Crises highlight need to continue service recapitalization

The following blog was posted by Cmdr. Glynn Smith on behalf of Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Bob Papp.

U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Bertholf, homeported at Coast Guard Island in Alameda, Calif., arrives in San Francisco, as the Coast Guard’s first National Security Cutter. The new cutters will replace the aging 378-foot cutters as the Coast Guard’s long-range patrol asset. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer Jonathan R. Cilley.

U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Bertholf, homeported at Coast Guard Island in Alameda, Calif., arrives in San Francisco, as the Coast Guard’s first National Security Cutter. The new cutters will replace the aging 378-foot cutters as the Coast Guard’s long-range patrol asset. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer Jonathan R. Cilley.

As Hurricane Irene strikes the eastern seaboard this weekend, your Coast Guard is already responding to help those in need. We remain always ready, and we’ll be there until the job is done.

A U.S. Coast Guard HC-144 aircraft departs for a media support flight to document and plot the location of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Michael B. Watkins.

A U.S. Coast Guard HC-144 aircraft departs for a media support flight to document and plot the location of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Michael B. Watkins.

The U.S. Coast Guard was established by the founding fathers in 1790 with a fleet of 10 cutters to provide the essential services of protecting people, enforcing sovereignty and promoting economic prosperity. Today, the Coast Guard is responsible for protecting those on the sea, protecting Americans from threats delivered by sea and protecting the sea itself.

Coast Guardsmen perform these missions every day. We rely on a fleet of capable ships, aircraft and boats to succeed in the unforgiving maritime environment.

Acquisition of new cutters, aircraft and boats has been challenging at times, but over the past six years we’ve learned by experience and built a corps of the best acquisition professionals who are delivering success in our plans to replace the current aging fleet.

Coast Guard Cutter Bertholf prepares to meet with two Navy vessels in the Gulf of Alaska. Bertholf participated in Operation Northern Edge, Alaska’s largest joint military training exercise. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Charly Hengen.

Coast Guard Cutter Bertholf prepares to meet with two Navy vessels in the Gulf of Alaska. Bertholf participated in Operation Northern Edge, Alaska’s largest joint military training exercise. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Charly Hengen.

Where are we today? We have delivered two new 418-foot National Security Cutters, which now patrol the high seas, a third will be delivered next month, a fourth is being built and a contract for the fifth is imminent. We also have two 154-foot Fast Response Cutters nearing completion with six more under construction, as well as delivered 12 aircraft and placed orders for three more.

We have constructed new and upgraded existing shore facilities that support the fleet and overhauled our 30 to 40 year old fleet of 35 ships and 169 aircraft to sustain current operations.

This same fleet is responding now to Hurricane Irene as the Coast Guard positions itself to save lives and protect property. In addition to cutters and aircraft stationed along the eastern seaboard, 35 aircraft from around the country, including helicopters and fixed wing reconnaissance plans, are poised to respond to life saving, pollution and disaster response duties.

I am very proud of our Coast Guard men and women who protect our Nation every day. I’m also proud of the Coast Guard’s acquisition professionals for their vital work in replacing the Coast Guard’s fleet of cutters, aircraft and boats.

Semper Paratus,
Admiral Bob Papp
Commandant, United States Coast Guard

A Coast Guard HC-144 Ocean Sentry, In flight over the Albemarle Sound in North Carolina. The HC-144A is the first all-new aircraft delivered to the Coast Guard as part of the service’s progressive modernization and recapitalization of aging legacy assets. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

A Coast Guard HC-144 Ocean Sentry, In flight over the Albemarle Sound in North Carolina. The HC-144A is the first all-new aircraft delivered to the Coast Guard as part of the service’s progressive modernization and recapitalization of aging legacy assets. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

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  • James J. Pond

    Very well written! No words can express how much I miss the service, the people, and the leadership of the men and women of the U.S. Coast Guard. Semper Paratus is Latin meaning “Always Ready”. Always ready means what it implies but the real translation resides in the hearts of minds of everyone who serves in every mission the U.S. Coast Guards many missions. In war, in peace, the U.S. Coast Guard conducts search and rescue, maintains military readiness, responds to oil and hazardous materials, breaks ice to facilitate commerce, drug interdiction, alien interdiction, and even more. In my opinion, the U.S. Coast Guard is one of Americas most valuable services, that will take on any mission at any time, and still remain always ready.

  • Sarah Foster

    The business case for continued acquisition of new capable assets is highlighted by not only by unpredictability of oncoming crises, yet also an increased expectation of stakeholders in the American public, our industry and agency counterparts and the rest of the global community to perform to the highest standards in response and maritime oversight roles.