WH ‘Hammered’ Allen on CG Woes

WH ‘Hammered’ Allen on CG Woes

White House officials pressured the Coast Guard commandant to tone down comments that his service faces serious threats to its ability to respond to emergencies such as the Haitian earthquake disaster, DoD Buzz has learned.

A source with close ties to the Coast Guard told us this morning that the “White House hammered Allen” once they saw a draft of his final State of the Coast Guard speech. Basically, he was told, you’ve got your budget now get out there and defend it.

The Coast Guard sailed right into Haiti after the earthquake. Their High Endurance Cutters –average age close to 41 years — were the prime assets the Coasties relied on to get people and equipment to Haiti. They made it there, but as Coast Guard Commandant Thad Allen has made clear, the HECs are tired and limping after their latest deployment.

Allen’s proof: 10 of the 12 cutters had to head into port for serious repair work as a result of their latest deployment. Adm. Allen offered that number during his State of Coast Guard speech on Friday afternoon.

In a Jan. 19 message to his command, Allen described the Coast Guard’s rapid response to the disaster: “The next morning, Haitians witnessed President Obama’s pledge — “You will not be forsaken and you will not be forgotten” — become reality when the cutter FORWARD arrived with the rising sun as the first American asset on-scene. Amidst the devastation, FORWARD delivered damage assessments, critical command and control capabilities, and most importantly — hope.”

After his speech, Allen talked with reporters and I asked him if the Coast Guard might not able to deploy the next time it faces a serious global disaster like the earthquake or a tsunami. He said it’s possible that might be the case. Obviously, his response was carefully calibrated to keep the White House off his back while offering the most honest answer he could muster knowing that his forces are close to crippled.

Think of the implications: the nation’s first responder to major nautical and coastal disasters, the fleet that watches the Caribbean and Atlantic for drug smugglers is limping along, one rusted hull, one fire away from being knocked out of commission permanently.

Our source close to the Coast Guard noted that the Coast Guard cutter Dallas — which transited the Panama Canal from the Pacific to get to Haiti — and three of her sister ships are on the decommissioning list for the 2011 budget. So when the next crisis hits, our nation may well be left without one-third of her Coast Guard blue water fleet. Not to mention the other three or four ships that my need serious repairs if they deploy.

On top of all that, there is the strategic threat to our ability to maintain an Arctic presence. Allen noted after his speech at the National Press Club that our two nuclear ice-breakers have about seven years of operational life left, the same amount of time it will probably take to build replacements. [Eds. note — Only Russia has nuke ice breakers. My mistake. CSC]

“We have a looming crisis and that’s the condition of our Arctic icebreakers,” Allen said. But the Coast Guard can’t budget any money until the White House decides just what our Arctic policy will be in the face of increasingly open waters in the far north. “That policy discussion cannot happen soon enough,” Allen said, clearly hoping to move things along at a slightly less than glacial pace.

On top of the Arctic policy woes, the country has not yet budgeted for one of the ice breakers. The estimated cost: a very substantial $1 billion. That is not the kind of money one scrapes together at the last minute, especially for a service already facing what analysts like to call “a constrained budget environment.”

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The bastard children of our nation’s defense establishment. They’re full-time disaster relief, search and rescue, customs enforcement, and drug police. Their op-tempo has always been amongst the highest of the services and they’ve always been at the short end of the budget stick.

A nuclear powered ice breaker is slated to be a $1B item. Compared to a multi-billion Cruiser.…. One hoeps the CG has the sense to recognize that it does not need to fundamentally change the characteristics of the ice breakers to perform essentially the same mission as the aging vessels.

I don’t have much sympathy. The Coast Guard back during WW2 operated US Navy equipment. Today all the gear is boutique. Why can’t they get with the Navy and recapitalize the blue water fleet with LCS ships? They could get the numbers back in no time. Why the need to operate Dolphin helicopters?? Why not standardize on MH-60R’s or S’??? Same with fixed wing aviation.

Add to it the murky area they occupy between law enforcement / military service and you have a service that might always be in financial trouble. Doctrine comes before procurement. Time for the Coast Guard to pick a side of the fence.

Quick, BArry will have his teleprompter make a speech. I am sure that speech will inspire and do little for floating assets to complete a mission to secure the nations sea approaches. Talk and campaign is all this administration can do.…while spending money on anything but defense.

Maybe not for the Arctic but why not some $160 million JHSVs for the Coasties instead of the exquisite Bertholfs? They’re great for quick response disaster relief, and can do the shallow water operations of the LCS. The are the original littoral ships at 1/3 the cost!

Good Afternoon Folks,

Admiral Allen is argumentatively the best of the current services chiefs. As said by TMB the position of the USCG is dubious at best. Admiral Allen since taking over the USCG has made huge changes in acquisition and procurement especially. He has drug the DHS along kicking and screaming.

The problem that he is referring to, is the opening of what will finally be the North West Passage from the Atlantic and the Pacific. The Canadians have recognized that they alone can’t control this are when it becomes the worlds busiest shipping lane, most likely in the next decade or sooner.

The Bush Administration signed a treaty with the Canadians to co-monitor and police this area for some favorable shipping rights for US vessels. The job of doing this will of course fall on the USCG which is wholly unready for the task.

The Coasties are not popular with the M/I Complex since they took all their ship design in house after a contractor screwed up the job of extend some ship that had to be scrapped as unseaworthy.

Admiral Allen won’t be missed by the DHS or the political he has made himself a pain in the a** to them, but what he said will still ring true.


Byron Skinner

Nuclear icebreakers? I don’t think he mentioned those.

The Bertholf class vessels are long range, whereas the littorals are made for something completely different. I understand that the CG has looked at the littorals, but has found them not well suited to its needs

I’m a navy guy, and I’ve always found it curious that the CG should use ships that have gotten too old for the Navy. For example, the Hamilton class cutters, many of which are 40+ years old. I read that one developed a crack in the bow a few years back while attempting to head out on a rescue.


********* = unwanted children beginning with a “B.”

A couple of years ago, the DEEPWATER INC. company (pieces of LM and NG combined), “hired” Northrop Grumman to design the new FRC (fast response cutter). Well, NG decided to use composite materials and designed a monstrosity that was way too heavy and far too expensive to construct. But NG managed to use the composite materials it assembles over at its GULFPORT, MISS. branch of its shipyard. These are the nitwits who assemble those funny looking AEMS (advanced enclosed masts) that you now see onboard each LPD 17 class. Plan to see them replaced long, long before the hoped for 40 or even 30 year life span of those expensive amphibb ships.

Anyway, the USCG was aghast at the “designed” FRC that DEEPWATER and NG proposed. So, the USCG wisely said, No Thanks, and went to Europe , purchased a foreign 150 foot design, and now the first 4 FRC cutters are now under construction over in southern Louisiana: BOLLINGER SHIPYARD. And, No, these new FRC’s are not being built with any heavy, expensive, short-lived composite materials like Northrop Grumman designed in order to keep their GULFPORT shipyard employed. Admiral Allen will be missed for his wisdom and insight, and foresight. He has been a true leader in these extremely challenging DEEPWATER Inc. times. P.S. DEEPWATER Inc. goes out of business and disappears in approximately one year. We’ll miss you, Admiral Allen.

Colin Clark clearly didn’t do any research before publishing this, the US Coast Guard does not have any nuclear ice breakers, nice one.

And if the US wants to get serious, why do we pay each illegal Cuban migrant upwards of $10,000 to start out over here when we spend millions to keep them from entering, seems counter productive if you ask me.

This administration believes it is more important to support illegals, George Soro’s drilling investments in Brazil, give money to Hamas and other radical arabs, ACORN, unions, banks friendly to chris dodd and barney frank than to defend this country. After all this congress must support their friends, as in each others pork projects, stimulus packages that further the anti American attitude and other things that promotes the liberals destruction of our country before providing our military with the proper tools. This administration is bent on destroying America. In 9 months you can vote 435 representatives and 34 senators OUT OF OFFICE. It is time to flush the congressional toilet and get rid of the waste that is ruining our country. Also we must realize that DHS is run by a nut not a big sister. As a result we, as AMERICANS, are in deep trouble. Be sure to vote them out on November 2, 2010.

The Dolphin helicopter was kept so we could allocate funds elsewhere to help the CG fleet. Additionally, a 60 of any variation is too heavy to land on the high endurance cutters safely. In case you didn’t know, we don’t just get with someone to make things better. If we get something from the navy it’s because they no longer need it or it is “too old” for the Navy. We do LE and Military because DHS has deemed it as thus. The CG doesn’t make the policies it follows them. We have always been the service to do more with less and I seriuously doubt that will change.

Unfortunately the CG doesn’t get to pick the side of the fence. Were you born stupid or go to a special school to learn stupid. CG is victim of the Homeland Security incompetent buffoons. WH is once again trying to make a scape goat out of innocent bystanders for their own idiocy.

ADM Allen is arguably the best military leader around Washington. Outspoken and blunt, but able to back up just about every word, he fights for his services needs. Chain of command ‚however ‚Bdictates that he still remain respectful and loyal to his superiors. A tough spot to be in. I wouldn’t criticize him lightly.

I agree with Solomon. If the Coast Guard wants to fix their equipment woes, at least try partnering with the Navy to see what options are available equipment wise. If the Navy is going to dump unserviceable equipment on the Coast Guard, then Adm Allen has a legitimate argument for what is the backbone of his force in readiness.

Also, if our government is intent on scrutinizing something as elementary as Cutters from the Coast Guard (what I consider to be a mission critical item) how about they cut the funding for the nice-to-have’s like the EFV for the Marine Corps? I’m not saying eliminate the EFV, but its all about priorities and the CG is getting the short end of the stick probably because they’re not on the forefront of the Global War on Terror like the other services are.

“because they’re not on the forefront of the Global War on Terror like the other services are.”

I hope that’s a joke you just made. They are our COAST Guard. As in, the force that’s supposed to keep baddies away from our extremely vulnerable coastline. They also do port security, drug enforcement, and they patrolled and made seizures on the Iraqi coastline during the first year of OIF.

I don’t know about him being born stupid but Solomon doesnt have a clue. As sword100 points out the CG doesnt pick and choose task direction, they/we might be able to decide how best to provide the services that we are charged with but even then we are bound by budget constraints. As far as using Navy equipment in WWII, sure because we were part of the Navy doing the Navy mission, during peace time we don’t so we need equipment suited for our missions not the Navy.

When the President of the United States spoke, the brave USCG men and women response was” YES SIR”. On point as always with a heart of hope. compassion and America( word) we will not forsake you.

I agree that previous CG commands have put it in the hole it is now. The current commander has a valid point about readiness though. This is a crucial point in our security. The only thing I have issue with is the fact that he was talking about global disasters. (Not the CG’s responsibility) They are here for HOMELAND security. They should have never been sent to Haiti in the first place. We need every asset we can get defending our sea borders, arguably the weakest point in our border defense. The CG should seek out contracts with domestic manufacturers. Stimulus anyone? By the way, the Dauphin aka Dolphin is a Eurocopter technology. How much of a boost would we see in the economy and CG readiness with a homegrown helitech update?

Admiral Allen has been incompetent in acquisition and has screwed the pooch with Deepwater, letting LM and NG run all over him, deliver obviously bad quality. He first obscured the problem, but then became an apologist for it. He should have been court martialed for letting contractors run all over him.

(1) With the QDR stating that the Navy should provide more homeland defense, the Coast Guard should get out of the blue water business and the Navy should buy a few more destroyers. That would also eliminate the CG’s next disaster in waiting, its Offshore Patrol Cutter (medium endurance), for which the Navy can also add a few more LCS’s.

(2) Given its high optempo, to get their numbers up and meet current demands, instead of buying four patrol boats a year at $60 million a pop, the CG should lease 150 foot patrol boats from multiple domestic sources. At least they get the boats sooner and at less cost (no internal CG mismanagement and overhead). (They had to go to Europe for a FRC design??? LOL!!!)

How did the LCS not meet USCG specifications?

I’m fairly sure we, as in the Coast Guard, do not pay them.

not only that the coast guard has been one of the longest running branches in the military since our country has started this sucks the coast guard is our last line of defense against a terrorist attack and they are letting it go to waist

not only that the coast guard has been one of the longest running branches in the military since our country has started this sucks the coast guard is our last line of defense against a terrorist attack and they are letting it go to waist

The Coast Guard did look very closely at the LCS design and determined that the total package didn’t meet the CG’s mission needs, which is why the went to an independent design.

You must be joking. I’m talking about the platform itself, not its loadout. The Coast Guard operates H-60’s…it just has a different equipment fit. That’s what I was getting at. Defend them if you want but the idea is to make a little go a long way. Dolphin helicopters don’t do that. Think and research cowboy. THINK.

Why would the coast card need a stealth ship anyways? Save money and get a LCS design that’s not stealth!

Gee, is the C130 something unique to the CG or only in your fantasy universe, you moron, possibly even bombastic moron. What other CG fixed wing aircraft are you worried about that isn’t used by the rest of the US military. Also, if you meant to say that you thought that the mission of the CG should be revisited instead of just saying it was the CG’s fault that they couldn’t decide their mission, why didn’t you just say that unless you are a bombastic moron. Say what you mean instead of obfuscating. Write clearly and say what you mean.

Regretably, the USCG is the forgotten child of the armed forces of this country. How many people know of the role the Coast Guard played in WW2, Korea, VietNam and our own coastal waters? Our own Commander-In-Chief, more than likely, isn’t even aware. Then, again, he may not even care. Just hope and pray that when the USCG buys a newly constructed ship to replace one of the older WHEC’s, that they don’t buy a design that is not capable of carrying out a mission (like the Navy has done). I have the greatest respect for the USCG and I’m retired USNR.

The Coast Guard has always been handed the dregs of the military budget yet is tasked with being a first responder to any vessel or aircraft in trouble within 500 miles of our shores. Ask any of those who were rescued during Katrina. Sure, the Navy, Marines, Air Force, and National Guard were there too, but they weren’t there first.

The Coast Guard has always been tasked to fill in the gaps left open by the other service branches and has always stepped up and found a way to get it done. I commend Admiral Allen for his service and his leadership in an administration that has done nothing but “hamstring” the military services.

It’s easy to be an armchair quarterback. Let’s see you do it better. Put up or.….…..you know.…..

Not as stupid as you— you bombastic moron. With the name calling out of the way how about we debate the facts now?

The point is this. The USCG operates in conflicting spheres. It is needed by law enforcement to act as a sea going security/rescue/economic enforcement service and is needed by the Navy/DOD.

Isn’t it time for a revamping of the service? The best example would be the immigration service. Part of it was designed to facility the entry of persons into the country. Another part of it was charged with the prevention of people illegally entering. That service was divided into two branches.

Maybe its time to divide the coast guard into three different forces. One for sea going law enforcement…another for rescue and then a third to handle out of area operations with the Navy.

That would make sense. That would allow the politicians to have to pick there poison when it came to budget cuts for the service. Explain to the residents of the coastal communities that the USCG is cutting back on anyone of those public services and the outcry would be intense. That would allow the public to get on board the USCG bandwagon. Simply thumping your chest and yelling that we’re doing a good job isn’t going to cut it.

FWIW: Regarding the USCG getting equipment from the USN, remember that the Coast Guard was flying E-2C Hawkeyes from the Navy back in the late 80’s // early 90’s {I don’t remember the exact date}. Or they WERE flying them, until one fell out of the sky and made a “smoking hole” in Puerto Rico, killing all on board the aircraft.

That’s NOT a mark against the USN, but a reminder that if the USCG gets “hand-me-downs” from somebody else, they had better be GOOD hand-me-downs.

‘Nuff said.

dude your joking right a standard MH-60 wont cut it even if the coast guard got it they would spend millions on refitting it for the specialized uses they need it for. and they dont have a choice has to how they operate it was passed in a bill that under non war time policy the coast guard operates as a peace keeping entity of the department of homeland security and during war time policy it falls under the department of the navy. so solomon do us all a favor and research stuff before you open your mouth again.

Guys — the coast guard doesnt want the LCS any more than the real NAVY does (not the washington brass fleet that loves this junk) it is too big, the systems are too complicated for easy maintenance by the crew (needs technicians to support & repair when in port), has no fire power, it is a total waste of money and wont last half its life span. The Navy gave them the best thing they had close to a littoral combat ship in the 90’s (the 150 ft CYCLONE class ships) but took them back once they realized thier use in our current war. The Navy ships are too big and the Coast Guard does not need VLS and surface to air missles or have the manpower for a 400 man crew. They are fighting the same war against contractors that the rest of the military is fighting, trying to get the contractors to build to thier requirements and not the other way around. That is why they go overseas and buy pre existing designs and equipment to get what they want rather than what they have to settle with. it’s that way with every corporation in America today — thay want you to buy what they want to sell you. Not since the 70’s have you been able to walk into a car dealer and tell them exactly what model — engine — color — trans — and trim you want and get it, now days you have to buy this if you want that you have to buy this option but it deleats that option, it sucks. I’m glad the Coast Guard is standing thier ground Like Specops and the Marines do. The rest of the military needs to have thier spines replaced and fused at full attention as well.

the Hhuligans Navy has always come across for the people of the US . In the past few yersr their mission has changed and like all the other goverment agencies they to should be up graded to todays missions. If you are going to have the” Best services and equipment money can buy” then the USCG should also get the best. After all they are always on the go. may be they need to go back to the control of the Treasury. not the Wkhite House, Home Land Security.

The intital comment “WH hammers USCG” somehow got lost in the posts. The Freedom of ANY Service Chief to discuss his plusses or minueses with the press is going to be curtailed more and more, as the OBNA Admin presses hard to control dissent, discussion and the really Free Press.
Control is everything to these Agenda driven Lefties and dissent, or any mention of “problems” will always get the Hammer.
A fine mess we elected, now we suffer for it.

Well, this administration gets what it deserves. It is WEAK on national security & strong on rhetoric. Now, is rhetoric alone going to take down Bin Laden?! To this administration & the Democrats in Congress, I say this, put up or shut up ’cause your time is up!

No, its not a joke. I’m aware that the Coast Guard has fought in the Global War on Terror (GWOT), but I said not on the “forefront” — as in, not participating in ground combat operations which are, and have been, primarily the focus of both Iraq and Afghanistan. I’m not taking anything away from what the Coast Guard has achieved. Let’s be honest here though, when you think of OIF or OEF, you think of the Army, Marines or Navy. And in a time when our government’s budget isn’t overflowing with GWOT money anymore, who do you think is going to get the smallest pot of money? Unfortunately, its the Coast Guard. At least until they can convince the powers that be otherwise. I’m glad that Adm Allen is fighting for better equipment and its a shame he’s getting turned down, but alternative measures are his best bet for the next several years.

More money for the coasties. Now

CG isn’t the NAVY…thank goodness. We steam solo to a whole different mission set. We use NAVY kit when and where we can. Much of thier design is suited to their mission set and not ours. We are by no means perfect but are a damn good value to the taxpayer. Don’t lay Deepwater at ADM Allen’s feet…that booger is and will remain on ADM Collin’s finger. CG has the best and most righteous mission set of any service or agency in town. We have the best group of young men and women to prosecute those missions…God Bless all our Marines, soldiers, sailors and airmen. We have starved our assets/infrastructure hoping for support from Deepwater. Politics are what they are and here we sit with old stuff that is showing its age. We’ll make it work and we’ll make you proud. Semper Paratus

The Navy is retiring Destroyers that are younger than the Cutters that are out there and congress has shipyards building ships the the Navy doesn’t want. Why not update the Coast Guard and keep the same shipyards busy. My problem is why does’t the Military build more nuclear powered surface ships, which would make the fleets less dependent on foreigh oil, which is why the Cole became vulnerable because no Supply Ship was at hand.

Well said Boomer, the arguments for whyt he CG should adopt the LCS don’t stand up to even the most casual scrutiny.

Boomer summed it up pretty well below, but the crew and support requirements were too high, the weapons and sensor systems don’t meet the CG’s mission profile, and the ship doesn’t have the endurance needed for the long distance, solitary patrols our HEC’s tend to perform. I won’t say it’s a bad ship for what its designed to do, but its a bad fit for the mission profile the Coast Guard is looking to fill.

To All: Some good conversation going on here on the real problems. But what the CG needs is a massive restructuring in philosphy when it comes to getting what they need. For example:

Problem: Both Democratic and Republican administrations have strangled the Coasties when it comes to resoucing their needs. Mainly a result of the President listening to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) — who I like to call the “real evil empire”– because they artificially constrain budgets for political purposes.

Possible Solution: The CG and Navy should develop common ship and aircraft platforms for some roles, with different mission packages. Let the Navy pay for the nonrecurring development costs of a new hull size or aircraft, propulsion, C3I, and let the CG outfit it with their special needs. That would save a lot of time and money.

You make some good points John King, but the problem is the NAVY ships are too big, they snicker at anything under 300 foot which is why thier LCS program is so messed up. The officers heading these programs dont want to command smaller boats and crews when all thier buddies at the club are talking about how big thier boats are. The Navy ships head out to sea during rough weather and storms because they dont ride them well, while the coast guard goes head on with them and need craft that can manuever close to people in need to render aid. Navy destroyers and frigates have taken Coast Guard and Customs detachments to sea with them to run interdictions and such but they are not well suited for such operations due to thier in close manuverability and turn around radius. The coast guard are on thier own in this battle unless the NAVY as I mentioned earlier after realizing the utility of the CYCLONE class in an LCS role (which is what it was designed for before thier was an LCS criteria), and the NAVY goes back to that type of craft with updates, then the Coast Guard could jump in with them. Now some of the older FFG designs that the NAVY has sitting in yards that they havent given away to tiawan or japan yet could be easily converted for coast guard deep water ops.

You make a great point about the CG ships being more robust that the Navy’s (in the old days, Navy ships could take pounding and still fight — no more). As a gap filler, using decommissioned Navy ships may be what it takes to meet the mission. The Coast Guard should go there to make their point with OMB, the White House and the Congress. The Congress would give them the money if they articulated their real needs.

As to the Navy’s PC’s, friends who work this area made two cogent points: (1) SOCOM (special ops) never liked them because they couldn’t carry anything (Navy designed them a little too small), and (2) based on their current condition, it would cost too much to repair and upgrade the current boats (cheaper to build new).

I leave out Homeland Security because they have no clue.

What would be well suited for the coast guard is the A200 valour class corvettes built in Germany and with LINX maritime helos. this combo has worked well for Germany and South Africa who purchased four operational platforms then had them delivered and installed thier own electronics and weapons systems in 2006. Our own shipyards should be coming up with something comparable in design and cost because this would be a good LCS platform as well.

I also feel that instead of sinking our decommisioned Navy Destroyers, Cruisers and especially Aircircraft Carriers(Saratoga,Kennedy,Forrestal come to mind), they should be maintained and transferred to the CG for use in their missions. Perhaps the best thing that could be done for the Coast Guard is to give the Service its own budget . as mentioned before the Coast Guard is probably the most Overworked, Overlooked, Undermanned and Underappreciated of our Services. They have constantly been placed under other federal departments budgets ie. Department of Transportation. It’s about time that due funding is given to maintain the Service that protects our Coastal and Inland Waterways and as Admiral allen stated provides hope for those need.

The problem with that is the retired navy ships are so old the coast guard would need to retire them themselves due to unsafe fatigue before they manage to get their moneys worth from the refit they would have to put the ships through to manage the coasties job description. New coastguard mission-specific ships is more cost effective.
The coast guard is runnign older ships as their frontline HEC cutters now, than even a little country like New Zealand has in the navy, the last Leander class frigate that is an age mate to the HEC was retired some years ago. even Fiji and the pacific banana republics use newer coastal patrol boats than the US CG has to make do with.

They HAVE the Dauphin (Dolphin) helicopters now, the only expenses being operating costs and maintenance. To replace them all with H-60’s would mean the purchase of all new helicopters, as the Navy, Marine Corp, Army, foreign allies aren’t exactly just going to give them helicopters from their stockpile, so they’d have to have more built.

That’s a phenomenal cost, which doesn’t take into account the cost of re-certifying all the coastguard pilots who fly the Dauphin on the new helicopter, or the cost and time to train all the maintenance crews on repair and maintenance of the new helicopter type. All in all, that’s far from “making a little go a long way” as you state Solomon.

If they had the budget, then sure, matching airframe types with their military counterparts makes sense from a logistics sense. Parts can be swapped, and aircraft / aircrew can be loaned as needed. But I think with the blue water fleet of the coastguard so aging, they need to focus on getting new ships first. Their aircraft are good for a while yet.

That said, I understand what you were trying to say about the coast guard needing to pick a side. They perform roles under a number of different banners: Drug prevention, Anti-piracy, Anti-people smuggling, Rescue… instead of having their own budget, maybe they need to be fully integrated into Homeland security, or an existing agency to cut down on top-heavy management, saving some costs.

Alternatively, maybe a slice of the pie can be taken from the various agencies tasked with doing the job the coastguard helps with, and that money can be used to update the fleet. (Ie. DEA, Homeland Security, Navy)

Or lastly, scrap the coastguard altogether and rely on the Navy to fill that role, as per the likes of Australia.

Tough to find ships as capable from “domestic sources” — specially when the goal is to replace all 40+ 110′ PBs. Also, previous CG PB designs were also from DAMEN (WPB-87 for instance) and even the highly lauded 110′ PB wasn’t originally a US design. The SENTINEL is scheduled for delivery in the second quarter of FY11.

The CG does operate MH-60s.

It’s the difference between CAP and BAR-CAP patrols in the navy air fleet, CAP or Combat Air Patrol is close to the ships, and can land when low on fuel without having to fly back first, no need for long loiter times. BAR CAP or Barrier Combat Air Patrol, is further out to discourage any attacking aircraft from getting close enough to engage the ships in the first place, this requires more loiter time further from the ship, plus the travel out there and back again when patrol time is over. BARCAP has less weaponry on the pylons and loads fuel drop tanks in their place.

The coast guard HEC are like BAR-CAP craft, needing to float around out to sea for extended periods, the LCS are designed to run home to a mothership every now and again when they run low on fuel or food. They don’t have the endurance to hang around for long enough, or the heavy weather blue water seaholding ability.

The CG has fewer people than the NYC police department yet covers more shoreline than any other service in a routine patrol and emergency response manner. The new 47 foot MLB replaced the 44 foot MLB’s that were built in the mid 60’s. Most of the 41 foot UTB are from the early 70’s. The HEC and MEC 378 and 210 foot cutters are also aging and in need of replacemetn. Both were state of the art when introduced but need moderrnization badly.
The Polar class breakers were initially designed as nukes but budget and logistics forced use of diesels. Most likely a new breaker will be of similar design and size.

I think we all can agree that the CG has taken it in the shorts regarding its ship-building programs. However, a potential solution to this might be found in a discussion regarding its assigned mission(s). My first question is “Should the CG be a blue or brown water defense force?” With the expansion of homeland defense missions this may prove to be a critical question that needs answering. Equally, if the CG is going to continue its blue water mission(s) which one(s) are to have priority? When the service military chiefs brief Congress, they start by stating their missions leading directly into a discussion of “requirements” for equipment, personnel, training, etc. The testimony by the CG traditionally has been blurred by the fact that it has been generally regarded as a service under the Treasury Department, not the DOD; and, as a result, when it briefs Congress regarding its mission(s) and requirement(s) a good number of the committee members are unfamiliar with the true meanings of “mission(s)” and “requirement(s)” when compared to the members of the various armed services committees. It’s up to us, as citizens, to push Congress for clarification(s) regarding the CGs overall role and missions. Key to this is the question, “Is the CG a military force or a uniformed civilian agency?” If the answer is clearly the latter, it may be easier to determine where its priorities are; in blue water or brown water. With that, we might be able to agree on the proper types of vessels it needs and fund them.

If the Coast Guard is not willing to use modified LCS class ships then give them all the Oliver Hazard Perry Class Frigates. That would cover just about any need the CG would have.

A nice thought, but as this old retired guy always has said, “Call me Hooligan, but don’t call me Navy.”

i think you should look at uncle sam as to what side of the fence! take a good look at how our uncle keeps throwing the coast guard back and forth from this to that​.in ww 2 it used to be navy ‚then became a part of the dept of transper. that would return to being part of the navy in a time of war. then former president bush made it part of the dept. of homeland sercurity. each and every time it gets moved it looses more money for new eqp. though budget cuts.

unlce sam need’s to sit back and listen to adm.allen. make the coasties a full time real branch of our services with a real budget of it’s own, not the hand my downs they have had to live with as from the dept .of transper and now home land security.

as to the rest of what you write about .i ask you or any one else who thinks poorly of the coast guard. to join the coast guard Aux. and work to become a boswain. at that point any one reaching this rank will understand the problems the coast guard has to deal with.

The Coast Guard has its own budget (even though it is embedded in the Homeland Security Department). It also gets about $30 million a year from the Navy for Navy-type weapons and support. Filling out its requirements is a poliitcal decision made by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), which never really tells the President (Democrat or Republican) what is truly needed.

What the nation needs is for the Coast Guard to be a separate department or independent agency.

The amount of money spent back in the late ‘80s repairing the Dallas and 3 of her sisters could have bought new Perry class frigates for the same or less $. They need to be wise in how they spend.

ADM Allen is doing a terrific job from all I hear from my compadres. Our old saying in the Coast Guard was that we would do more and more with less and less until we were ding everything with nothing. That seems to quite often be the case. I designed and built the HU-25C Interceptor and the EC-130V which was scrapped by lobbyists, but outperformed the E-2C by a factor of 3 and cost us only about $100M a copy. We were going to build a fleet of 8 of those, but the lobbyists shut us down and the plane was eventually transferred to the USN who converted it to a slick the first chance they had. I was also the Army project officer on the EH-60, we made 160 of those fine aircraft. Project Officer for SGT York also — another beautiful weapons system shot down by lobbyists, shot down two highly maneuvering jets during trials for the Generals and Congress, than a well placed lobbyist said, “have it shoot down a hovering helicopter.” the General who was fronting for us said, of course it can — well –even though it could shoot down F-16’s doing their best to out maneuver it with one 4′ shell for each one, it could not hit a helicopter standing still. Wasn’t designed for it, RADAR tracks the blades going at all different speeds and directions and hasn’t a clue where the aircraft is. The Lobbyist shouted that thing can’t even shoot down plane standing perfectly still with 5 shots — didn’t even come close. Of course the General was not the project engineer and he couldn’t immediately explain why and the SGT York program was shut down the next day and i owned over 150 SGT Yorks and a whole lot of 4″ ammo.

The point is, ADM Allen can try as hard as he wants, but there are many in Washington who don’t care about the best product at the lowest price for the military — and I am speaking of Congressmen, they are listening to lobbyists who are trying to steer business to their company who is intent on slow business to increase prices and delivering an inferior product that they can repair later. It is almost an unwinnable battle — the only way around it is through Special Classified projects. That is what I ran for seven years in the Coast Guard and we did a lot, always on time, o schedule, and meeting all performance criteria. Altogether at Headquarters, I did 39 projects –all on time, at or under cost, and all met or exceeded design criteria, ADM, I’m here if you want a free consultant — retired don’t mean dead.

The Coast Guard does NOT get to choose brown water or blue — it is both because it must be everywhere: AK, HI, MI, LA, FL as well as Puerto Rico and US Territories (some of you may need to look at a map to refresh yourself).

These issues are as old as “Father Time”,if a service Chief has his remarks tempered for financial or valid political reasons e.g.Air Force F-22,or Army Future Combat Systems,or like US Central Command in even potential speculation on optimum troop strength requests,it is a career decision on what you want to “say publicly“you want to “go to the mat with”,in the.Beltway Arena.Remember General MacArthur and his” challenge”.It was wrong to buck President Truman but the Old Soldier may have felt(however properly or improperly)that he owed it to the President,the country,and the Army to take a stand”,career be dam_ned”.The Marines have a saying “Which hill do you want to die on?”.In WARTIME it is now apparent that every officer and Program Manager must answer the same question.This Commandant is well prepared for that.

I’m sure the WH knows what it is doing. Obviously, the CG Czar has not been appointed yet. It is GW’s fault for signing up to support the NW passage. We’ll be using inflatables for the next humanitarian mission and we’ll wave at the cartel cigarettes from our docks. But, by God, we’ll be within budget because that will be the only thing we’ll be able to defend.

Not to be combative, but I never stated anything about the USCG being the Navy. The Coast Guard needs new ships and small craft, I would not want to see them buy anything new and untried like the Navy has done. I am being supportive of the CG, not trying to be derisive. You have a right to be defensive about the CG, they are some of the finest, but I’m only trying to help.

Brown water means 200 mile limit to me. I don’t care where in the world it’s at. I don’t feel the Coast Guard should be building 400 foot “mini-destroyers” with 90-day mission endurance to go do someone else’s job (whether the Navy’s or other local coast guards).

What ever happened to speaking truth to power?

While those guys with stars serve at the pleasure of the president and die on whatever mountain directed, someone has to tell the president what’s really happening (like I have no ships to deploy, Mr. President, because you never bought me any repalcements) or what he often doesn’t want to hear (if you want to do that, Mr. President, it’s going to cost a hell of a lot of money). How else do things get fixed?

But then again, that’s one of those three great lies. “The check is in the mail.”

The best “Ice Breakers” are built in Finland now. They have the equipment, skill and experience to build them efficiently. Building them in the USA is not efficient and we will end up with junk.

‘Time for the Coast Guard to pick a side of the fence.’ Hey slick, the government dictates what the CG does, not the other way around.

they are not looking to buy a nuclear powered ice breaker, that was a typo and he even said that. they just need to replace the old ones the coast guard currently has

Either you are kidding or you are spectacularly uninformed. “The Murky Area” was defined and has been reaffirmed by the the Congress. The Coast Guard is specifically exempted from Posse Comitatus-(and, what would that have anything to do with the services financial footing?)

The Coast Guard in WWII operated Navy equipment IN ADDITION to Coast Guard equipment. The younger sister service (Navy) didn’t have enough people to operate its mission

Boutique gear? As I look down at the pier I see a 40 year old boat (our units primary SAR asset) that makes 24 knots (topped out).
–I look to our fleet and see the USCGC Acushnet ( Keel laid in 1942– vintage WWII.) The Medium endurance Cutter’s (the majority of which are Reliance class210’s) commisioned between 1964 and 1968.
The High Endurance Cutters? 1960’s vintage as well…
The NEWEST inland bouy tender was commissioned in 1963, the oldest? before the bombs stopped falling in the Pacific theater…

As for the Aviation side: When the Dolphin was adopted it could do things that no other airframe could do specific to it’s mission (four axis autopilot etc). and the C-130? Your kidding right? It IS the standard. The Dessault Falcon is cheaper to operate– off the shelf design .

Boutique? Look to our partners in the DoD for that –we can’t afford it.

“Or lastly, scrap the coastguard altogether and rely on the Navy to fill that role, as per the likes of Australia”

Now there’s a bright lad…and maybe we can scrap the local Police and have the Army take over…

For all you Navy critics of the CG, I’m just laughingly thinking of what your response time would be to a disaster. Ask some hurricane victims or fishing boats survivors what they think of scraping the CG. Just remember “when its too rough for you, its just right for us”.
…Brown, Blue or Green water. Add to that the most reliable helos as warranted, we don’t take them for routine rides on warm sunny days.
God forbid the CG SAR under Navy paperwork.

Enter text right hereYou’re an idiot…what exactly does, “Pick a side of the fence” mean?? The Coast Guard doesn’t choose their role, Congress does! And further more, Congress is the entity that decides it’s budget!!! Get a clue!!

Can’t pick a side, that is why the Coast Guard is called a multimission service. It’s been doing it for over 200 years. I agree that they need to take a good look on what the navy can do to help them out. The problem here is that they were so busy doing the kings work and never paid attention to the issues the people out in the field were having with the agging equipment. I’ll give you a perfect example, the CG 110 ft island class patrol boat. It’s expected life in service was supposed to be ten years, here we are 20+ years down the road of these cutters going thru several MEP,s (Mid life extension Programs) also these vessels were equipped with machinery in the following order: The Main diesel engines, the steering system and the fin stabilizers were fabricated in England and the Reduction Gear was fabricated in Germany. Again these vessels are 20+ years old. I wonder how easy it must be to get parts for them, I can tell you right now it problaby ain’t cheap.

Can somebody up in the hill tell the taxpayers what’s wrong with powering are US Coast Guard with some good old american muscle. Hey you just might surprise yourself and leave are dollars here and create some jobs along the way instead of making some yahoo across the drink rich.

The White House,
needs to open there ears and stop stomping on admiral Allen. So what he get’s slapped on the wrist for stating what is already obvious, that the CG is the service that has been told to always to more with less. I’m sick and tired of these beuracrats undermining the CG. To the gentlemen sitting up in the oval office I say this, instead of stomping Thad Allen for being a straight shooter and having a spine why don’t you commend him for the things he’s done for the CG and for our country. CG is and always will be at the forefront on the war on drugs, Ilegal alien inerdiction, search and rescue and protecting our national resources. Wars come and go Mr. president. But the mission the CG performs are and will always have an effect on the future of our great nation. We need to get the CG into gear and quick it is the least we can do after over 200 years of faithfull service.

Navy does not do drug inerdiction that I can tell. And if all these other foreign navies/coast guard did there jobs the CG would have to be spending time and money going to intercept the drug runners and the ilegal migrants.


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