Seaman Apprentice Robert Nunez, left, from Suffolk, Va., and Seaman Apprentice Amy M. Haskins, from Kansas City, Mo., stand watch on the signal bridge aboard the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN-68). US Navy Photo
As I consider the likely national security issues facing the United States in the coming decade, I am struck by the decidedly maritime character of these challenges. From China’s rapid naval modernization to Iran’s threat to close the Strait of Hormuz to international shipping, the United States is increasingly facing a security environment requiring robust naval and air forces.
While the previous decade was characterized by the predominance of large ground forces, I firmly believe that the next decade will be defined by the strength of our sea power and projection forces. Read More
C/V Carnival Splendor along side a Mexican Navy ship in 2010. US Navy Photo
The following is from the executive summary of the June 24, 2013 U.S. Coast Guard Report: Report of Investigation into the Fire Onboard the CARNIVAL SPLENDOR which occurred in the Pacific Ocean off the Coast of Mexico on November 8, 2010, which Resulted in Complete Loss of Power.
On November 8, 2010 at 0600 (Local Time), the Carnival Splendor was underway off the coast of Mexico when the vessel suffered a major mechanical failure in the number five diesel generator. As a result, engine components, lube oil and fuel were ejected through the engine casing and caused a fire at the deck plate level between generators five and six in the aft engine room which eventually ignited the cable runs overhead. The fire in the cable runs was relatively small, but produced a significant volume of smoke which hampered efforts to locate and extinguish it. In addition, the fire caused extensive damage to the cables in the aft engine room, which contributed to the loss of power. Read More
The following is from Congressional Research Service’s Ronald O’Rourke June 26, 2013 testimony before the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee on Coast Guard Acquisition.
The Coast Guard’s FY2014 Five Year (FY2014-FY2018) CIP includes a total of about $5.1 billion in acquisition funding, which is about $2.5 billion, or about 33%, less than the total of about $7.6 billion that was included in the Coast Guard’s FY2013 Five Year (FY2013-FY2017) CIP. (In the four common years of the two plans—FY2014-FY2017—the reduction in funding from the FY2013 CIP to the FY2014 CIP is about $2.3 billion, or about 37%.) This is one of the largest percentage reductions in funding that I have seen a five-year acquisition account experience from one year to the next in many years.
About twenty years ago, in the early 1990s, Department of Defense (DOD) five-year procurement plans were reduced sharply in response to the end of the Cold War—a large-scale change in the strategic environment that led to a significant reduction in estimated future missions for U.S. military forces. In contrast to that situation, there has been no change in the Coast Guard’s strategic environment since last year that would suggest a significant reduction in estimated future missions for the Coast Guard. Read More
The following is from the July, 3 2013 Congressional Research Service report, Coast Guard Cutter Procurement: Background and Issues for Congress.
This report provides background information and potential oversight issues for Congress on the Coast Guard’s programs for procuring 8 National Security Cutters (NSCs), 25 Offshore Patrol Cutters (OPCs), and 58 Fast Response Cutters (FRCs). These 91 planned cutters are intended as replacements for 90 aging Coast Guard cutters and patrol craft. The Coast Guard began procuring NSCs and FRCs a few years ago, and the first few NSCs and FRCs are now in service. Read More
From the executive summary of the United States Coast Guard’s Arctic Strategy released on May, 21 2013: As arctic ice recedes and maritime activity increases, the Coast Guard must be prepared to administer and inform national objectives over the long-term. The United States is an arctic nation, and the Coast Guard supports numerous experienced and capable partners in the region. The aim of this strategy is to ensure safe, secure, and environmentally responsible maritime activity in the arctic. This strategy establishes objectives to meet this aim and support national policy. framed with a planning horizon of 10 years, it delineates the ends, ways, and means for achieving strategic objectives while articulating factors that contribute to long-term success. Read More
From the March 28, 2013 Congressional Research Service report: The diminishment of Arctic sea ice has led to increased human activities in the Arctic, and has heightened interest in, and concerns about, the region’s future. The United States, by virtue of Alaska, is an Arctic country and has substantial interests in the region. On January 12, 2009, the George W. Bush Administration released a presidential directive, called National Security Presidential Directive 66/Homeland Security Presidential Directive 25 (NSPD 66/HSPD 25), establishing a new U.S. policy for the Arctic region. Read More
HSV-2 Swift departs from Naval Station Mayport to begin Southern Partnership Station 2013. US Navy Photo
The U.S. Navy is examining low-cost high-speed ships to replace aging surface ships in U.S. Southern Command’s fight against drug traffickers, U.S. 4th Fleet officials told USNI News on Tuesday. Read More
Coast Guardsmen from Air Station Detroit and Station St. Clair Shores, Mich., conduct joint ice-rescue training on Lake St. Clair, Feb. 12, 2013. US Coast Guard Photo
The Coast Guard plans to reduce surface and air operations by 21 percent and defer depot level maintenance due to budget cuts, according to a February draft memo obtained by USNI News. Read More
Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Robert Papp during the 2013 State of the Coast Guard address. US Coast Guard Photo
The U.S. Coast Guard will attempt to preserve its workforce in the face of wide-ranging budget cuts, Commandant Admiral Robert Papp said Wednesday following his annual State of the Coast Guard address in Washington, D.C. Read More
Even as the Coast Guard gets a grip on the Arctic, drug smugglers in the eastern Pacific are slipping through its fingers, Commandant Adm. Robert Papp acknowledged Thursday.
At the Surface Naval Association Symposium, Papp told reporters he has been forced to give some things up as demands on the Coast Guard increase in the warming Arctic. As he has sent the service’s new National Security Cutters into the frozen north, it has been at the expense of man- and ship-hours for other missions, including drug interdiction in the eastern Pacific.
The Coast Guard Cutter Bertholf sails in the Arctic Ocean near Barrow, Alaska, Aug. 28, 2012. U.S. Coast Guard Photo
“We don’t have enough ships out there to interdict all the known tracks that we’re aware of,” he said. “We intercept as many as we can.”