counter-narcotics operations, the ship may be vectored into position by the Joint Interagency Task Force-South in Key West, Florida. “We might get a hot handoff from MPA,” Mandozzi said. “We’ll have our drone overhead so the MPA can peel off, and we never lose sight of the vessel.” Wieschhorster said the NSC is a vast improvement over previous cutters. “My first ship was a 378. And the capability in seakeeping, intelligence, and the ability to integrate into the defense readiness mission that this ship provides is just leaps and bounds over the 378s,” he said. “The NSC is just so much more advanced.”


Hull Number



Laid down






WMSL 750

Ingalls Shipbuilding, Pascagoula

Cdre. Ellsworth P. Bertholf

March 29, 2005

Sept. 29, 2006

Aug. 4, 2008

Alameda, California

Active in service


WMSL 751

Ingalls Shipbuilding, Pascagoula

Adm. Russell R. Waesche

Sept. 11, 2006

July 12, 2008

May 7, 2010

Alameda, California

Active in service


WMSL 752

Ingalls Shipbuilding, Pascagoula

Capt. Dorothy C. Stratton

July 20, 2009

July 23, 2010

March 31, 2012

Alameda, California

Active in service


WMSL 753

Ingalls Shipbuilding, Pascagoula

Secretary Alexander Hamilton

Sept. 5, 2012

Aug. 10, 2013

Dec. 6, 2014

Charleston, Active in service South Carolina


WMSL 754

Ingalls Shipbuilding, Pascagoula

Capt. Joshua James

May 17, 2013

May 3, 2014

Aug. 8, 2015

Charleston, Active in service South Carolina


WMSL 755

Ingalls Shipbuilding, Pascagoula

Signalman 1st Class Douglas A. Munro

Nov. 5, 2014

Sept. 12, 2015

April 1, 2017

Alameda, California


WMSL 756

Ingalls Shipbuilding, Pascagoula

Sumner I. Kimball

March 4, 2016

Dec. 17, 2016


Honolulu, Hawaii


WMSL 757

Ingalls Shipbuilding, Pascagoula

Chief Warrant Officer John A. Midgett, Jr.

Jan. 27, 2017

Nov. 22, 2017


Honolulu, Hawaii


WMSL 758

Cmdr. Elmer F. Stone

Sept. 14, 2018


WMSL 759

On order


WMSL 760

On order


Active in service

Sea Trials

Under construction

Under construction

2018 -2019 Edition


RAPIDLY CHANGING PHYSICAL ENVIRONMENT IS THE “ARCTIC SECURITY CATALYST” More than just an icebreaker, the polar security cutter is a multi-mission Coast Guard cutter that breaks ice. BY EDWARD LUNDQUIST

The Coast Guard’s polar security cutter (PSC) program wants to make it clear: The ship is more than an icebreaker – it is a multi-mission cutter. While the special polar-class design will give it the capability to work in and around ice and carry out the ice breaking function in both the Arctic and Antarctic, it must also support all mission areas across a spectrum of environmental conditions. There are existing ice-capable ships for research and commercial purposes. But the ability to carry out law enforcement and defense missions makes this cutter much more than what is currently available today. The Coast Guard’s operational polar ice breaking fleet currently includes one 399-foot heavy icebreaker, CGC Polar Star (WAGB 10), which was commissioned in 1976; and one 420-foot medium icebreaker, CGC Healy (WAGB 20), commissioned in 2000. A second heavy icebreaker, Polar Sea (WAGB 11), is currently out of service and is being used for parts to keep Polar Star operational. The other U.S.-flagged icebreakers are the R/V Sikuliaq, R/V Nathaniel B. Palmer, R/V Laurence M. Gould, and the offshore supply ship Aiviq. The 261-foot, 3,700-ton research vessel R/V Sikuliaq is owned by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and operated by the College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. The 6,200-ton, 308-foot ice-capable research ship R/V Nathaniel B. Palmer is owned by Offshore Service Vessels LLC, operated by Edison Chouest Offshore, Inc., and supports the National Science Foundation’s work in the Antarctic. It was built in 1992. The 230-foot, 3,000-ton R/V Laurence M. Gould was launched in 1997, and is also operated by Edison Chouest Offshore, Inc., to support the NSF Antarctic research program. The 360-foot,


Coast Guard OUTLOOK

4,200-ton Aiviq is an ice breaking anchor handling tug supply (AHTS) vessel owned by Edison Chouest Offshore and was built to support oil exploration and drilling in the Chukchi Sea off Alaska. While these ships are ice capable, none are built to break more than 3 feet of ice, and none are capable of carrying out the full range of Coast Guard missions. So why do we need to be operating in the extreme latitudes? America is an Arctic nation, and has long held interests in operating in both polar regions. But the environment is changing, and the result is less multiyear ice and more open water. The diminishing ice environment is an incentive for increased human activity. But while there is less sea ice in the summer months, it still covers most of the Arctic on at least a seasonal basis. But ice operations are just one of the 11 statutory missions for the Coast Guard. “A polar security cutter has to be capable to do all the Coast Guard missions,” said Cmdr. Cory Riesterer, director of the polar operations division with Cutter Forces Pacific Area. “Ice breaking is a key capability to get us up there, but once we’re up there, we’ve got to be able to do everything else, as well.” According to Riesterer, ships can only operate in the Arctic at certain times of year. “Even Healy isn’t capable of being in the Arctic year-round, because they’re a medium icebreaker. There’s just too much ice in the winter. So basically, we’re trying to operate the ice breaker up in the summer. That’s when we most need to be there because that’s when the fishing and shipping is up there, and when our competitors are up there.” Riesterer said that the first-year ice – the ice that freezes every year and then goes away in the summer – is not the big issue. The multi-year ice that remains in late summer and early autumn breaks apart and is


pushed against the Northern Canadian islands and the North Slope of Alaska. “It’s a huge amount of ice, and so thick that no ship is going to break it. You can predict that it will happen, but not exactly how or where it will be packed the most.” Commercial interests are always going to push the limits of the frontier, looking for the newest or best resource or easiest access resource, tourists wanting to see the Arctic, or knowing what’s up there to make a claim. Riesterer said that people will always be there to operate on the edges of the ice and that’s why you need the ice-reinforced or ice-capable and rated vessels to be able to be there. Retired U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Randy Kee, executive director of the Arctic Domain Awareness Center at the University of Alaska, said the rapidly changing physical environment is the “Arctic security catalyst” that allows increased seasonal activity, which in turn drives higher defense, security, law enforcement, environmental protection, and safety needs. According to Kee, complicating matters is the fact that more mariners are taking more risks in sailing vessels into Arctic areas where sea ice conditions change frequently. “What may appear to be an apparent ‘icefree’ area can change very quickly and beset vessels who are little prepared to cope with ice conditions. Further, as great powers and a host of other actors conduct navigation across the Arctic, USCG icebreakers are needed to project U.S. sovereignty in order to secure U.S. territorial waters and protect U.S. national interests in the ice-laden waters of the Arctic that will remain seasonally a factor for many decades to come.”

Designed more than 40 years ago, the CGC Polar Star, with 75,000 horsepower and 13,500-tons displacement, is guided by its crew to break through Antarctic ice en route to the National Science Foundation’s McMurdo Station, Jan. 15, 2017. Polar Star is the United States’ only operational heavy icebreaker.

The Healy is a research vessel that is a medium icebreaker. So, will the polar security cutter be an icebreaker with some additional mission capability, or will it be a multi-mission cutter that’s ice capable? “The Coast Guard has to carry out our 11 statutory missions in Alaska just like everywhere else around America,” said Riesterer. “Wherever there is maritime activity, there is the potential for search and rescue, and as activity in the region increases, so does the likelihood that the Coast Guard will be called up to conduct urgent SAR [search and rescue] missions.” With the presence of vessels from many countries, including Russia and China, America’s presence has to be credible. The Coast Guard is an armed service with a defense mission, so the ship should have some teeth. Complicating all of that is the difficulty of operating in the Arctic because of low temperatures, heavy winds, dangerous ice, and high seas, and with virtually no infrastructure, such as airfields, ports, medical facilities, or robust communications. Research vessels with science laboratories onboard are in high demand, especially those that can operate in the polar waters, like Healy. “The Coast Guard provides a multitude of support to the science community in the Arctic. The volume of science requests on Healy is

2018 -2019 Edition



Offshore Patrol Cutter

Icebreaker Healy

Polar Icebreaker


CGC Healy, a 420-foot icebreaker homeported in Seattle, Washington, breaks ice in support of scientific research in the Arctic Ocean.

growing, especially as ice recedes, to the point that we are unable to support all of the requests that come in,” Riesterer said. “The distances are vast. If we load Healy in Dutch Harbor, it’s almost a 7-day transit just to get up to where the ice starts.” The heavy icebreaker Polar Star has a flat bottom that makes it difficult to lower or recover a boat in open water, so the new PRC will also need to have better capabilities for boat operations. The Coast Guard and the Navy have established an integrated program office to oversee the design and procurement of the icebreakers. The objective is for the PSC to be independently capable of breaking 8 feet of ice at 3 knots continuous speed and breaking 21 feet of ridged ice (if that cannot be achieved, the threshold parameter is 6 feet of ice at 3 knots continuous and 21 feet of ridged ice), an endurance profile of 90 days underway (threshold endurance profile is 80 days underway), and the ability to exchange voice and data information with Coast Guard and its departments of Defense, Homeland Security, State, and NATO, NSF, and NOAA partners. With so few operational ocean-going ice-capable ships, the United States has been unable to participate in some research with research institutions or international organizations, or take part in some naval operations in extreme latitudes. That’s why the Coast Guard needs six icebreakers. “There is a wealth of knowledge with some of those partners. They operate in the ice all the time, and are very capable and proficient. When we talk about partnerships in the Arctic, with our current fleet strength, we can’t even discuss getting over there to work with them in the ice,” Riesterer said. As the ice retreats, protecting living marine resources will grow in importance. “There will [be] more open and relatively warmer water, so fish stock will go north. So that mission will become more important for the Coast Guard in the region,” Riesterer said.

The Bering Sea fishery represents a significant, measurable percentage of the fish stocks that the United States takes in every year, by volume and by overall gross value. That’s why the Coast Guard already has a constant presence there. “If fish stocks, and subsequently that fishing fleet, follow the fish northward, our support will potentially have to migrate with it,” Riesterer said. “But it could expand or stretch to a point where our one cutter there is not going to be able to respond to a SAR mission or conduct LMR [living marine resources] enforcement.” Ecotourism has also picked up. Cruise ships are heading farther north, and in greater numbers. Looking to the far south, icebreakers are needed to break out McMurdo Ice Station in Antarctica and escort the resupply ships that support Operation Deep Freeze each year. “That mission’s not going away, either. We have a presence there all year round,” Riesterer said. “But they get one opportunity a year for somebody to cut a hole in the ice to get the resupply ships in. “Right now we use a 1970s-era ship that goes down there, breaks a path in the ice, comes home, and goes back into dry dock for several months to keep it alive. It’s a single point of failure. We have no bench strength,” he said. “If that ship suffers a major casualty, the United States government has no capability to backfill.” “This past March, we released a request for proposal as a full and open competition, and we are on track to award a detail design and construction contract in FY 2019,” said Coast Guard Acquisitions Directorate spokesman Brian Olexy. “That award will include options for the construction of up to three heavy polar security cutters. We’ll know more about the specific characteristics of the PSC when the detail design and construction contract is awarded.” A September 2018 report by the Government Accountability Office said the program faces risk due to the lack of a mature design, an insufficient review of existing icebreaker technology, and that the cost and schedule are overly optimistic. But delaying the program has risks of its own because the ice breaking capability is desperately needed. “Presence equals influence, we must be present,” said Commandant of the Coast Guard Adm. Karl L. Schultz. “We need six icebreakers – three of them need to be heavy, and we need one right now to be in the Arctic, because we need to be there.”

2018 -2019 Edition



The Sentinel-class fast response cutter (FRC) is the Coast Guard’s new multi-mission platform designed to replace the 110-foot Island-class patrol boats (WPB)built between 1985 and 1992. The FRC has greater range, stability, and habitability to enable crews to better conduct the missions of drug and migrant interdiction; ports, waterways and coastal security; fishery patrols; search and rescue; and national defense. According to Coast Guard Acquisition Directorate spokesman Brian Olexy, the Coast Guard is acquiring 58 FRCs, which are being built by Bollinger Shipyards at Lockport, Louisiana, a company with years of experience building ships for the Coast Guard. Of those, 50 have been funded and ordered, including two for Patrol Forces Southwest Asia in Bahrain. As of Oct. 25, 2018, 30 have been delivered. The new patrol cutters have advanced command, control, communications, and computers (C4) capabilities; intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities, providing each crew significant operational advantages over previous ship classes; and carry the over-the-horizon cutterboat to reach vessels of interest. Twenty-nine FRCs are in service, with the first, CGC Bernard C. Webber, delivered in 2012. District 7, headquartered in Miami, received the initial 18 FRCs, based on the priorities of interdiction in the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico: The first six boats were assigned to Miami, followed by six to Key West, then six to San Juan. The next two were delivered to Pascagoula, Mississippi, in District 8, in New Orleans. District 17, in Alaska, has two FRCs now homeported in Ketchikan, but that number will eventually reach six, and provide a 19 percent increase in operational capacity. There are two in Honolulu, Hawaii, and two in Atlantic Beach, North Carolina. The newest, Forrest Rednour (WPC 1129), was commissioned Nov. 8, and is the first of four FRCs to be homeported at San Pedro, California, at the port of Los Angeles/Long Beach. The FRCs are based upon the Stan 4708 patrol vessel design from Dutch shipbuilder Damen, and will also


Coast Guard OUTLOOK

carry out some of the duties of the 87-foot Islandclass patrol boats. “We’re very happy to be getting the four,” said Cmdr. Heather Kelly, deputy enforcement chief for District 11, which covers California, Nevada, and Arizona. “I’m focusing on a law enforcement side, such as illegal smuggling operations and fisheries enforcement, but the Coast Guard is also focused on port safety and security, as well as search and rescue. So, the FRC will be much more capable to respond in [District] 11’s area of responsibility. We have weather conditions that challenge our 87s [coastal patrol boats] in heavy sea states. Especially up north toward San Francisco and Humboldt Bay – the sea states just get nasty in the winter time. Some of the fisheries season openings correspond with that bad weather, and we have to be able to respond.” Kelly said the FRCs ride well. “When they’re moving, it’s very smooth. It feels completely different from the 110. It’s a solid ride.” They have better habitability, so the crew is more comfortable. They carry more fresh water and have bigger fuel tanks, which are big factors in endurance. “They’re able to operate out offshore for longer,” Kelly said. “The FRCs can stay out at least five days, comfortably. They can go for longer [periods of time] if they know and plan for it, but they also have a refuelat-sea capability if we need to do that.” The FRC packs a bigger punch, with .50-caliber machine guns and a remotely operated 25 mm chain gun. A major difference between the smaller patrol boats and the FRC is the stern launch capability for boats, which allows the crew to get a boat into the water much faster and more safely. While a 110 would have to slow and position itself in regard to the winds and swells to launch its boat, the FRC can get that boat out of the stern quicker, and that is important when conducting a high-speed pursuit. “The stern launch is a big deal. It’s definitely made a huge difference,” said Kelly. “It’s much safer in heavier seas. And it’s made a big difference in launch and recovery time – especially for law enforcement operations. A 110


would have to make sure they maneuvered to have optimal conditions to put their boat in the water. But in the time that it takes a 110 to have those perfect conditions, and slew that boat over the side, a fast response cutter’s boat would already be chasing after somebody. And because they’re so fast and so capable, they can wait to launch their boat until the last minute, because they’re able to keep up with the smuggler.” Kelly previously served at San Juan, Puerto Rico, and recalls an incident where the FRC proved its worth. The cruise ship Caribbean Fantasy, coming from Santo Domingo to San Juan with 511 passengers aboard, caught fire close to shore, where the Coast Guard had vessels and aircraft that could assist. “We used one of our new FRCs, CGC Joseph Tezanos, to be the on-scene coordinator for that entire effort,

Top: The CGC Robert Ward arrives at Coast Guard Base Los Angeles/Long Beach, in San Pedro, California, Oct. 31, 2018. Above: Crewmembers of the CGC John McCormick launch their small boat from the stern ramp in preparation for mooring in Astoria, Oregon, March 11, 2017. The fast response cutter has increased capabilities compared to the smaller 110-foot patrol boats it is replacing.

for all the interagency coordination, and it was challenging with English and Spanish [speakers], but they did a fantastic job with that,” Kelly said. “So, it’s a highly capable communications platform, and … it demonstrated that this 154-foot patrol cutter was able to manage all those different things.” According to Lt. Cmdr. Matt Kroll, the assistant project officer for FRC introduction in District 11, “All four of our FRCs are going to be stationed in

2018 -2019 Edition


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Crewmembers from the Coast Guard Cutter Orcas, a 110-foot patrol boat homeported in Coos Bay, Oregon, get underway aboard a small boat to conduct safety boardings, June 30, 2018. The Islandclass cutters include davits on their starboard side, as seen here. Sentinel-class fast response cutters include a stern launch for their small boats, providing safer and quicker deployment.

San Pedro. They’ve got a brand-new building down there to support the FRCs, with the maintenance facility and all of [the] parts they’ll need. These ships are so advanced compared to the patrol boats of the past that it’s requiring a completely new look at how they schedule maintenance. Instead of conducting longer maintenance availabilities, they’re now doing more frequent but shorter maintenance periods.” At the outset, rather than spreading the initial FRCs around to different ports, the Coast Guard has basically stood up one location at a time, giving the homeport the resources, maintenance, and support they need for the ships and crews. San Pedro, like the other FRC ports, has a cadre of specialists who can perform the required maintenance on the ships. Whereas much of the maintenance performed on the 87s and 110s was conducted by diesel engine machinery technicians, the new FRCs feature a more high-tech propulsion system that is maintained by electronics technicians. And underway, the engineer is not down in the engine room monitoring gauges; that watch is now performed on the bridge in front of a computer display. “They had to rethink maintenance completely, just because these ships are so high tech,” said Kroll. Like the national security cutters, FRCs have the L3 Technologies Integrated Communications System, featuring the L3 MarCom/KITE (Keyswitch Integrated Terminal Equipment) system that brings all the communications circuits – from UHF and VHF and various bands and frequencies – together at one location, allowing the FRCs to better interoperate with the rest of

the fleet and other partner agencies, as was illustrated in the cruise ship fire off San Juan. District 11 had one Island-class patrol boat, CGC Edisto, which was recently decommissioned. The 110s have a top speed of 30 knots, while the FRCs are advertised at 28.5 knots. However, some observers say the new cutters are faster, since many of the older boats can’t perform as they used to. Plus, the FRCs are much more fuel efficient. Nevertheless, it will be a while before most of the 110s are replaced. While the national security cutters are named for Coast Guard legends, FRCs are named for more contemporary enlisted heroes. “We’re starting to reach back into a more recent history for the namesakes,” said Lt. Cmdr. Stephen Brickey, the Coast Guard’s Pacific Area public affairs officer. “The FRCs help us to remember the stories of each one of these heroes. And so, if you’re looking at 60 different cutters, that’s 60 people that, for the most part, would have just remained relatively unknown. We’re able to use the commissionings and the story of the cutter to tie into their legacy and how it moves us forward into the future.” Vice Adm. Linda Fagan, who commands the Pacific Area, said the FRC requires a new mindset, because it is in many ways more similar to the much larger 210foot and 270-foot medium-endurance cutters than it is to patrol boats. That new mindset is looking at how the Coast Guard can deploy the FRC, and how far it can reach to effectively carry out their multiple missions, and most important, how advanced technologies and capabilities can extend the capabilities of the maritime guardians, as challenges continue to change and expand.

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The offshore patrol cutter will replace aging medium-endurance cutters. BY EDWARD LUNDQUIST

The U.S. Coast Guard’s 1,300-ton, 210-foot Relianceclass and 1,800-ton, 270-foot Famous-class mediumendurance cutters have been the workhorses of the fleet, with some more than 50 years old, but need to


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be retired. Even with targeted investments to keep them operationally relevant and available for service, they are still technologically obsolescent and too expensive to maintain. The new platform to replace them will be the offshore patrol cutter, or OPC, being built at Eastern Shipbuilding Group (ESG) in Panama City, Florida. The Coast Guard exercised its contract option to build the lead ship, CGC Argus (WMSM 915) – the MSM stands for maritime security cutter-medium – in September 2018. Construction has now begun and Argus is scheduled to be delivered in 2021. At the same time, the service exercised its contract option to acquire long lead-time materials for the second OPC. “The actions enable the production phase of the program, which is the largest in Coast Guard and Department of Homeland Security history to date, to proceed,” said Brian Olexy, spokesperson for the Coast Guard’s Acquisition Directorate.



Olexy said the total value of the options exercised is $317.5 million. In addition to covering production of the lead OPC , this contract action also covers the initial order of components and materials necessary to support the future construction of the second OPC by acquiring propeller and steering components, marine diesel engines, the ship’s integrated control system, switchboards, and generators. According to ESG’s president Joey D’Isernia, Eastern has a vendor network from 29 states supporting the OPC program. Just as the work was beginning, Panama City was hit by Hurricane Michael, which caused damage to the community and surrounding areas and affected the shipyard and its workforce. No steel had been cut, so there was no damage to the lead ship. There are 25 OPCs planned to replace the smaller and less capable but slightly more numerous WMEC 210s and WMEC 270s. (There are 14 210s still active, with two decommissioned, and 13 of the 270s, along with a single ship of the Alex Haley class, which was formerly a 286foot Navy salvage ship.) Whereas the 270s and 210s had crews of 100 and 75 respectively, the much larger 360-foot, 3,700-ton

Opposite page: A port aft view of the offshore patrol cutter (OPC) is seen in an artist’s rendering. Note the inclusion of the boat davits amidships. The OPC requirements did not include stern launch capability, a feature on both the national security cutter (NSC) and the fast response cutter (FRC). Above: Another view of an artist’s rendering of the OPC. In September, the Coast Guard announced it would exercise its contract to construct the lead ship, the Coast Guard Cutter Argus (WMSM 915). The OPC will provide a capability link between the NSC and the FRC. Heritage-class OPC will accommodate a crew of up to 126. They are capable of eight-week patrols. The OPC will be smaller than the national security cutter (NSC), and larger than the fast response cutter (FSC). Like the NSC, the OPCs and WMECs operate under the Atlantic and Pacific area commands. The smaller FRC and 110-foot patrol boats fall under the districts. The Coast Guard kept the 210s and 270s in service for such a long time that many modifications not originally envisioned were made to the cutters. With the OPC, provisions are being made so that adapting new systems and technology will be easier to accomplish. The OPC will also be capable of deploying independently or as part of a task group. It will be

Whereas the 270s and 210s had crews of 100 and 75 respectively, the much larger 360-foot, 3,700-ton Heritage-class OPC will accommodate a crew of up to 126. They are capable of eight-week patrols. 2018 -2019 Edition


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“The OPC will have the ability to exchange voice, data, and video with other Coast Guard assets, as well as U.S. Navy aircraft and ships and U.S. government partners, as well as commercial and private aircraft and vessels. The OPC will also have facilities to communicate and share data with NATO and international partners.” interoperable with the U.S. Navy and able to seamlessly integrate into national defense missions, with the ability to support mobile command and control platform operations. This capability will be critically important for major incident operations, such as hurricane/natural disaster and environmental response. As activity increases in the Arctic, the OPC will find itself deploying to Alaska waters and helping to regulate and protect emerging commercial and energy activities in the region. “The OPC will have the ability to exchange voice, data, and video with other Coast Guard assets, as well as U.S. Navy aircraft and ships and U.S. government partners, as well as commercial and private aircraft and vessels. The OPC will also have facilities to communicate and share data with NATO and international partners,” Olexy said. Northrop Grumman is the C4ISR and control systems integrator for the OPC, which includes the integrated bridge, navigation, command and control, computing network, data distribution, machinery control, and propulsion control system design and production. The main battery is the BAE Systems MK 110 57 mm gun, also found on the NSC and the U.S. Navy’s littoral combat ships, capable of firing up to 220 rounds per minute. Olexy said the OPC will be optimized for law enforcement missions. “The OPC will feature law enforcement [LE] locker room space to expedite boarding team readiness … Additionally, a generatorpowered propulsion motor will decrease wear and tear on the ship’s main engines and also conserve fuel in between high-tempo operations.” The NSC, FRC, and OPC represent a new normal for the Coast Guard fleet, with greater fuel capacity, efficiency, habitability, and food capacity that directly affect mission endurance and effectiveness. The OPC will have flight deck and aviation facilities to accommodate rotary-wing or unmanned aircraft.

Because of its size, the OPC will have better seakeeping, and enable it to better counter transnational criminal organization activities in maritime transit zones and curb illegal migration on the high seas. The OPC will be able to make longer transits much faster. “That gets our people, aircraft, and boats on station faster, which is critical for interdiction and search and rescue cases. It’s going to be a fantastic platform,” said Cmdr. Heather Kelly, deputy enforcement chief for District 11. Both the NSC and the FRC deploy cutterboats from their stern launches for mission execution. However, the OPC will lack the stern launch-and-recovery facility that the NSC and FRC use. Stern launch ability was not included in the Coast Guard’s requirement for the OPC. The WMECs are at or past their expected service life, and if the OPC program is delayed or underfunded, the Coast Guard may find itself without enough ocean-going cutters to fulfill its missions. A service life extension for the 270-foot medium-endurance cutters would help fill the gap until the OPCs are delivered. But there will be no more service life extensions for the 210s, which are nearing 60 years of age. Heritage-class offshore security cutters are named after ships that have played a significant role in the service’s history. The names of the first 11 cutters are: • Argus (WMSM 915) • Chase (WMSM 916) • Ingham (WMSM 917) • Rush (WMSM 918) • Pickering (WMSM 919) • Icarus (WMSM 920) • Active (WMSM 921) • Diligence (WMSM 922) • Alert (WMSM 923) • Vigilant (WMSM 924) • Reliance (WMSM 925)

“The OPC will feature law enforcement [LE] locker room space to expedite boarding team readiness … Additionally, a generatorpowered propulsion motor will decrease wear and tear on the ship’s main engines and also conserve fuel in between hightempo operations.” 2018 -2019 Edition


THE COAST GUARD RDT&E PROGRAM Celebrating 50 years of innovation By J.R. WILSON

One of the most tumultuous years in U.S. history was 1968 – war, assassinations, riots, the lunar landing program, a bitterly fought presidential election. It also was the year the U.S. Coast Guard, the smallest of the uniformed services, then part of the Department of Transportation (DOT), sought to close a perceived gap between existing Coast Guard capabilities and the technological needs of the service. Now celebrating its 50th anniversary, the Coast Guard Research, Development, Technology and Evaluation (RDT&E) program was created to identify fairly high-use technologies, used by the four Department of Defense (DOD) services or part of the growing commercial technology world, and apply them to Coast Guard requirements. Unlike some of the DOD labs, it was not designed to do basic research. “We were established on 1 November 1968. Four years later, the Research and Development Center [RDC] was established with 160 people, the first time we had our own lab. In 1968, we had a fire safety research facility, which today is called the Joint Maritime Test Facility and linked to NRL [Naval Research Lab],” said Wendy Chaves, chief of RDT&E under the Coast Guard Acquisition Directorate. “In November 1981, they decided to close the center and we lost about 34 personnel before they changed their minds in September 1982. We never fully shut down, but once the decision was reversed, we had to hire new people to replace those we lost in those 10 months.” About a decade ago, the Coast Guard was moved from DOT to the new Department of Homeland Security (DHS), where the RDC has formed a close relationship with DHS’ Science and Technology Directorate. Throughout its history, the center has focused on a number of broad areas, with those adjusted periodically depending on the needs of the service. Today, they are working on six such categories: 1. Unmanned systems 2. Arctic operations 3. Intelligence and cyber


Coast Guard OUTLOOK

4. Waterways management and environmental response 5. Sensor optimization, automation, and visualization 6. Operational performance improvements and modeling Each of those also is broken down into general categories of work. The office also works on some nonR&D efforts. “The program now includes three sets of people – R&D, innovation, and acquisition test and development. As a part of those three functions, there are technical and support elements, the latter including financial, human resources, office management, etc.,” Chaves said. “In 2016, the innovation program was reorganized to fall within the office of RDT&E; prior to that, it was in a separate office that no longer exists. Since that happened, we’ve found a lot to leverage between innovation and R&D. “One thing that has evolved in recent years is [that] emerging technology has become more fast-paced. In our partnership with DHS S&T, we stood up the Science and Technology Innovation Center [STIC] to bring things to the Coast Guard faster. It is jointly funded with DHS S&T. We work on things that have rapid transition, such as doing a limited user evaluation on existing technologies, both military and commercial.” Those changes also have led to new methods to build the RDT&E portfolio for the coming budget year. “Each year, we ask the whole Coast Guard to send us any challenges they want RDT&E to help them with. We then bring in stakeholders from across the service to vote on a prioritization list. We take the highest ranking of those and send them to a flag panel, which helps us ensure our portfolio is linked to the needs of the service,” Chaves explained. “Once something is in the portfolio, we work on all of them – the process ensures those are priorities to the Coast Guard before we start working on them. We don’t have a lot of resources, so we have to make sure what we do will have the most impact for the Coast Guard.”


The RDT&E program is exploring the potential operational use of small form factor satellite technology, known as CubeSats, to improve communications and increase maritime domain awareness. As part of this research, the program is collaborating with the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate to design, assemble, launch, and deploy two CubeSats for on-orbit testing. For this project, the program is deploying ground stations in Fairbanks, Alaska, (pictured) and New London, Connecticut, using a standard architecture and network.

The portfolio prioritization process also is needed to help RDT&E deal with the massive explosion in technological change and development in recent years, which could easily overwhelm the limited resources available to the program. Even so, the office continues to expand its boundaries, from unmanned systems to outer space. “Unmanned systems have enormous potential,” she said. “We’re already trying those in different Coast Guard operations, figuring out which systems to use on which missions. And [in November 2018], we’re launching our first CubeSat. For the first test, we’re doing with DHS, the CubeSat will be able to track SAR [search and rescue] calls. There are areas of the globe where we don’t have much infrastructure or connectivity, such as the Arctic. But all different kinds of payloads are possible in the future. “But the real area of focus in the future will be data analytics, artificial intelligence [AI], and machine learning. We want to continue to grow our expertise in those areas. You can have a lot of different systems gathering a lot of data, but the long pole in the tent is how to analyze that data so you can make

informed decisions. We have a number of projects in those areas.” Change also is evolving the Coast Guard’s relationship with industry, the source of most of the fastpaced technological developments. “We want to leverage innovative processes and authorities to engage industry, so we can have more rapid technology insertion and assessment. We’ve been asked to set up what they are calling a Blue Technology Center of Expertise, looking at innovative ways to engage with industry and capitalize on the pace of technology development and more rapid technology evaluations,” Chaves explained. “For example, DHS and the other services are looking at what they call Other Transaction Authority [OTA], which allows the government to do R&D with nontraditional partners without going through the traditional contracting process. We don’t have Coast Guard OTA yet, so we go through DHS to exercise it, but we are hoping to have our own in the future.” Among the evolving technologies the center of expertise will be working on are: • Miniaturization – “That is very important, especially with respect to sensors. The Coast Guard is trying to move to more mobility, and miniaturization plays a major role in that,” she said. • Increasingly fast computing speeds – “That gets back to data analytics, AI, and machine learning. At those greater speeds, we can do more predictive decision-making, enabling us to do a lot of work with on-scene handhelds.” • High-speed wireless networking – “That is something we look forward to. Our boarding teams don’t really have that at this time, so it’s the

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The RDT&E program conducted an in situ test burn of diesel fuel at the Joint Maritime Test Facility in Mobile, Alabama, in September 2018. In situ burning is an effective method of removing large-scale spilled oil from the ocean. The facility, which uses waves to simulate at-sea conditions, is a fundamental part of advancing the science of in situ burning, including equipment testing and smoke reduction.

people on scene we want to get that to, along with the command centers.” • Potential cyber and electronic warfare attacks, both on the Coast Guard and against Coast Guard-protected assets – “Cyber is definitely an area we are involved in, supporting our Cyber Command with different projects. It applies everywhere – surface and sea and air assets, C4 [command, control, communications, and computers], etc.” The RDC also has to keep a close eye on what the Coast Guard is likely to encounter from adversaries, such as terrorist groups and drug cartels, who are equally involved with acquiring and employing new technologies, from unmanned aerial vehicles to semisubmersibles – and are far better funded. “We are involved in counter-UAV [unmanned aerial vehicle] technology, for example, although it’s mostly the go-fast boats and small submarines they are using quite a bit today. Depending on what happens with the land border, there is a potential they could increase operations from a maritime perspective,” she acknowledged. The U.S. Coast Guard has 11 congressionally mandated missions, ranging from maritime safety and aids to navigation to ice breaking and law enforcement. All look to the RDC to improve their operations. “We like to support all the Coast Guard’s missions, but our portfolio evolves based on the strategic priorities of the service as a whole. Our process ensures we

put the most effort where it is needed for that particular year. Right now, that includes Arctic-related projects, such as communications, operations, and testing technologies up there,” Chaves said. “DHS has an Office of University Programs and has basically set up and funded centers of expertise to do work on behalf of DHS components. We work with a number of those, including the Arctic Domain Awareness Center [ADAC], where we are involved in development of the work plans. Since ADAC was established, we’ve increased our Arctic-related efforts. We also work with the military labs and other government agencies on a lot of our projects. As a result, the R&D program is greater than what the R&D Center alone is doing.” The Coast Guard also often piggybacks on what the Navy is doing, expanding the RDT&E effect on the service without significant new spending from its core annual funding of $18 million to $19 million. “We’ve been fairly flatlined with our budget and definitely are not growing. As costs increase, the discretionary funding we have to spend on projects is decreasing. The Coast Guard has to stay within a top line on funding requests and has to prioritize how those funds are dispersed,” Chaves said. “Our funding has been stable, but for the future, with the pace of technology, I think there should be a greater emphasis on science and technology because of the potential it has to make us more efficient and effective. “We do a lot of good things for the Coast Guard, but there is a potential for a greater impact.”

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THE U.S. COAST GUARD MOTION PICTURE & TELEVISION OFFICE Producing pictures worth thousands of words

The first references to the U.S. Coast Guard in film and entertainment date back to 1914; the need for a liaison officer to work with Hollywood to accurately depict the service was recognized during World War II. However, nothing official became part of the record until the 1977 federal budget, which declared such an office should be established. It was another 11 years before the Coast Guard Motion Picture & Television Office (MOPIC) was written into the U.S. Code. Originally part of Coast Guard District 11, based out of Long Beach, California, it was elevated to a branch of Coast Guard Headquarters in the 1990s, reflecting the growth and influence of the Hollywood-based entertainment world. “I don’t think our mission has changed much – to enhance awareness of the Coast Guard through cooperative efforts with the entertainment industry at no cost to the taxpayers. The Coast Guard will be portrayed in TV and film whether we participate or not, so to advance the goals of our service, it is best to support that and make sure our story is told accurately,” MOPIC Director Cmdr. Steven Youde said. “We also are tasked with protecting the Coast Guard and making sure we can continue doing our jobs and protect our limited resources; entertainment is a low priority. “We’re essentially Hollywood’s agent for the Coast Guard. We look for opportunities to be involved, but also try to protect the service from projects we don’t have time to support or that don’t align with our goals and missions. We rarely interface with foreign productions, other than looking at U.S. distribution. There have been projects in the past that have risen to a level of support, but, generally, no.”


Coast Guard OUTLOOK

MOPIC also works with book authors and documentary productions, but the rapidly changing face of entertainment has meant the small unit (currently – and typically – three Coast Guardsmen) has had to expand its knowledge and activities into new media, from e-books to YouTube, Amazon, and the video giant, Netflix. “It has increased the workload,” Youde acknowledged. “It’s not just Hollywood that can create an impactful production. People have more access to media outlets than just Hollywood production offices. You have to filter whether it is a good idea to support one of the alternative media. We’ve worked with some YouTube channels that have more viewers than the Discovery Channel.” Social media also has added to that workload, bringing both new challenges and new tools to present a positive Coast Guard image to the world. “We are still working on how to navigate the new media, but we are trying hard to leverage it and connect with the influencers who are using those media,” he said. “They don’t know the process as well as Warner Brothers or MGM or Disney. By law, this is the only office that can authorize anything entertainment related, so no matter who they reach out to, ideally they eventually get referred back to this office. We will then vet that project and determine whether it is something we should support without interfering with Coast Guard missions. We have to be the single point of contact between the production and our USCG units. We help keep them out of trouble, but also help them share their story.” A good example was The Finest Hours, a 2016 Disney film starring Star Trek’s Christopher Pine, about a 1952 Coast Guard small-boat rescue of more than 30 sailors




The movie poster from The Finest Hours.

trapped inside a rapidly sinking oil tanker that broke in half during a massive winter storm off the coast of Cape Cod. The four-man rescue team and their 12-seat boat battled freezing cold, 60-foot waves, and hurricaneforce winds to complete their mission. “Finest Hours involved four years of pre-production, which would have been a lot of time for the unit that would have taken away from their operations. Once we actually started filming, it was only a twomonth project for the unit. We don’t have extra boats or aircraft available for entertainment projects, so it takes a lot of coordination to ensure we can accomplish the goal for the project without interfering with the unit’s daily missions – and entertainment is not one of them.” All of the uniformed services have MOPIC equivalents in California, but production companies dealing with the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines have to go to the Pentagon for approvals. MOPIC, as a headquarters

unit based in Hollywood, handles everything locally, making the process speedier and less complicated. That also has helped the Coast Guard establish a strong working relationship and mutual respect with an industry often hostile to the military. Despite the large – and growing – number of requests MOPIC receives, Youde said, they probably reject fewer than 5 percent. “We try our hardest to accommodate everything we can and make it as easy as we can on these productions, because the relationships we build lead to other projects. We might just be a boat in the background on a project today, but six months down the road [we] may have a bigger role,” he explained. “We look at the situation, talk to the unit involved, determine what assets are available, and work out what can be done.” That has led to regular depictions of the service and its Coast Guard Investigative Services (CGIS) on the popular NCIS franchise, especially NCIS New Orleans. “We still have a long ways to go. We don’t currently have that blockbuster or recurring [Coast Guard-based] TV series that gets into what the Coast Guard really does. Most of the requests we get are things like rescue and not most of the 11 missions we have,” Youde said. “But every chance we get when we meet with a production company we already have a relationship with, we plant seeds that may not show results for years down the road. “And the inquiries coming in are enough to keep us pretty busy. We’re restricted to participating in productions that essentially already have been bought with U.S. distribution. If we participated in pilots that have no guarantee of being purchased or seen in the U.S., it would be a waste of taxpayer money.” In addition to assisting with Coast Guard equipment and ensuring an accurate depiction of Coast Guard operations, procedures, equipment, and personnel, MOPIC deals with the entertainment world much as the State Department deals with other nations: by building relationships, with both production companies and individuals at all levels.

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U.S. Coast Guard Maritime Safety and Security Team New Orleans-91112 posted this photo on its Facebook page May 16. The post reads: “A few more shots of MSST 91112 and Air Station New Orleans from last night’s NCIS New Orleans season finale.”

“This office doesn’t come up with story ideas and pitch them to productions; we build on existing projects. A lot of what we do is reactive, because we can’t do the pitching,” Youde explained. “However, we can be somewhat proactive in ways such as being on set talking to a producer and saying if they like what they’re doing at that time, maybe they would like something else. So, we plant ideas to advocate for our service; it’s really a matter of networking. There are a lot of great stories out there the Coast Guard can tell.” MOPIC also maintains a constant watch on new and evolving ways in which those stories can be told. While they don’t see much change in the near term in how they relate to Hollywood studios, they will be working more and more with niche cable and internet channels. “You also have the video game industry, which has bigger numbers than Hollywood,” Youde added. “We provided some support to an upcoming game release. And comic books – each year, we try to attend ComiCon, where creative people can see us and we can try to spark ideas. “The current demands for scripted series have been law enforcement heavy – NCIS, for example. On the documentary side, it can be anything from ice breaking to disasters at sea, so they get a little more into our other missions. I can’t think of any of the 11 missions we haven’t at least touched upon in the past year. But the most visible are still major network and movie productions looking at special ops, law enforcement, search and rescue – things that tie into large action.” Despite its small size, MOPIC has to be on site during the shooting of Coast Guard-related elements of every production. That requires exceptionally close control over schedules and costs, the latter yet another obstacle to be addressed. “Travel isn’t covered by the government; it is covered by the production. We don’t make any money and often don’t charge anything other than travel and incidentals,” he said, adding cost also is a factor in Coast Guard

equipment made available to a production. “A helicopter doing a fly-by may be worked into the unit’s regular operations, for example.” One of the most difficult – and delicate – roles MOPIC plays is ensuring the Coast Guard is accurately portrayed without interfering with the normal processes of the writers, actors, and directors. “If it is outside what the Coast Guard really does, then it is not supportable. We’re not going to participate in a story that has us doing something we would not normally do. We review scripts for accuracy, keeping it at least within the realm of the possible, without taking away creative license.” Youde and his MOPIC colleagues – Chief Warrant Officers Paul Roszkowski and Mike Lutz, both liaison officers – believe their efforts, while rarely noticed or acknowledged outside of Hollywood, are vital to the public’s knowledge and awareness of what the Coast Guard is and does, from boating safety, aids to navigation, and ice breaking to law enforcement, counter smuggling (drugs, weapons, people), military operations (such as anti-piracy missions off the coast of Africa), and marine environmental protection. “If this office didn’t exist, we wouldn’t be represented in the entertainment world and we would have no influence on the stories that would be told by Hollywood,” Youde said, adding that does not mean MOPIC has influence in every media or production. “We can’t support commercials, for example, because we can’t do anything that comes across as an endorsement. That also goes for music videos with obscene lyrics.” Even with their successes with movies such as The Finest Hours and TV shows such as NCIS, the three Coast Guardsmen are still looking – and laying the groundwork – for something that has eluded the Coast Guard throughout MOPIC’s 30-year history. “We are definitely hopeful that one day there will be a [TV] show based on the Coast Guard,” Youde concluded. “That’s a goal.”

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NORTH ATLANTIC COAST GUARD FORUM Partners on the leading edge of their mission areas

The North Atlantic Coast Guard Forum (NACGF) promotes and facilitates cooperation and the exchange of information between agencies with coast guard missions. The NACGF is an informal and non-binding entity. However, the 16 different countries that are regularly represented derive meaningful benefit from membership and lasting cooperative relationships. According to Athar A. Pirzada, the U.S. Coast Guard’s regional adviser for the Middle East in the Office of International Affairs, the NACGF is a vehicle through which like-minded organizations share information and best practices. It is not formally structured and carries no authority of its own. However, he said, it is sometimes the best way for members to build and sustain cooperative relationships in critical mission areas. The U.S. Coast Guard has a wide mission set with its 11 statutory missions. But not every coast guard is alike. Missions, authorities, and capabilities of NACGF members vary widely, from the Finnish border guards to the Portuguese navy. Some of the organizations have wide-ranging national missions (like the U.S. Coast Guard) while others are exclusively focusing on a single mission. The U.K. Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA), for example, is solely responsible for maritime search and rescue (SAR). Additionally, many of MCA’s rescue missions are conducted by nonprofit organizations, such as the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI), which has more than 225 stations and more than 400 boats. In Ireland, the Irish Coast Guard is responsible for SAR and environmental response, but the Irish Police are responsible for maritime safety, illegal migration, and drug trafficking, and the Sea-Fishery Protection Authorities is in charge of fisheries enforcement. “Each agency sits at a different position in the organizational hierarchy to their government,” Pirzada said. “But we all can share lessons learned based on everyone’s own experiences, and agencies can better represent themselves to their own governments based on how it’s done elsewhere.” All the agencies share common needs and challenges, such as recruitment, information and technology systems, procurement and maintenance, operations, and interagency coordination. The NACGF has six subcommittee working groups: search and rescue; environmental response; maritime security, illegal drug trafficking; illegal migration; and fisheries enforcement. The NACGF essentially allows the U.S. Coast Guard the opportunity to regularly engage numerous countries with whom the nation would not otherwise have the opportunity. Each year


Coast Guard OUTLOOK

one country steps up to be chair, hosting both the experts meeting and summit. For the first time, the United States will be the host in 2019. It’s important for the United States to participate. The NACGF looks at a wide range of maritime issues, from migrant tracking to SAR to antiterrorism and fisheries enforcement. “We look at trends and technologies that affect our maritime domain across all of our collective mission sets,” said Capt. Robert Warren, chief of response for the 1st Coast Guard District. International cooperation is critical for dealing with threats and challenges that may ignore boundaries, like criminal activity or oil spills. There are tangible benefits to all participants when sharing information, lessons learned, and best practices. For example, there are many offshore windfarms in Europe, but only one so far in the United States. The NACGF has been helpful for the United States to understand how those nations deal with them. “We’re just wrapping our arms around this from the perspective of SAR and living marine resources,” said Warren. Some countries are harnessing capabilities offered by emerging technologies. The Irish Coast Guard is using drones to search for missing persons along Ireland’s rocky coastline, a new use for technology that they are sharing with other members of the NACGF. Last year the Canadian Coast Guard delivered a presentation on human resource challenges in recruiting and retaining specialized personnel, a shared challenge for many maritime organizations. “We have very capable and developed partners who are on the leading edge of their coast guard mission areas,” said Warren. “We all share and receive alike. It really is the meeting of experts.” The NACGF conducts exercises and provides a means to cooperate on SAR, fisheries enforcement, and other missions. During a recent mass rescue exercise involving a cruise ship that caught fire and grounded, Warren said the Coast Guard developed and refined a mass rescue plan. Other nations that participated also offered their plans. Now the Netherlands has taken on the role of fusing the different templates to come up with a version that can be used by all. “The NACGF is ultimately an opportunity to enhance our ability to deliver services at home through leveraging what we have learned from our international partners, as well as share our knowledge and expertise to enhance the ability of other coast guards,” said Benoit Mayrand, a spokesperson for the Canadian Coast Guard. “Members can also leverage the forum



Members from U.S. Coast Guard Air Station/Sector Field Office Port Angeles pose at the stern of a 64-foot special purpose craft-screening vessel from Maritime Force Protection Unit Bangor with a Royal Canadian Air Force CH-149 Cormorant helicopter aircrew during joint training in the Strait of Juan de Fuca, Washington, Oct. 3, 2018. Canada and the United States are among the 16 NACGF member nations.

to strengthen existing and identify new opportunities for bilateral relationships.” A recurring accomplishment of the forum is GuardEX, an annual live exercise that seeks to enhance interoperability between members. “The 2018 GuardEX was held off the Belgian coast in the North Sea and simulated safety and security incidents. Given the resources and time required to host large-scale live exercises, the NACGF offers a rare opportunity for coast guards to witness firsthand how other organizations operate and take away lessons learned,” Mayrand said. “We’re across [the] Atlantic from most of the other members. So, it’s a great way for the U.S. and Canada to see what’s important to those agencies in Europe,” said Cmdr. Ann Bassolino, chief of external affairs for the U.S. Coast Guard Atlantic Area. “There may be challenges that are arising that we are not yet aware of.” Mayrand agreed. “This is particularly valuable to the Canadian Coast Guard, as we are able to gain an understanding of the practices and activities of European coast guards [that] tend to collaborate closely through other Europe-focused fora.”

Bassolino said the NACGF builds mutual respect between the organizations. “It’s about working together in the maritime domain. Yes, we all have multiple agencies we deal with, but the maritime domain connects us.” NACGF member countries: • Belgium • Canada • Denmark • Finland • France • Germany • Iceland • Ireland • Latvia • Netherlands • Norway • Portugal • Spain • Sweden • United Kingdom • United States

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LT. JAY PERDUE Sector Miami Prevention Department Blimp Pilot, Goodyear

Fun fact: in the history of flight, there’s been more trained astronauts than blimp pilots. As one of less than a dozen Goodyear blimp pilots nationwide, Jay Perdue has a rare skill. This self-proclaimed ‘perpetual student’ has always had an intense thirst for knowledge. That drive propelled him to become, among other things, a certified welder, an EMT, a scientist and a pilot. “Welding is nothing but manipulating the chemistry of the metallic elements … beautiful,” said Perdue, a jack-of-all-trades. “I made some tables, a bouquet of flowers for my wife that won’t die, and became overall repair man in the neighborhood.” Perdue grew up, like so many other Coast Guardsmen, in South Florida, and he’d wanted to be a pilot since he was 10. He remembered seeing the famed airship fly over his schoolyard playground and watching its graceful flight without realizing his classmates had returned to class without him. In college, he began pursuing the physics of flying while simultaneously working his way up to a master’s in pharmaceutical chemistry. Even after taking a job as a scientist doing research and development for GlaxoSmithKline, Perdue continued to spend his early mornings in a news chopper and his nights teaching others to fly. He continued to add ratings to his license, learning how to fly seaplanes, how to fly commercial aircraft, and how to fly using instruments only. “It’s one of those things where I get bored quick,” said Perdue. It was around that time that he began to look for a way to give back to his country, and he chose to become a reserve Coast Guard officer in 2010. “I always thought that the Coast Guard’s mission was above all others,” said Perdue, “and the history of saving lives is exceptional.” Oddly enough, he didn’t choose the flight community or the SAR [search and rescue] dogs – the scientist in him won out, and he entered the marine safety field. “There’s a science to prevention,” said Perdue. “[The idea of] stopping things from happening before there’s a response – that’s what got me excited.” Perdue works as a prevention officer at Coast Guard Sector Miami in the inspections branch. There, he trains Sector personnel in both handling pollution cases and conducting facilities inspections. During last year’s huge hurricane operation, Perdue put his job on hold for a few days. He became the Coast Guard liaison for the Palm Beach County emergency operations center while the state of Florida rode out Hurricane Irma.


Coast Guard OUTLOOK



Lt. Jay Perdue, pilot of the Goodyear blimp, boards the semi-rigid Zeppelin airship Wingfoot One.


“I can fly almost anything,” said Perdue, “but it’s great to go [to Sector Miami] and do something completely different.” When a friend of his told him about a rare opening for a Goodyear blimp pilot, Perdue threw himself into the training, and after a year of training, he added a final rating to his pilot’s license: commercial LTA, or “lighter-than-air.” Today, he is one of the four pilots who fly the 246-foot Wingfoot One, based in Pompano Beach, Florida. The semi-rigid Zeppelin airship has the rare tail number N1A, a continued homage to the company’s existence since the early days of flight. “I’m a very special car tire salesman,” Perdue said, laughing. His nonchalance belies the difficulties of such a prestigious job. A blimp pilot can be in the seat for more than a dozen hours with no rest, and there’s no autopilot. He needs to be constantly aware of the strength of the wind on a light, bulky airship, the effects of the temperature on the helium, and the weight of rainwater that soaks the external fabric. Perdue credits his success, in large part, to the support from his wife of more than 25 years; the two

Lt. Jay Perdue, a seasoned veteran of almost 10 years, is a prevention officer at Coast Guard Sector Miami Inspections Branch.

were high school sweethearts. He said, “She’s been my cheerleader my whole life. Whatever I wanted to do, she said, ‘We’ll find a way to do it.’ She knows I need to satisfy my need to learn.” When he flies, his eyes rove the skyline as his brain calculates the science of flight, and satellite radio fills the tiny, 12-person cabin. The view is gorgeous during the day, and it holds an altogether different and equal beauty at night. “You’re only a thousand feet above the country, going 30 miles an hour,” said Perdue. “You’ll never see it all.” That’s exciting for a guy who loves a challenge – trying to see it all. He’s flown over so many types of events, every type of sport from college basketball to Nascar, from the PGA to the NFL to the NBA. “The funny thing is that I’m not a big sports guy,” said Perdue. “I pray for overtime so I can fly more.”

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THE CUTTERS, BOATS, AND AIRCRAFT OF THE U.S. COAST GUARD PROFESSIONALLY AND PROFICIENTLY OPERATED BY THE MEN AND WOMEN OF THE U.S. COAST GUARD, the service’s cutters, boats, and aircraft are standing by 24/7 to respond to safety and security threats in all weather conditions, day or night. As the lead federal agency in the maritime domain for law enforcement, incident response, homeland security, and disaster management, these specialized capabilities enable the Coast Guard to save lives, protect the environment, enforce federal laws on the high seas, and defend the homeland. In recent years, the Coast Guard realized several achievements with recapitalizing its assets. The seventh national security cutter (NSC), Kimball, is to be commissioned in 2019, and the eighth NSC, Midgett, is under construction. Likewise, 29 fast response cutters (FRCs) are now in service, with a total of 58 expected to be commissioned. Despite these milestones, fleet and aircraft recapitalization time lines lag service need, endangering the ability to be “Always Ready” to prepare for, respond to, and quickly recover from major incidents. Moving forward, the Coast Guard will thoughtfully pursue and achieve a balanced and executable acquisition program for the deteriorating offshore, coastal, and inland assets.


Coastt Guard OUTLOOK Coas

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ICEBREAKERS The Coast Guard operates three oceangoing icebreakers, the newest of which, the CGC Healy (WAGB 20), commissioned in 1999, is the service’s largest ship. The Coast Guard also operates one icebreaker on the Great Lakes – the CGC Mackinaw (WLBB 30), which replaced an older ship of the same name. Icebreakers are painted with an “icebreaker red” hull to make them noticeable in ice-covered waters. One oceangoing icebreaker, the Polar Sea, was cannibalized for parts used to help return its sister, Polar Star, to operation. The Coast Guard and Navy, under an integrated program office, released a Request for Proposal (RFP) March 2, 2018, for the advance procurement and detail design of up to three heavy polar icebreakers (HPIB).

Icebreaker, 420-foot Healy class (WAGB) The Coast Guard’s largest ship, the CGC Healy, was launched in 1997 and commissioned in 1999, joining the two Polarclass icebreakers in their homeport of Seattle, Washington. The Healy is designed to conduct a wide range of research

activities, providing more than 4,200 square feet of scientific laboratory space, numerous electronic sensor systems, oceanographic winches, and accommodations for up to 50 scientists. Healy is capable of breaking 4.5 feet of ice continuously at 3 knots and can operate in temperatures as low as minus 50 degrees F. The scientific community provided invaluable input on lab layouts and scientific capabilities during design and construction of the ship. As a Coast Guard cutter, the Healy is also a capable platform for supporting other potential missions in the polar regions, and is capable of accommodating two H-65 Dolphin helicopters or one Dolphin and one H-60 Jayhawk helicopter. • Length: 420 feet • Beam: 82 feet • Displacement: 16,000 tons • Power plant: Four diesels, two shafts, 30,000 shaft horsepower (shp)


CGC Healy

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CGC Polar Star

• Speed: 17 knots • Range: 16,000 nautical miles at 12.5 knots; 37,000 miles at 9.25 knots

• Speed: 18 knots • Range: 16,000 nautical miles at 18 knots; 28,275 at 13 knots

Vessel in this class: • Healy (WAGB 20) Seattle, Washington

Vessels in this class: • Polar Star (WAGB 10) Seattle, Washington • Polar Sea (WAGB 11) deactivated, Seattle, Washington

Icebreakers, 399-foot Polar class (WAGB)

• Length: 399 feet • Beam: 83.5 feet • Displacement (28-foot draft): 13,194 tons full load • Power plant: Six Alco diesels, 3,000 British horsepower (bhp) each, three gas turbines, 25,000 shp each, electric drive, three shafts, 66,000 shp


Coast Guard OUTLOOK

Icebreaker, 240-foot Great Lakes class (WLBB) The CGC Mackinaw (WLBB 30), like its predecessor of the same name, was designed specifically for the Great Lakes, where its mission has been to keep the shipping lanes open through as much of the winter as possible. Like the former Mackinaw (WAGB 83), the new ship is homeported in Cheboygan, Michigan, and remains the only U.S. heavy ice breaking resource assigned to the Great Lakes. The ship performs ice breaking as well as ATON (aids to navigation), SAR, law enforcement, and other missions. It has a crew of nine officers and 46 enlisted members. The Mackinaw features state-of-the-art navigation, communication, and security systems and is able to carry a smaller crew than its namesake. The vessel also has a 20-ton crane for servicing aids to navigation, and an oil spill recovery system on board. It uses two podded propulsors and a bow thruster to provide excellent maneuverability, and is designed to break through 32 inches of ice at 3 knots. • Length: 240 feet • Beam: 58 feet, 6 inches • Draft: 16 feet • Displacement: 3,500 tons full load • Power plant: Three 4,200-bhp ABT diesel generators; two ABT 3,350-kilowatt (kW) azipod propulsion units


The Polar-class icebreakers, built in the 1970s, were designed for open-water ice breaking and have reinforced hulls, special ice breaking bows, and a system that allows rapid shifting of ballast to increase the effectiveness of their ice breaking. These ships are capable of continuous progress through ice 6 feet thick at a speed of up to 3 knots. The CGCs Polar Sea and Polar Star were built to serve in the Arctic and Antarctic, supporting science and research as well as providing resupply to remote stations, but their capabilities also enable them to perform search and rescue (SAR), escort ships, support environmental protection, and enforce laws and treaties in places most ships cannot reach. They are fully equipped for helicopter berthing and deck operations, and can carry two H-60 Jayhawks or H-65 Dolphins. Polar Star was reactivated in December 2012 after three years of refurbishment and modernization. At the time of this writing, Polar Star is in dry dock for critical maintenance and repair. Polar Sea remains laid up and is being used as a parts donor while its disposition is determined. The Coast Guard released an RFP for advanced procurement and detail design for a new heavy icebreaker in March 2018, with options for up to three more.

• Speed: 15 knots • Range: 4,000 nautical miles Vessel in this class: • Mackinaw (WLBB 30) Cheboygan, Michigan

CUTTERS The term “cutter” identifies a Coast Guard vessel 65 feet in length or greater, with accommodations for a crew to live aboard. Major cutters, like the national security cutter, are capable of carrying multiple cutterboat types, including the over-the-horizon (CB-OTH-IV) rigid-hull inflatables, and long-range interceptors (CB-LRI-II). Polar-class icebreakers also carry an Arctic survey boat (ASB), a polar variant of the CB-OTH-IV, and landing craft. Most cutters more than 200 feet in length are capable of accommodating helicopters.

National Security Cutters, 418-foot Legend class (WMSL)

CGC Mackinaw

The first major cutter to join the Coast Guard as part of the fleet recapitalization plan, the national security cutter (NSC) is the largest and most technologically advanced of the service’s new cutters. At 418 feet in length, capable of speeds up to 28 knots, with a crew complement of 122 and a displacement of 4,500



CGC Waesche

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CGC Midgett

long tons, the Legend-class cutters are capable of better seakeeping and higher sustained speeds as well as greater endurance than legacy cutters. The ships, being acquired by the Coast Guard Acquisition Directorate, feature modern command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (C4ISR) capabilities and provide interoperability with U.S. Nav y systems and a common operational picture to enhance maritime domain awareness. In addition to a helicopter deck, the class has a stern ramp for launching and recovering two classes of rigid-hull inflatable (RHIB) cutterboats that deploy with the NSC: the 35-foot CB-LRI-II and the 26 -foot CB-OTH-IV. The NSC can carry a total of three boats: one CB-LRI-II and two CB-OTH-IVs. The first cutter, Bertholf, was commissioned Aug. 4, 2008, and completed its first extended operations in 2009. The second cutter, Waesche, was commissioned May 7, 2010. The third, Stratton, was commissioned March 31, 2012. Hamilton, the fourth NSC , was commissioned in December 2014. The fifth, James, was commissioned in August 2015. The sixth NSC , Munro, was commissioned in April 2017. The seventh NSC , Kimball, sailed for its homeport of Honolulu, Hawaii, in November 2018; it is to be commissioned in 2019. The eighth NSC , Midgett, is under construction. The Coast Guard planned construction of eight national security cutters; however, nine have been commissioned or are under construction. Long lead-time materials have been ordered for a 10th and 11th.

The NSC is armed with a 57 mm/Mk. 110 gun, which is also employed by the Navy’s littoral combat ships, and four M2 .50-caliber machine guns. The NSC can accommodate two H-65s, or one H-65 or H-60 and two vertically launched unmanned aerial vehicles, or other combinations. • Length: 418 feet • Beam: 54 feet • Displacement: 4,500 long tons full load • Power plant: Combined diesel and gas (CODAG); one 30,565 shp gas turbine engine and two 9,655 hp diesel engines • Speed: up to 28 knots • Range: 12,000 nautical miles • Armament: Mk. 110 57 mm gun; Phalanx 20 mm close-in weapon system (CIWS); Mk. 53 decoy launching system (NULKA); and four M2 .50-caliber machine guns Vessels in this class: • Bertholf (WMSL 750) Alameda, California • Waesche (WMSL 751) Alameda, California • Stratton (WMSL 752) Alameda, California • Hamilton (WMSL 753) Charleston, South Carolina • James (WMSL 754) Charleston, South Carolina • Munro (WMSL 755) Alameda, California • Kimball (WMSL 756) to be commissioned in 2019; Honolulu, Hawaii

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• Midgett (WMSL 757) under construction, future homeport Honolulu, Hawaii • Stone (WMSL 758) under construction • WMSL 759 long lead-time materials ordered • WMSL 760 long lead-time materials ordered

High Endurance Cutters, 378-foot Secretary class (WHEC) Highly versatile and capable of performing a variety of missions, these cutters operate throughout the world’s oceans. Because of their high endurance and their capabilities, similar to those of Navy warships, Secretary-class cutters occasionally deploy as part of Navy carrier battle groups. CGC Hamilton (WHEC 715), commissioned in 1967, was first of the class, which formed the mainstay of the Coast Guard from the 1970s into the 2010s. The Secretary-class cutters are ideally suited for long-range, high-endurance missions, and for fulfilling the maritime security role, which includes drug interdiction, illegal immigrant interception, and fisheries patrol. The ships are powered by diesel engines and gas turbines, in a combined diesel and gas (CODAG) plant, and have controllable pitch propellers. Equipped with a helicopter flight deck, retractable hangar, and the facilities to support helicopter deployment, these 12 cutters were introduced to the Coast Guard inventory in the 1960s. The entire class was modernized through the Fleet Rehabilitation and Modernization (FRAM) program between 1985 and 1992, modernizing their helicopter flight deck facilities, radars and other sensors, and fire-control systems. With a crew of 160, each displaces 3,340 tons. Each is capable of accommodating a single HH-65 Dolphin helicopter. Secretary-class cutters have been given upgraded command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (C4ISR) capabilities under the Deepwater project. The Chase and Hamilton were transferred to the Nigerian and Philippine navies, respectively, in 2011. The Dallas and Jarvis were decommissioned in 2012 and transferred to the Philippine and Bangladeshi navies, respectively. Gallatin was decommissioned in March 2014 and has since been transferred to the Nigerian navy. Rush transferred to the Bangladeshi navy in May 2015 and Boutwell was transferred to the Philippine navy in July 2016. Morgenthau was transferred to the Vietnamese navy in May 2017. Sherman was transferred to the navy of Sri Lanka in March 2018. Ships of the class will continue to be retired as national security cutters enter the fleet. • Length: 378 feet • Beam: 43 feet • Displacement: 3,340 tons full load • Power plant: Two diesel engines 3,500 bhp each/two gas turbine engines 18,000 shp each, two shafts 36,000 shp • Speed: 29 knots • Range: 2,400 nautical miles at 29 knots or 9,600 miles at 19 knots (on gas turbines); 12,000 nautical miles at 14 knots (on diesels) • Armament: One Mk. 75 76 mm gun; two Mk. 38


Coast Guard OUTLOOK

25 mm guns; one Phalanx CIWS; two .50-caliber machine guns; two Super Rapid Bloom Offboard Countermeasures (SRBOC) launchers Vessels in this class: • Mellon (WHEC 717) Seattle, Washington • Munro (WHEC 724) Kodiak, Alaska • Midgett (WHEC 726) Seattle, Washington

Offshore Patrol Cutters Offshore patrol cutters (OPCs) will provide the midrange capability in the Coast Guard’s layered defense concept, filling the role between the NSC and fast response cutter (FRC) and replacing the service’s two classes of aging medium endurance cutters. The OPC is to feature increased range and endurance, more powerful weapons, a larger flight deck, and improved C4ISR equipment, and will accommodate aircraft and boat operations in higher sea states. In September 2016, the Coast Guard awarded the Phase II contract to Eastern Shipbuilding Group, Inc., for production of the lead OPC and options for up to nine OPCs. In September 2018, the Coast Guard exercised contract options to begin construction of the first OPC and acquire long lead-time materials for the second. The first OPC is scheduled for delivery in FY 2021. The Coast Guard is naming the ships after significant cutters in its history. Vessels in this class: • Argus (WMSM 915) • Chase (WMSM 916) • Ingham (WMSM 917) • Rush (WMSM 918) • Pickering (WMSM 919) • Icarus (WMSM 920) • Active (WMSM 921) • Diligence (WMSM 922) • Alert (WMSM 923) • Vigilant (WMSM 924) • Reliance (WMSM 925)

295-foot Cutter Eagle (WIX) The tall ship Eagle is a three-masted sailing barque with 21,350 square feet of sail, homeported at the Coast Guard Academy, New London, Connecticut. It is the only active (operational) commissioned sailing vessel in the U.S. maritime services. Seventh in a line of cutters to bear its name, the CGC Eagle was built in 1936 by Blohm and Voss in Hamburg, Germany, as a training vessel for German naval cadets. It was taken as a war prize in 1946, commissioned into Coast Guard service as the Eagle, and sailed from Bremerhaven, Germany, to New London, Connecticut. The Eagle serves as a seagoing classroom for approximately 175 cadets and instructors from the academy. On the Eagle, cadets apply the navigation, engineering, and other skills they develop in classes at the academy.


CGC Eagle

Eagle’s hull is built of steel, four-tenths of an inch thick. It has two full-length steel decks with a platform deck below and a raised forecastle and quarterdeck. The weather decks are 3-inch-thick teak over steel. When homeported, the Eagle is moored at the Fort Trumbull State Park on the Thames River. Eagle began the first phase of a four-year refit and renovation program at the Coast Guard Yard in Curtis Bay, Maryland, in 2014. The work has proceeded in phases so that training periods at sea can continue. The first phase included maintenance of the rudder, hull and rigging, lead ballast replacement, and berthing area renovations. The second phase included hazardous material determination, additional berthing renovations, an upgraded 110-volt electrical panel and wiring, and a mainmast inspection. Phase 3 included hull plate renewal, continued lead coating abatement, and more berthing improvements. The fourth and final phase was completed in April 2018. • Length: 295 feet • Beam: 39 feet • Displacement: 1,824 tons full load • Power plant: Diesel, one shaft, 1,000 bhp, 21,350-square-foot sail area

• Speed: 10 knots under power; 16 knots under sail • Range: 5,450 nautical miles under power Vessel in this class: • Eagle (WIX 327) New London, Connecticut (refitting at Coast Guard Yard in Curtis Bay, Maryland)

Medium Endurance Cutter, 282-foot Alex Haley class (WMEC) The cutter Alex Haley (WMEC 39) is a one-of-a-kind Coast Guard ship, named for the service’s first chief journalist, who later wrote Roots and won a Pulitzer Prize. Commissioned in 1971 as the Navy salvage and rescue ship USS Edenton (ATS 1), the vessel was transferred to the Coast Guard in November 1997 for conversion into a medium endurance cutter. The cutter’s primary missions are law enforcement, domestic fisheries enforcement, and SAR in Alaskan waters. With a crew of 99, the ship can accommodate a single H-65 Dolphin or MH-60 Jayhawk.

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CGC Alex Haley

Vessel in this class: • Alex Haley (WMEC 39) Kodiak, Alaska

Medium Endurance Cutters, 270-foot Famous class (WMEC) The first of 13 Famous-class cutters, the Bear (WMEC 901), entered service in 1983, and these ships have become a familiar sight on the world’s oceans ever since. Together with the 14 Reliance-class vessels, Famous-class cutters are the service’s primary tools for law enforcement, counterdrug, and SAR missions. These ships are the most modern and advanced medium endurance cutters, with a modern weapons and sensor suite. They have long been equipped with a Command, Display, and Control (COMDAC) computerized ship control system that was significantly updated in the 1990s and makes these ships effective with smaller crews. Famous-class ships operate with a crew of 100. Armament includes a Mk. 75 76 mm fully automatic gun capable of firing up to 80 rounds per minute. The Shipboard


Coast Guard OUTLOOK

Command and Control System (SCCS) uses radar, LORAN (long range navigation), and GPS (Global Positioning System) technologies. SCCS is an integrated and sophisticated system that brings the ship’s electronic resources together to facilitate operations. Famous-class cutters are able to land, launch, and service the H-65 Dolphin, and some can also operate the Jayhawk. A Dolphin and a five-member aviation detachment usually deploy with the ship. The cutter’s active stabilization system extends the operating parameters of the cutter aircraft team by providing a stable platform for flight evolutions during rough sea conditions. This allows the cutters to serve the vital role of search and rescue in almost any storm or location. For law enforcement boardings, these cutters carry a 23-foot over-the-horizon cutterboat and a 19-foot rigidhull inflatable boat. Under the Mission Effectiveness Project (MEP), Famousclass cutters received capability enhancements, major maintenance, and replacement of obsolete, unsupportable, or maintenance-intensive equipment, which included installing improved C4ISR suites. The Reliance-class ships also underwent MEP. All 270-foot cutters finished their MEP in September 2014, ensuring their operational reliability until their replacement by the offshore patrol cutter. • Length: 270 feet • Beam: 38 feet • Displacement: 1,820 tons full load • Power plant: Two 3,650-hp V-18 Alco diesel engines, two shafts • Speed: 20 knots


• Length: 282 feet • Beam: 50 feet • Displacement: 3,000 tons full load • Power plant: Four Caterpillar diesels, two shafts; bow thruster • Speed: 16 knots • Range: 10,000 nautical miles at 13 knots • Armament: Two Mk. 38 25 mm cannons; two .50-caliber machine guns

CGC Thetis

• Range: Just under 3,800 nautical miles at 19.5 knots; 9,900 nautical miles at 12 knots • Armament: One Mk. 75 76 mm gun, two .50-caliber machine guns, two SRBOC launchers Vessels in this class: • Bear (WMEC 901) Portsmouth, Virginia • Tampa (WMEC 902) Portsmouth, Virginia • Harriet Lane (WMEC 903) Portsmouth, Virginia • Northland (WMEC 904) Portsmouth, Virginia • Spencer (WMEC 905) Boston, Massachusetts • Seneca (WMEC 906) Boston, Massachusetts • Escanaba (WMEC 907) Boston, Massachusetts • Tahoma (WMEC 908) Kittery, Maine • Campbell (WMEC 909) Kittery, Maine • Thetis (WMEC 910) Key West, Florida • Forward (WMEC 911) Portsmouth, Virginia • Legare (WMEC 912) Portsmouth, Virginia • Mohawk (WMEC 913) Key West, Florida


Seagoing Buoy Tenders, 225-foot Juniper class (WLB) Juniper-class buoy tenders are seagoing Coast Guard cutters responsible for maintaining short- and long-range ATON such as fixed structures and buoys. They have replaced the aging Balsam class of World War II-era buoy tenders. Buoy tenders provide light ice breaking in ice-laden domestic waters. Buoy tenders are multi-mission vessels, and conduct maritime law enforcement, homeland security, and defense operations, as well as provide search and rescue assistance should the need arise.

The 225-foot Juniper class’ twin diesel engine propulsion system supplies the speed and maneuverability necessary to tend coastal and offshore buoys in exposed locations. Perhaps the most important advance is the use of a new Dynamic Positioning System (DPS). DPS uses a differential GPS to fix positions. Using this technology, the crews are able to maintain the vessel’s position within a 10-meter circle in winds of up to 30 knots and waves of up to 8 feet. The Juniper-class cutters are undergoing midlife renovation under the In-Service Vessel Sustainment (ISVS) program. • Length: 225 feet • Beam: 46 feet • Displacement: 2,000 tons • Buoy deck area: 2,875 square feet • Power plant: Two Caterpillar 3608 diesels, one shaft, 6,200 bhp • Speed: 15 knots • Range: 6,000 nautical miles at 12 knots • Armament: Two .50-caliber machine guns Vessels in this class: • Juniper (WLB 201) Newport, Rhode Island • Willow (WLB 202) Newport, Rhode Island • Kukui (WLB 203) Honolulu, Hawaii • Elm (WLB 204) Atlantic Beach, North Carolina • Walnut (WLB 205) Honolulu, Hawaii • Spar (WLB 206) Kodiak, Alaska • Maple (WLB 207) Sitka, Alaska • Aspen (WLB 208) San Francisco, California

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Discipline & Knowledge


• Length: 210 feet • Beam: 34 feet • Displacement: 1,000 tons • Power plant: Two Alco 16V-251 diesel engines, two shafts, 5,000 bhp • Speed: 18 knots • Range: 6,100 nautical miles at 12 knots • Armament: One Mk. 38 25 mm cannon and two .50-caliber machine guns

CGC Spar • Sycamore (WLB 209) Cordova, Alaska • Cypress (WLB 210) Pensacola, Florida • Oak (WLB 211) Newport, Rhode Island • Hickory (WLB 212) Homer, Alaska • Fir (WLB 213) Astoria, Oregon • Hollyhock (WLB 214) Port Huron, Michigan • Sequoia (WLB 215) Apra Harbor, Guam • Alder (WLB 216) Duluth, Minnesota


Medium Endurance Cutters, 210-foot Reliance class (WMEC) The 14 Reliance-class cutters work alongside the Famousclass ships, carrying out primarily law enforcement and search and rescue missions. The 210-foot ships were the first true post-World War II Coast Guard cutters. Outwardly, these ships reflect evolving Coast Guard operations during the latter part of the 20th century – sleek lines, flight decks, and a high pilothouse giving the bridge crew excellent allaround visibility. They do not have helicopter hangars but each can operate a single H-65 Dolphin on deck. It has a crew complement of 77. Although lightly armed, these cutters were designed to carry additional armament including a 3-inch gun, a total of six .50-caliber machine guns, an SQS-17 sonar (later suggestions included using an SQS-36), an anti-submarine projector (Hedgehog), and/or two torpedo launchers. None of this additional armament was ever actually installed. From 1986 to 1996, ships of this class underwent a midlife maintenance availability to upgrade machinery and equipment. There were 16 Reliance-class cutters, but budget cuts prompted the decommissioning of the Courageous (WMEC 622) and the Durable (WMEC 628) in 2001. To prolong the longevity of the remaining cutters, the Coast Guard began the MEP in 2005 to increase operational availability by installing capability enhancements, performing major maintenance, and replacing obsolete, unsupportable, or maintenance-intensive equipment. The successful conclusion of the MEP in September 2014 ensures the operational reliability of these cutters until replacement by the offshore patrol cutter.

Vessels in this class: • Reliance (WMEC 615) Kittery, Maine • Diligence (WMEC 616) Wilmington, North Carolina • Vigilant (WMEC 617) Patrick Air Force Base, Florida • Active (WMEC 618) Port Angeles, Washington • Confidence (WMEC 619) Port Canaveral, Florida • Resolute (WMEC 620) St. Petersburg, Florida • Valiant (WMEC 621) Miami Beach, Florida • Steadfast (WMEC 623) Warrenton, Oregon • Dauntless (WMEC 624) Galveston, Texas • Venturous (WMEC 625) St. Petersburg, Florida • Dependable (WMEC 626) Little Creek, Virginia • Vigorous (WMEC 627) Little Creek, Virginia • Decisive (WMEC 629) Pascagoula, Mississippi • Alert (WMEC 630) Warrenton, Oregon

Coastal Buoy Tenders, 175-foot Keeper class (WLM) The 175-foot Keeper-class coastal buoy tenders are a new era in buoy tending, equipped with Z-drive propulsion units instead of the standard propeller and rudder configuration. The propulsion units are designed to independently rotate 360 degrees. Combined with a thruster in the bow, they give the Keeper-class cutters unmatched maneuverability. With state-of-the-art electronics and navigation systems including DPS, which uses differential GPS and electronic chart displays, it is possible to maneuver and position navigation aids with a smaller crew. Carrying a crew of 24, ships in this class are named for well-known lighthouse keepers. Although not classified as icebreakers, these ships can move through 9 inches of ice at 3 knots.

CGC Dauntless

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CGC George Cobb

Vessels in this class: • Ida Lewis (WLM 551) Newport, Rhode Island • Katherine Walker (WLM 552) Bayonne, New Jersey • Abbie Burgess (WLM 553) Rockland, Maine • Marcus Hanna (WLM 554) South Portland, Maine • James Rankin (WLM 555) Baltimore, Maryland • Joshua Appleby (WLM 556) St. Petersburg, Florida • Frank Drew (WLM 557) Portsmouth, Virginia • Anthony Petit (WLM 558) Ketchikan, Alaska • Barbara Mabrity (WLM 559) Mobile, Alabama • William Tate (WLM 560) Philadelphia, Pennsylvania • Harry Claiborne (WLM 561) Galveston, Texas • Maria Bray (WLM 562) Atlantic Beach, Florida • Henry Blake (WLM 563) Everett, Washington • George Cobb (WLM 564) San Pedro, California

Inland Construction Tenders (WLIC) The Coast Guard’s inland construction tenders are broken into three classes, all designed for the construction, repair, and maintenance of fixed ATON and all operating on inland


Coast Guard OUTLOOK

waters. The 160-foot WLICs are single units without barges. The 75-foot WLICs push either a 68- or 84-foot construction barge. The one 100-foot WLIC pushes a 70-foot construction barge. The barges are equipped with cranes and other ATON equipment to drive piles and work the smaller-sized buoys. The earliest of these tenders date to the 1940s and have crews of 13 to 15. The Coast Guard is looking to select a design for a new standardized vessel to replace the aging tenders, the waterways commerce cutter, and issued a Request for Information in February 2018. 160-FOOT WLIC CLASS: • Length: 160 feet • Beam: 30 feet • Displacement: 411 tons • Power plant: Two Caterpillar D379 diesels, two shafts, 1,000 bhp • Speed: 11 knots • Range: 1,205 nautical miles at 6.5 knots Vessels in the 160-foot WLIC class: • Pamlico (WLIC 800) New Orleans, Louisiana • Hudson (WLIC 801) Miami Beach, Florida • Kennebec (WLIC 802) Portsmouth, Virginia • Saginaw (WLIC 803) Mobile, Alabama 100-FOOT WLIC CLASS: • Length: 100 feet • Beam: 24 feet


• Length: 175 feet • Beam: 36 feet • Displacement: 845 tons • Power plant: Two Caterpillar 3508TA diesels, two Ulstein Z-drive, 2,040 bhp • Speed: 12 knots • Range: 2,000 nautical miles at 10 knots

• Displacement: 178 tons • Power plant: Two Caterpillar 3412, two shafts, 1,250 bhp • Speed: 10 knots • Range: 1,200 nautical miles at 7 knots



Vessel in the 100-foot WLIC class: • Smilax (WLIC 315, oldest commissioned cutter) Atlantic Beach, North Carolina 75-FOOT WLIC CLASS: • Length: 75 feet • Beam: 22 feet • Displacement: 145 tons • Power plant: Two Caterpillar D353, two shafts, 750 hp; or two Caterpillar 3412 or V1312TI, two shafts, 1,250-1,350 hp • Speed: 10 knots • Range: 1,050-1,300 nautical miles at 9 knots; 2,400-2,500 nautical miles at 5 knots Vessels in the 75-foot WLIC class: • Anvil (WLIC 75301) Charleston, South Carolina • Hammer (WLIC 75302) Mayport, Florida • Sledge (WLIC 75303) Baltimore, Maryland • Mallet (WLIC 75304) Corpus Christi, Texas • Vise (WLIC 75305) St. Petersburg, Florida • Clamp (WLIC 75306) Galveston, Texas • Hatchet (WLIC 75309) Galveston, Texas • Axe (WLIC 75310) Morgan City, Louisiana

Ice Breaking Tugs, 140-foot Bay class (WTGB) The 140-foot Bay-class cutters are single-screw tugs used primarily for domestic ice breaking duties. They are named after American bays and are stationed mainly in the northeastern United States and the Great Lakes. They use a lowpressure-air hull lubrication or bubbler system that forces air and water between the hull and ice. This system improves ice breaking capabilities by reducing resistance against the hull, thereby reducing horsepower requirements. A 120-foot ATON barge augments the cutters Bristol Bay and Mobile Bay. The Bay-class cutters are undergoing a midlife renovation project under the ISVS program to renew the most elderly or vulnerable components.

CGC Pamlico

• Biscayne Bay (WTGB 104) St. Ignace, Michigan • Neah Bay (WTGB 105) Cleveland, Ohio • Morro Bay (WTGB 106) New London, Connecticut • Penobscot Bay (WTGB 107) Bayonne, New Jersey • Thunder Bay (WTGB 108) Rockland, Maine • Sturgeon Bay (WTGB 109) Bayonne, New Jersey

River Buoy Tenders (WLR) The Coast Guard operates 18 tenders of 75-foot and 65-foot lengths on rivers in the western United States, deploying ATON buoys and day boards to mark river channels and to ease the efficient flow of commerce. WLRs push barges equipped with cranes that work ATON. Some WLRs are equipped with “jetting” devices that are used to set and anchor buoys in rivers with sandy or muddy bottoms. The barges are an integral part of the ATON mission. Barge lengths vary: 90 feet, 99 feet, and 130 feet. Like the inland construction tenders, the river buoy tenders may be replaced by variants of the waterways commerce cutter.

• Length: 140 feet • Beam: 37.5 feet • Displacement: 662 tons full load • Power plant: Two Fairbanks-Morse diesel engines, electric drive, one shaft, 2,500 shp • Speed: 14.7 knots • Range: 1,500 nautical miles at 14.7 knots; 4,000 nautical miles at 12 knots Vessels in this class: • Katmai Bay (WTGB 101) Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan • Bristol Bay (WTGB 102) Detroit, Michigan • Mobile Bay (WTGB 103) Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin

CGC Penobscot Bay

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75-FOOT KANKAKEE-CLASS RIVER BUOY TENDERS: • Length: 75 feet • Beam: 22 feet • Displacement: 175 tons • Power plant: Two Caterpillar 3412 diesels, two shafts, 1,024 bhp • Speed: 10 knots • Range: 600 nautical miles at 10 knots

• Muskingum (WLR 75402) Sallislaw, Oklahoma • Wyaconda (WLR 75403) Dubuque, Iowa • Chippewa (WLR 75404) Buchanan, Tennessee • Cheyenne (WLR 75405) St. Louis, Missouri • Kickapoo (WLR 75406) Vicksburg, Mississippi • Kanawha (WLR 75407) Pine Bluff, Arkansas • Patoka (WLR 75408) Greenville, Mississippi • Chena (WLR 75409) Hickman, Kentucky

Vessels in this class: • Kankakee (WLR 75500) Memphis, Tennessee • Greenbrier (WLR 75501) Natchez, Mississippi

65-FOOT CLASS RIVER BUOY TENDERS: • Length: 65 feet • Beam: 21 feet • Displacement: 145 tons • Power plant: Two Caterpillar D353 diesels, two shafts, 660-725 hp • Speed: 10 knots • Range: 3,500 nautical miles at 6 knots

75-FOOT GASCONADE-CLASS RIVER BUOY TENDERS: • Length: 75 feet • Beam: 22 feet • Displacement: 140 tons • Power plant: Two Caterpillar D353 diesels, two shafts, 660-750 hp; or two Caterpillar 3412, two shafts, 1,250 hp • Speed: 10 knots • Range: 3,100 nautical miles at 6.5 knots Vessels in this class: • Wedge (WLR 75307) Demopolis, Alabama • Gasconade (WLR 75401) Omaha, Nebraska


Coast Guard OUTLOOK

Vessels in this class: • Ouachita (WLR 65501) Chattanooga, Tennessee • Cimarron (WLR 65502) Buchanan, Tennessee • Obion (WLR 65503) Owensboro, Kentucky • Scioto (WLR 65504) Keokuk, Iowa • Osage (WLR 65505) Sewickley, Pennsylvania • Sangamon (WLR 65506) East Peoria, Illinois


CGC Greenbrier

65-FOOT INLAND BUOY TENDERS: • Length: 65 feet • Beam: 17 feet • Displacement: 71 tons • Power plant: Two GM diesels, two shafts, 400 hp (WLI 65401) • Speed: 11.3 knots (WLI 65401) • Range: 1,700 nautical miles at 6 knots Vessels in this class: • Bayberry (WLI 65400) Long Beach, North Carolina • Elderberry (WLI 65401) Petersburg, Alaska




Inland Buoy Tenders, large-small (WLI) 100-FOOT INLAND BUOY TENDERS: • Length: 100 feet • Beam: 24 feet • Displacement: 174 tons full load • Power plant: Two diesels, two shafts, 600-660 bhp • Speed: 10.5 knots • Range: 2,000-2,700 nautical miles at 7 knots Vessels in this class: • Bluebell (WLI 313) Portland, Oregon • Buckthorn (WLI 642) Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan

The diverse range of Coast Guard duties is reflected dramatically by the number and variety of its patrol boats, which are assigned to most of the service’s missions. Islandclass cutters are high-speed vessels that offer an operating radius of almost 1,000 nautical miles, making them highly effective for illegal immigrant interdiction operations and a range of other duties. However, the Island class are aging, and are being replaced by the fast response cutter. Eightyseven-foot Marine Protector-class vessels have an IEBS (integrated electronic bridge system) and a stern-launched rigidhull inflatable boat useful for various duties including carrying boarding crews.

Fast Response Cutters, 154-foot Sentinel class (WPC) The Sentinel class is a key component of the Coast Guard’s recapitalized fleet and is critically needed to replace the

CGC Elderberry

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aging 110-foot Island-class patrol boat fleet. The first cutter in this class, Bernard C. Webber, was delivered in February 2012. To honor past Coast Guard members, each fast response cutter (FRC) in this class will be named for one of the service’s many enlisted heroes. These cutters will be able to deploy independently to conduct the service’s missions, such as ports, waterways, and coastal security; fishery patrols; drug and migrant interdiction; law enforcement; SAR; and national defense operations. The cutters’ C4ISR suites will be completely interoperable with U.S. Navy, Coast Guard, Department of Defense, and Department of Homeland Security assets. The 154-foot cutters have a speed of more than 28 knots and are based on an existing patrol boat design from Damen Shipyards. This vessel class is planned for a total of 58 patrol boats. • Manufacturer: Bollinger Shipyards Inc. • Parent craft designer: Damen • Length: 154 feet • Beam: 25 feet • Displacement: 353 metric tons • Power plant: Two 4,300-kW MTU diesel engines • Speed: 28-plus knots • Endurance: five days • Crew: 24 (four officers, 20 enlisted) • Armament: One stabilized 25 mm machine gun mount and four non-stabilized crew-served .50-caliber machine guns


Coast Guard OUTLOOK

Vessels in this class: • Bernard C. Webber (WPC 1101) Miami Beach, Florida • Richard Etheridge (WPC 1102) Miami Beach, Florida • William Flores (WPC 1103) Miami Beach, Florida • Robert Yered (WPC 1104) Miami Beach, Florida • Margaret Norvell (WPC 1105) Miami Beach, Florida • Paul Clark (WPC 1106), Miami Beach, Florida • Charles David Jr. (WPC 1107) Key West, Florida • Charles Sexton (WPC 1108) Key West, Florida • Kathleen Moore (WPC 1109) Key West, Florida • Raymond Evans (WPC 1110) Key West, Florida • William Trump (WPC 1111) Key West, Florida • Isaac Mayo (WPC 1112) Key West, Florida • Richard Dixon (WPC 113) San Juan, Puerto Rico • Heriberto Hernandez (WPC 1114) San Juan, Puerto Rico • Joseph Napier (WPC 1115) San Juan, Puerto Rico • Winslow Griesser (WPC 1116) San Juan, Puerto Rico • Donald Horsley (WPC 1117) San Juan, Puerto Rico • Joseph Tezanos (WPC 1118) San Juan, Puerto Rico • Rollin Fritch (WPC 1119) Cape May, New Jersey • Lawrence Lawson (WPC 1120) Cape May, New Jersey • John McCormick (WPC 1121) Ketchikan, Alaska • Bailey Barco (WPC 1122) Ketchikan, Alaska • Benjamin Dailey (WPC 1123) Pascagoula, Mississippi • Oliver Berry (WPC 1124) Honolulu, Hawaii


CGC Isaac Mayo

• Jacob Poroo (WPC 1125) Pascagoula, Mississippi • Joseph Gerczak (WPC 1126) Honolulu, Hawaii • Richard Snyder (WPC 1127) Atlantic Beach, North Carolina • Nathan Bruckenthal (WPC 1128) Atlantic Beach, North Carolina • Forrest Rednour (WPC 1129) San Pedro, California • Robert Ward (WPC 1130) San Pedro, California • Terrell Horne III (WPC 1131) San Pedro, California

Patrol Boats, 110-foot Island class (WPB) The Coast Guard 110-foot Island-class patrol boats are modified versions of a well-regarded British-designed patrol boat. These ships have excellent range and seakeeping capabilities, but are wearing out rapidly and are to be replaced by the FRC. Seventeen 110-foot WPBs were renovated under the MEP to ensure the 110-foot WPB fleet remains a reliable entity until the arrival of the FRC. The MEP was completed in 2012. Built in the late 1980s, they are equipped with advanced electronics and navigation equipment. WPBs are being decommissioned as more FRCs join the fleet, and this list of commissioned Island class is drawn from information available at time of writing.

• Length: 110 feet • Beam: 21 feet • Displacement: 154-165 tons • Power plant: Two Alco-Paxman Valenta diesel engines, 5,820 bhp • Speed: 28 to 30 knots • Range: 3,380 nautical miles at 8 knots • Armament: One Mk. 38 25 mm cannon; two .50-caliber machine guns Vessels in this class: • Maui (WPB 1304) Manama, Bahrain • Ocracoke (WPB 1307) South Portland, Maine • Aquidneck (WPB 1309) Manama, Bahrain • Mustang (WPB 1310) Seward, Alaska • Naushon (WPB 1311) Homer, Alaska • Sanibel (WPB 1312) Woods Hole, Massachusetts • Baranof (WPB 1318) Manama, Bahrain • Chandeleur (WPB 1319) Valdez, Alaska • Cuttyhunk (WPB 1322) Port Angeles, Washington • Key Largo (WPB 1324) Gloucester, Massachusetts • Monomoy (WPB 1326) Manama, Bahrain • Orcas (WPB 1327) Coos Bay, Oregon • Sitkinak (WPB 1329) Bayonne, New Jersey • Tybee (WPB 1330) Woods Hole, Massachusetts • Washington (WPB 1331) Apra Harbor, Guam • Wrangell (WPB 1332) Manama, Bahrain • Adak (WPB 1333) Manama, Bahrain


CGC Liberty

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• Liberty (WPB 1334) Auke Bay, Alaska • Anacapa (WPB 1335) Petersburg, Alaska • Kiska (WPB 1336) Hilo, Hawaii

Coastal Patrol Boats, 87-foot Marine Protector class (WPB) The Marine Protector is an innovative, multi-mission class of vessel capable of performing search and rescue, law enforcement, fishery patrols, drug interdiction, illegal immigrant interdiction, and homeland security duties up to 200 miles offshore. The 73 cutters in this class each carry an 11-person crew and are capable of achieving a maximum continuous speed of 25


Coast Guard OUTLOOK

knots. The class offers numerous improvements over the former 82-foot Point-class vessels, including improved seakeeping abilities (up to sea state 5), enhanced habitability, and compliance with current and projected environmental protection laws. The Marine Protector class also employs an innovative stern launchand-recovery system using aluminum-hulled cutterboats propelled by inboard diesel-powered waterjets. The vastly larger pilothouse is equipped with an integrated bridge system, including an ECDIS (electronic chart display system), which interfaces with surface search radars used by U.S. warships. Four were built specifically to protect Navy ballistic missile submarines while they are in transit in and out of Kings Bay, Georgia, and Bangor, Washington. Production was completed in 2009.


CGC Crocodile

• Length: 87 feet • Beam: 19.4 feet • Displacement: 91 tons full load • Power plant: Two MTU 8V diesel engines • Speed: 25 knots • Range: 900 nautical miles Vessels in this class: • Barracuda (WPB 87301) Eureka, California • Hammerhead (WPB 87302) Woods Hole, Massachusetts • Mako (WPB 87303) Cape May, New Jersey • Marlin (WPB 87304) Fort Myers Beach, Florida • Stingray (WPB 87305) Mobile, Alabama • Dorado (WPB 87306) Crescent City, California

• Osprey (WPB 87307) Port Townsend, Washington • Chinook (WPB 87308) New London, Connecticut • Albacore (WPB 87309) Little Creek, Virginia • Tarpon (WPB 87310) Tybee Island, Georgia • Cobia (WPB 87311) Mobile, Alabama • Hawksbill (WPB 87312) Monterey, California • Cormorant (WPB 87313) Fort Pierce, Florida • Finback (WPB 87314) Cape May, New Jersey • Amberjack (WPB 87315) Port Isabel, Texas • Kittiwake (WPB 87316) Honolulu, Hawaii • Blackfin (WPB 87317) Santa Barbara, California • Bluefin (WPB 87318) Fort Pierce, Florida • Yellowfin (WPB 87319) Charleston, South Carolina • Manta (WPB 87320) Freeport, Texas • Coho (WPB 87321) Panama City, Florida • Kingfisher (WPB 87322) Mayport, Florida • Seahawk (WPB 87323) Carrabelle, Florida • Steelhead (WPB 87324) Port Aransas, Texas • Beluga (WPB 87325) Little Creek, Virginia • Blacktip (WPB 87326) Oxnard, California • Pelican (WPB 87327) Abbeville, Louisiana • Ridley (WPB 87328) Montauk, New York • Cochito (WPB 87329) Little Creek, Virginia • Manowar (WPB 87330) Galveston, Texas • Moray (WPB 87331) Jonesport, Maine • Razorbill (WPB 87332) Gulfport, Mississippi • Adelie (WPB 87333) Port Angeles, Washington • Gannet (WPB 87334) Dania, Florida • Narwhal (WPB 87335) Corona Del Mar, California • Sturgeon (WPB 87336) Grand Isle, Louisiana • Sockeye (WPB 87337) Bodega Bay, California • Ibis (WPB 87338) Cape May, New Jersey • Pompano (WPB 87339) Gulfport, Mississippi • Halibut (WPB 87340) Marina Del Rey, California • Bonito (WPB 87341) Pensacola, Florida • Shrike (WPB 87342) Port Canaveral, Florida • Tern (WPB 87343) San Francisco, California • Heron (WPB 87344) Sabine, Texas • Wahoo (WPB 87345) Port Angeles, Washington • Flyingfish (WPB 87346) Boston, Massachusetts • Haddock (WPB 87347) San Diego, California • Brant (WPB 87348) Corpus Christi, Texas • Shearwater (WPB 87349) Portsmouth, Virginia • Petrel (WPB 87350) San Diego, California • Sea Lion (WPB 87352) Bellingham, Washington • Skipjack (WPB 87353) Galveston, Texas • Dolphin (WPB 87354) Miami, Florida • Hawk (WPB 87355) St. Petersburg, Florida • Sailfish (WPB 87356) Sandy Hook, New Jersey • Sawfish (WPB 87357) Key West, Florida • Swordfish (WPB 87358) Port Angeles, Washington • Tiger Shark (WPB 87359) Newport, Rhode Island • Blue Shark (WPB 87360) Everett, Washington • Sea Horse (WPB 87361) Portsmouth, Virginia • Sea Otter (WPB 87362) San Diego, California • Manatee (WPB 87363) Corpus Christi, Texas • Ahi (WPB 87364) Honolulu, Hawaii • Pike (WPB 87365) San Francisco, California

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CGC Hawser

• Terrapin (WPB 87366) Bellingham, Washington • Sea Dragon (WPB 87367) Kings Bay, Georgia (Navy owned) • Sea Devil (WPB 87368) Bangor, Washington (Navy owned) • Crocodile (WPB 87369) St. Petersburg, Florida • Diamondback (WPB 87370) Miami Beach, Florida • Reef Shark (WPB 87371) San Juan, Puerto Rico • Alligator (WPB 87372) St. Petersburg, Florida • Sea Dog (WPB 87373) Kings Bay, Georgia (Navy owned) • Sea Fox (WPB 87374) Bangor, Washington (Navy owned)

Vessels in this class: • Capstan (WYTL 65601) Philadelphia, Pennsylvania • Chock (WYTL 65602) Baltimore, Maryland • Tackle (WYTL 65604) Rockland, Maine • Bridle (WYTL 65607) Southwest Harbor, Maine • Pendant (WYTL 65608) Boston, Massachusetts • Shackle (WYTL 65609) South Portland, Maine • Hawser (WYTL 65610) Bayonne, New Jersey • Line (WYTL 65611) Bayonne, New Jersey • Wire (WYTL 65612) Saugerties, New York • Bollard (WYTL 65614) New Haven, Connecticut • Cleat (WYTL 65615) Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

65-foot Small Harbor Tugs (WYTL)

• Length: 65 feet • Beam: 16 feet • Displacement: 72 tons full load • Power plant: One diesel, one shaft, 500 bhp • Speed: 10 knots • Range: 850 nautical miles at 9.8 knots; 2,700 nautical miles at 5.8 knots


Coast Guard OUTLOOK

BOATS Coast Guard vessels under 65 feet in length are classified as boats and usually operate near shore, on inland waterways, or attached to cutters. The service has about 1,689 altogether, although the number fluctuates. These craft include heavy-weather response boats, special purpose craft, ATON boats, and cutter-based boats. Sizes range from 64 feet in length down to 12 feet. The new emphasis on homeland security has produced a corresponding emphasis on smaller, fast boats such as the Response Boat-Small and Response Boat-Medium. An added capability for the ATON forces is the procurement of new work boats that replaced those that have exceeded their economic service life and are no longer cost effective to maintain. The new boats brought into service are ATON Boat-Small (AB-S), a


Built between 1962 and 1967, the small, 65-foot harbor tugs are multi-mission cutters that have the distinction of being used only on the East Coast, from Maine to Virginia. With a crew of six, their primary missions are domestic ice breaking, port security, search and rescue, and law enforcement operations on rivers and in littoral areas. They are capable of breaking ice up to 12 inches thick.

20-foot aluminum hull with a range of 70 nautical miles, and ATON Boat-Skiff (AB-SKF), a 16-foot aluminum hull with a range of 50 nautical miles. Both boats are outfitted with standard electrical systems and ample working deck space. Coast Guard boats include:


47-foot Motor Lifeboat (MLB) The 47-foot MLB is primarily designed as a fast-response rescue vessel in high seas, surf, and heavy weather environments. But the unique feature of this boat is that it can selfright in only 30 seconds if knocked over by waves or surf. With state-of-the-art electronically controlled engines, fuel management systems, and integrated electronics suite, the 47-foot MLB has become the ideal platform for operations in extreme sea and weather conditions. The 47-foot MLBs are undergoing refit and renovation under the ISVS project. There are currently 107 MLBs in inventory.

45-foot Response Boat-Medium (RB-M) The 45-foot RB-M is being procured to replace the 41-foot Utility Boat (UTB). It is an all-aluminum boat that

has a wireless crew communication system and is powered by twin diesel engines and water jet propulsion. Unlike the 41-foot UTB, the RB-M has the ability to self-right if it should ever capsize. This feature allows the RB-M to operate in higher seas, ensuring the crew (and rescued survivors) comes home safely. For example, RB-Ms are an offshore asset and the survivability parameters are 12-foot seas and 50 knots of wind, whereas the UTB’s limits are 8-foot seas and 30 knots of wind. The RB-M has a top speed in excess of 40 knots and cruises at 30 knots, compared to the 41-foot UTB’s top speed of 26 knots. All 174 RB-Ms have been delivered.

25-foot Response Boat-Small (RB-S) Brought into service in 2003 to replace shore-based nonstandard boats, the RB-S features a reinforced bow, full shock-mitigating seating, and a large cabin. It can tow up to 10 tons, operate in winds up to 25 knots and seas of up to 6 feet, and has a range of 150 nautical miles. The secondgeneration boats (RB-S II) are now in production and will replace the original RB-S classes. The RB-S IIs are 29 feet long and have a range of 220 nautical miles. Approximately 140

47-foot Motor Lifeboat

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25-foot Response Boat-Small

RB-S boats are still in service, all of which will be replaced by 2019. The first 327 of 350 RB-S II boats have been delivered. The program may include up to 470 total boats.

that serves as the workhorse for ATON teams; 20-foot ATON Boat-Small; and 16-foot ATON Boat-Skiff.

Operated by port security units (PSUs), which are composed of Reserve and active-duty personnel, the TPSB provides for defense readiness operations in the United States and when PSUs are deployed overseas. It travels at 43-plus knots and carries a .50-caliber machine gun and two M60 machine guns. There are 52 in operation.

The special purpose craft are designed to meet specific mission requirements or provide a capable and safe asset in a unique operating environment. A few of these boats are: 64-foot Screening Vessel; 52-foot Heavy Weather; 42-foot Near Shore Lifeboat; 36-foot Boarding Team Delivery; 33-foot Law Enforcement; 24-foot Shallow Water; skiffs that can be used to support natural disaster response; and ice boats that are used for conducting ice rescues.

16- to 64-foot Aids to Navigation Boats These boats assist in maintaining the nearly 50,000 navigation aids on the marine transportation system. They include the 64-foot Self-Propelled Barge that primarily operates on protected rivers and protected waters; 55-foot aluminum hull that can operate in moderately rough weather in coastal and inland waters; 49-foot Stern Loading Buoy boat that supports the short-range ATON mission; 26-foot Trailerable ATON boat


Coast Guard OUTLOOK

14- to 38-foot Cutter-based Boats The cutterboats provide fast and effective surface capabilities that, in most cases, enable cutters to interdict boats on the high seas and conduct boardings. Included in this asset base are: 38-foot Arctic Survey Boat; 36-foot Long Range Interceptor; 24-foot Cutter Boat-Large; 24-foot ATON-Large; 24-foot and 26-foot Over-the-Horizon; 18-foot


18- to 64-foot Special Purpose Craft 32-foot Transportable Port Security Boat (TPSB)

33-foot Special Purpose Craft

ATON-Medium; 18-foot Cutter Boat-Medium; and 13-foot Cutter Boat-Small, just to name a few.

27-foot Utility Boat-Medium With a closed cabin, these aluminum-hulled boats are used for law enforcement, search and rescue, or ATON missions. They are being replaced by standard boats.


17- to 28-foot Utility Boat-Light (UTL) With generally an open cabin, these boats are either fiberglass or aluminum hulled and are assigned to ATON cutters and shore units.

AIRCRAFT The Coast Guard operates approximately 200 fixed-wing and rotary-wing aircraft – airplanes and helicopters – to support its work as a law enforcement arm, a military service branch, and a seafaring service. Nearly all Coast Guard

aircraft have some role in homeland security operations, and some are now armed. The Coast Guard operates its aviation fleet on the principle that it cannot afford a fleet of aircraft intended solely for specialized missions, and has concentrated on aircraft that can carry out a wide range of diversified missions.

HC-144A Ocean Sentry, Medium Range Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA) A medium-range maritime patrol version of the EADS CASA CN 235-300M cargo aircraft, the HC-144A is performing missions previously carried out by the HU-25 fleet as well as surveillance, search and rescue, and transport roles performed by the HC-130Hs. The HC-144A – equipped with a new C4ISR suite, radar and electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) sensor mission systems pallet – is designed to serve as an on-scene command platform for SAR and homeland security operations and perform transport missions. The HC-144A provides extended on-scene loitering capabilities while also being capable of performing maritime patrol, law enforcement, SAR, disaster response, and cargo

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HC-144A Ocean Sentry

• Power plant: Two 1,750 shp (1,305 kW) General Electric CT7-9C3 turboprop engines • Maximum cruising speed: 236 knots • Range: up to 2,000 nautical miles (depending on configuration) • Range with payload: (6,000 pounds) 1,000 nautical miles (cargo configured) • Max endurance: 11.0 hours • Maximum takeoff weight: 36,380 pounds


Coast Guard OUTLOOK

• Dimensions: Length, 70 feet, 2 inches; wingspan, 84 feet, 7 inches HC-144 Air Stations: • CG Aviation Training Center Mobile, Alabama • CGAS Miami, Florida • CGAS Cape Cod, Massachusetts • CGAS Mobile, Alabama • CGAS Corpus Christi, Texas

HC-27J Medium Range Maritime Patrol Aircraft The Coast Guard is integrating 14 ex-U.S. Air Force C-27J Spartan aircraft into its medium-range surveillance aircraft fleet to work alongside the Ocean Sentry. The C-27Js are already outfitted with weather radar and military communications equipment capable of supporting transport and other Coast Guard missions. All 14 aircraft are planned to be modified with a standard Coast Guard fixed-wing Mission Systems Pallet, an integrated surface-search radar, EO/IR sensors, and night-vision goggle (NVG) capability. Six C-27Js are operating out of Air Station Sacramento, California. Seven aircraft are stationed at the HC-27J APO


and personnel transport missions. The Ocean Sentry also is capable of maintaining secure communications with the Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, and allied forces. The Coast Guard completed planned work under this project with the delivery of its 18th HC-144A in September 2014. Ocean Sentries are currently operating from Coast Guard air stations Mobile, Alabama; Cape Cod, Massachusetts; Miami, Florida; and Corpus Christi, Texas. Procurement has ended in light of the acquisition of 14 C-27J Spartans. Plans are for the fleet to be upgraded to HC-144B standard, with integration of the Minotaur Mission System and a new cockpit control and display unit (CAU) under the Ocean Sentry Refresh program.


C-37A Gulfstream V

HC-27J Spartan


(Asset Project Office) in Elizabeth City, North Carolina. The service received approval in November to proceed with C-27J mission systems integration. One C-27J was transferred to Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland, as a missionization prototype in September 2017 to receive the Minotaur Mission System. Aircraft completing the program will be designated HC-27A. • Length: 74 feet, 5 inches • Wingspan: 94 feet, 2 inches • Height: 31 feet, 8 inches • Weight: 70,000 pounds • Speed: 290 knots • Range: Up to 2,674 nautical miles • Endurance: 12 hours • Ceiling: 30,000 feet

C-37A Gulfstream V Command and Control Aircraft The service operates two Gulfstream V aircraft as its principal command and control transport for senior Coast Guard and Department of Homeland Security officials. On long flights, the C-37A can carry 12 passengers and a crew of four with a range of 6,500 nautical miles, all with considerable fuel efficiency. The C-37A enjoys commonality of parts and supplies with more than a dozen C-37As operated by the other military branches. • Power plant: Two 14,750-pound thrust BMW/Rolls-Royce BR710-48 turbofan engines • Max cruising speed: Mach 0.885/459 knots • Certified ceiling: 51,000 feet • Range: 5,500 nautical miles • Gross weight: 90,900 pounds • Dimensions: Wingspan, 93 feet, 6 inches; length, 96 feet, 5 inches; height, 25 feet, 10 inches

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C-37A Air Station: • CGAS Washington, D.C. (Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport)

HC-130H Hercules and HC-130J Super Hercules, Long Range Surveillance (LRS) Aircraft The Coast Guard currently operates a long-range turboprop aircraft fleet consisting of 18 HC-130H Hercules and nine HC-130J Super Hercules. However, the HC-130H Hercules aircraft are reaching the end of their useful service lives. The Coast Guard conducted a limited sustainment and enhancement project to modernize systems on its HC-130Hs and is continuing with the acquisition of the more capable and cost-effective HC-130J. The remaining HC-130Hs will be systematically retired as the HC-130Js are accepted into service. The HC-130 provides a versatile platform capable of serving as an on-scene command-and-control platform with extended loitering capabilities as well as performing various missions, including maritime patrol, law enforcement, search and rescue, disaster response, and cargo and personnel transport. As a surveillance platform, it provides the critical means to detect, classify, and identify targets. For each of these missions, the information is shared with operational forces capable of interdicting drugs or migrants, protecting living marine resources, and enforcing economic, safety, and security zones. The HC-130 uses a powerful multimode surface-search radar and a nose-mounted EO/IR device combined with an Airborne Tactical Workstation and military satellite communications capability to improve mission effectiveness. The service’s HC-130Js will employ the Minotaur Mission System; newer aircraft are being produced with the system while older aircraft are being backfitted. In 2001, the Coast Guard received funding for the acquisition of six HC-130Js. Full operational capability with missionization was completed in mid-2010. In recent years, the service has received additional funding for more aircraft. • Power plant: Four 4,910-hp Allison T56-A15 turboprop engines (HC-130H); four 5,600-hp Rolls-Royce AE2100D turboprop engines driving six-bladed propellers (HC-130J) • Performance: Cruising speed, 280 knots/max 320 knots; service ceiling, 33,000 feet; range, up to 4,300 nautical miles (HC-130H); cruising speed, 280 knots/ max 362 knots; service ceiling, 39,000 feet; range, up to 5,200 nautical miles (HC-130J) • Weight: Maximum gross weight at takeoff, 155,000 pounds; normal max 175,000 pounds (EWP-Emergency War Power) • Dimensions: Wingspan, 132.6 feet; length, 99.6 feet; height, 38.6 feet; wing area, 1,734 square feet HC-130 Air Stations: • CGAS Sacramento, California • CGAS Clearwater, Florida


Coast Guard OUTLOOK

• CGAS Elizabeth City, North Carolina • CGAS Kodiak, Alaska • CGAS Barbers Point, Hawaii

MH-60T Jayhawk Medium Range Recovery Helicopter An all-weather, medium range recovery helicopter similar to the Navy MH-60R and MH-60S Sea Hawk, with roots going back to the Army’s basic H-60 Black Hawk transport, the Coast Guard MH-60 is a medium range recovery helicopter that is capable of a variety of missions. The service began to operate the aircraft in 1990 as a replacement to the now-retired HH-3F Pelican. The Coast Guard has 44 MH-60Ts. Jayhawks are crewed by two pilots, a flight mechanic, and a rescue swimmer, and can carry up to six seated survivors. It is capable of limited


HC-130H Hercules, HC-130J Super Hercules

shipboard operations as well as land-based operations out to 300 nautical miles, with a 45-minute on-scene time. The MH-60T employs full night-vision-device capability. Primary tactical navigation is accomplished through blended GPS and inertial navigation system receivers. In addition to a rescue hoist – rated for 600 pounds – the Jayhawk is equipped with a heavy-lift external sling with a capacity of 6,000 pounds. The MH-60 carries sensors and equipment for SAR missions, law enforcement, and homeland security missions. Upgrades completed in 2008 providing armed response capability precipitated an airframe designation from HH-60J to MH-60J. The MH-60T is an upgrade of the MH-60J with “glass” cockpit, new EO/IR sensors, new radar, and upgrades to the engines. All MH-60Ts are equipped with Airborne Use of Force (AUF) capabilities. These upgraded MH-60Ts are expected to serve until 2027. The final

MH-60T conversion was delivered in February 2014. The service completed the Block 2 software upgrade in August 2016. Plans are to proceed with a Service Life Extension program (SLEP) upgrade for the fleet to keep it flying until replacement by an aircraft derived from the Future Vertical Lift program. • Power plant: Two 1,560-shp General Electric T700-GE-401C turboshaft engines • Dimensions: Rotor diameter: 53 feet, 8 inches; length, 64 feet, 8 inches; height, 17 feet; main rotor disc area, 2,261 square feet • Performance: Maximum speed, 180 knots; service ceiling, 5,000 feet, hovering; range, 700 nautical miles • Weights: Empty, 14,500 pounds; gross weight, 21,884 pounds

2018 -2019 Edition


• MH-60 Armament: .50-caliber precision fire weapon, M240 7.62 mm machine gun MH-60T Units: • CGAS/CG Aviation Training Center Mobile, Alabama • CGAS Kodiak, Alaska • CGAS Sitka, Alaska • CGAS San Diego, California • CGAS Clearwater, Florida • CGAS Cape Cod, Massachusetts • CGAS Elizabeth City, North Carolina • CGAS Astoria, Oregon

MH-65 Dolphin Short Range Recovery Helicopter The H-65 Dolphin is the Coast Guard’s oldest and most numerous current helicopter, dating to the 1980s when it was selected for the short range rescue mission, and one of the service’s first helicopters without the capability to perform water landings. The H-65 is a short range recovery aircraft. This twinengine, single-rotor helicopter is certified for all weather and nighttime operations, but it is prohibited from flying under known icing conditions. The strengths of this aircraft include its speed, flexibility, and integrated electronics package. The H-65 is the Coast Guard’s standard shipboard deployable aircraft and operates from all flight deck-equipped cutters. Navigation inputs are processed through a central mission computer unit, which can generate search patterns from pilot-provided input. This

minimizes the attention needed to navigate the aircraft and maximizes search effectiveness. Endurance of the H-65 is limited, with a maximum endurance profile at 75 knots of 3.5 hours. The aircraft can sprint at speeds up to 165 knots for short periods and sustain speeds of more than 140 knots. An AUF capability was added to all H-65s, resulting in their redesignation as MH-65C. The MH-65C also obtained SATCOM capability, an integrated EO/IR system, and an NVG heads up display (HUD) to help pilots maintain situational awareness during nighttime operations. The MH-65Cs used by Helicopter Interdiction Tactical Squadron, or HITRON, Jacksonville, Florida, for counterdrug operations carry an M240 machine gun and an M107 .50-caliber precision fire weapon for disabling fire. The MH-65D is the result of the latest incremental modernization project, Segment 4 of a six-segment modernization plan, which commenced in August 2010, was completed in December 2015, and will extend the aircraft’s service life through 2027. It addresses immediate critical mission degraders as well as replacing additional obsolete subsystems, including the aircraft’s navigation system and gyros, with digital GPS and inertial navigation. It adds a new digital Automatic Flight Control System, integrated flight deck with sensor display screens, and a robust, effective C4ISR suite. The service’s final MH-65D upgrade was completed in December 2015. Segment 5 will add a secure shipboard handling, securing, and traversing system. Segment 6, which brings the fleet to MH-65E standard, will replace the analog automatic flight control with


MH-60T Jayhawk


Coast Guard OUTLOOK

MH-65D Dolphin


digital systems, and install digital weather radar and digital glass cockpit instruments, among other modernization upgrades. Data applies to MH-65C/D: • Power plant: HH-65C – two 853-shp Turbomeca Arriel 2C2-CG turboshaft engines • Performance: Maximum speed, 175 knots; cruising speed, 120 knots; operational ceiling, approximately 10,000 feet; range, 375 nautical miles • Weights: Empty weight, 6,200 pounds; max gross weight, 9,480 pounds • Dimensions: Main rotor diameter, 39 feet, 2 inches; main rotor disc area, 1,204 square feet; length, 44 feet, 4 inches; height, 13 feet, 4 inches • MH-65C Armament: .50-caliber precision fire weapon, M240B 7.62 mm machine gun

H-65 Air Stations: • CGAS Traverse City, Michigan • CGAS Barbers Point, Hawaii • CGAS Borinquen, Puerto Rico • CGAS Atlantic City, New Jersey • CGAS Corpus Christi, Texas • CGAS Detroit, Michigan • CGAS Houston, Texas • CGAS Humboldt Bay, California • CGAS Los Angeles, California • CGAS Miami, Florida • CGAS/CG Aviation Training Center Mobile, Alabama • CGAS New Orleans, Louisiana • CGAS North Bend, Oregon • CGAS San Francisco, California • CGAS Port Angeles, Washington • CGAS Savannah, Georgia • CGAS Kodiak, Alaska • HITRON Jacksonville, Florida

2018 -2019 Edition


Did you know this magazine is available online on any device? 2018-2019 EDITION

INTERVIEW: Commandant Adm. Karl L. Shultz Vice Commandant Charles W. Ray

Always Ready Rotary Wing 75th Anniversary of Helicopters in the USCG

UPDATE: Offshore Patrol Cutters

Read the publication online in a beautiful, magazine-like reader. While you’re at it, share the publication using social media.

WORKFORCE Total Active Duty 41,449

Total Reserve


Part-Time Workforce

Total Civilian


Total Auxiliary Total Workforce 24,100 81,298

All-Volunteer Workforce

U.S. COAST GUARD UNITS HEADQUARTERS ORGANIZATION FORCE READINESS COMMAND ATLANTIC AREA (LANTAREA) • 1st DISTRICT – Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, a portion of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Rhode Island • 5th DISTRICT – North Carolina, Virginia, District of Columbia, Maryland, Delaware, and part of Pennsylvania • 7th DISTRICT – South Carolina, Florida, Georgia, Puerto Rico, and U.S. Virgin Islands • 8th DISTRICT – North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Nebraska, Iowa, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Kentucky, West Virginia, Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama • 9th DISTRICT – Michigan and portions of New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Minnesota

PACIFIC AREA (PACAREA) • 11th DISTRICT – California, Utah, Nevada, and Arizona • 13th DISTRICT – Washington, Oregon, Montana, and Idaho • 14th DISTRICT – Western Pacific: Hawaii, Guam, and American Samoa • 17th DISTRICT – Alaska, Northern Pacific, and Bering Strait

2018 -2019 Edition






Vice Commandant



Vice Admirals

SCOTT A. BUSCHMAN Commander, Atlantic Area

LINDA L. FAGAN Commander, Pacific Area

MICHAEL F. McALLISTER Deputy Commandant, Mission Support

Deputy Commandant, Operations

Director, C4 / Cyber & CI0


Rear Admirals (Upper Half)


Commander, 17th Coast Guard District

JOSEPH VOJVODICH Deputy Commandant, Mission Support

TODD A. SOKALZUK Deputy Commander, Atlantic Area

120 120

PETER J. BROWN Commander, 7th Coast Guard District





Commander, 14th Coast Guard District

Deputy, Operations Policy & Capabilities

Commander, 8th Coast Guard District

Commander, 1st Coast Guard District





Assistant Commandant, Acquisition & Chief Acquisition Officer

Superintendent, Coast Guard Academy



Commander, 5th Coast Guard District

Coas t Guard OUTLOOK

Director, Operational Logistics

Director, Operations, SOUTHCOM

Director, Joint Interagency Task Force South

Director, Governmental & Public Affairs




Assistant Commandant, C4IT & Commander, CG CYBERCOM

Assistant Commandant, Human Resources

Commander, 11th Coast Guard District

Rear Admirals (Lower Half)



MELVIN W. BOUBOULIS Assistant Commandant, Engineering & Logistics

ROBERT P. HAYES Assistant Commandant, Intelligence

PAT DeQUATTRO Deputy Commander, Pacific Area

MICHAEL J. JOHNSTON Director, Acquisition Programs & Program Executive Officer

Commander, Personnel Service Center

Deputy Director, Operations, NORTHCOM




Assistant Commandant, Capability

Military Advisor to the Secretary of Homeland Security

ANTHONY J. VOGT Assistant Commandant, Response Policy

Acting Director, Reserve & Military Personnel Policy


Director, Joint Interagency Task Force West

Assistant Commandant, Resources, Chief Financial Officer



Commander, 9th Coast Guard District

Assistant Commandant, Prevention Policy

Senior Reserve Rear Admirals



ANDREW S. McKINLEY (UPPER HALF) Senior Reserve Officer, Deputy Commandant, Operations

Public Health Service

BRIAN PENOYER Commander, Force Readiness Command

STEVEN J. ANDERSEN Judge Advocate General & Chief Counsel

DAVID G. THROOP Commander, 13th Coast Guard District

Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard




Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard

Master Chief Petty Officer of the Reserve Forces

Chaplain of the Coast Guard

Commodore of the Coast Guard Auxiliary


ERICA G. SCHWARTZ, M.D. Director, Health, Safety & Work-Life



Master Chief, Coast Guard Reserve Force Master Chief

National Commodore, Coast Guard Auxiliary

2018 -2019 Edition


U.S. COAST GUARD Thank you for protecting our waterways. We honor your service.


Broward County’s Port Everglades salutes the U.S. Coast Guard for its leadership and commitment to protecting our nation’s maritime economy and the environment, defending our maritime borders, and saving those in peril. Semper Paratus! Visit

port.everglades |

@porteverglades |


Senior Executive Service



Deputy Assistant Commandant, Intelligence

Deputy Assistant Commandant, Resources

Director, Coast Guard Investigative Services







Director, National Pollution Funds Center

Director, Commercial Regulations & Standards




Director, Incident Management & Preparedness Policy

WALTER J. BRUDZINSKI Chief Administrative Law Judge

Director, Financial Operations/Comptroller

BRIAN P. BURNS Deputy Chief Information Officer

Deputy Director, Governmental & Public AffairsÂ


Deputy Assistant Commandant, Engineering & Logistics

Senior Procurement Executive & Head of Contracting Activity

Director, Civil Rights Staff




Deputy Judge Advocate General & Deputy Chief Counsel

Assistant Judge Advocate General, Acquisition & Litigation

Deputy Commandant, Mission Support-Deputy, Personnel Readiness

DR. GLADYS BRIGNONI Deputy Commander, Force Readiness Command

JAMES L. KNIGHT Deputy Assistant Commandant, Acquisition & Director, Acquisition Services

MICHAEL D. EMERSON Director, Marine Transportation Systems Management

Director, International Affairs & Foreign Policy Advisor

Current as of Nov. 26, 2018

2018 -2019 Edition



A Coast Guard Sector San Diego MH-60T Jayhawk helicopter crew recovers Petty Officer 3rd Class William Ross, a rescue swimmer at Sector San Diego, during a search and rescue demonstration in the San Diego Bay, Oct. 28, 2018. The demonstration was part of Coast Guard Sector San Diego’s Fleet Week open house.

Profile for Faircount Media Group

Coast Guard Outlook 2018-2019