Coast guard submits revised wish list, fears funding cuts.THE COAST GUARD HAS SENT TO CONGRESS A REVISED requirements document for new equipment that seeks to take into account the U.S. government's heightened need for intelligence and information.
The amended wish list, dispatched to Capitol Hill in March, also includes an accelerated ship-construction schedule and an increase in the size of the fixed-wing cargo aircraft A cargo aircraft is an airplane designed and used for the carriage of goods, rather than passengers. This role demands a number of features that makes a cargo aircraft instantly identifiable; a "fat" looking fuselage, a high-wing to allow the cargo area to sit near the ground, a fleet. "The original performance specifications for the Deepwater contract did not include the Coast Guard's role as the lead agency for maritime homeland security Noun 1. Homeland Security - the federal department that administers all matters relating to homeland security
Department of Homeland Security
executive department - a federal department in the executive branch of the government of the United States ," said a service spokesman.
Lawmakers, however, charged that the Coast Guard failed to explain what specific technologies and networking systems it will need to generate the detailed level of intelligence that military commanders and law enforcement agencies A law enforcement agency (LEA) is a term used to describe any agency which enforces the law. This may be a local or state police, federal agencies such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) or the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). want. House appropriators, particularly, accused Coast Guard officials of producing a vague requirements document that lacks explicit itemizations of future equipment buys.
The $24 billion program, known as Integrated Deepwater Systems, was launched in 1996, but got off to a slow start and regained momentum only after the 9/11 attacks. It is expected to deliver the first new ship in 2007. The Coast Guard also has begun overhauling its helicopter fleet with modern engines and other enhancements.
For years, officials have spoken about Deepwater with a sense of urgency. "Of all the world's coast guards, only two countries have fleets that are older than the U.S.--Mexico and the Philippines," noted Vice Adm. Terry M. Cross, vice commandant of the Coast Guard The Commandant of the Coast Guard is the highest ranking member of the United States Coast Guard. He is the only four-star Admiral of the Coast Guard, and is appointed for a four year term by the President of the United States upon confirmation by the United States Senate. .
Deepwater is envisioned as a mix of aircraft, cutters and unmanned aerial vehicles
The administration's Deepwater budget request for fiscal year 2006 is $966 million, but that number could be slashed by as much as $466 million if Coast Guard critics on Capitol Hill prevail in budget deliberations now under way.
Deepwater is the Coast Guard's largest-ever acquisition. Just four years ago, the annual funding proposed for Deepwater was $300 million. The Coast Guard's entire budget proposed for 2006 is more than $8 billion, about 62 percent larger than it was before 9/11.
Of the $966 million sought for Deepwater this year, the largest single item, at $368 million, is the National Security Cutter The United States Coast Guard National Security Cutter (NSC) is one design among several new cutter designs developed as part of the Integrated Deepwater System Program. .
Coast Guard sources indicated that if the cuts stand as recommended by the House Appropriations homeland security subcommittee earlier this month, the impact on Deepwater would be substantial, and likely lead to delays in the delivery of the National Security Cutter and offshore patrol cutters.
"To say the Coast Guard is disappointed in the subcommittee's cut of the president's funding request for Deepwater would be a gross understatement," Adm. Thomas H. Collins Admiral Thomas H. Collins, USCG(ret.), served as the 22nd Commandant of the United States Coast Guard from 2002 to 2006.
Prior to becoming Commandant, he served as the Coast Guard's Vice Commandant, the number two post, from 2000 - 2002 where he created the Innovation , commandant of the Coast Guard, said in a statement. "Fortunately, we recognize that this subcommittee action is only a first step in the fiscal year 2006 appropriations process."
One official speaking on condition of anonymity said Coast Guard leaders are confident that appropriators will restore some level of funding in House-Senate conference negotiations in early summer. "There are a number of innings still to be played," he told National Defense. He also acknowledged that lawmakers' complaints about the vagueness in the amended Deepwater proposal are "legitimate" and deal a serious blow to the Bush administration's efforts to build up the nation's maritime defense.
The revised Deepwater requirements document submitted to Congress in March, like the original program, emphasizes the value of a command-and-control network that connects the Coast Guard with federal agencies and merchant ships. The networking capability of Deepwater, still largely undefined, is regarded as a make-or-break technology that the Coast Guard must have if it plans to take a lead role in U.S. shoreline security.
"In the new requirements being rolled into the Deepwater contract ... the emphasis is on command-and-control, surveillance and reconnaissance," said Coast Guard Rear Adm. Timothy S. Sullivan Rear Admiral Timothy S. Sullivan assumed the duty of Commander, First Coast Guard District and Commander, Maritime Defense Command One in July 2006. He oversees all United States Coast Guard missions across eight states in the Northeast and 2000 miles of coastline from the , military assistant to the U.S. director of homeland security.
The Bush administration's strategy to defend U.S. ports and coastlines is founded on the premise that military and law enforcement agencies will have around-the-clock access to information about potential threats, such as suicide bombers aboard ships, before they enter U.S. waters.
"The issue is that we don't have enough information about who's sailing the waters of the world, especially near our shores, and who's on board ... Where have they been? Do the occupants have any terrorist background? Where are they going?" Cross asked rhetorically during a presentation to the Navy League.
"In many cases, we don't know Don't know (DK, DKed)
"Don't know the trade." A Street expression used whenever one party lacks knowledge of a trade or receives conflicting instructions from the other party. who owns the ship or the cargo," he said. The only safeguard now in place is that ships are required to give the U.S. Coast Guard notice of their arrival 96 hours in advance.
"We have 95,000 miles of coastline to worry about," said Cross.
Without real-time access to information on potential terrorists, the Coast Guard cannot do its job adequately, he added.
"Protecting all U.S. ports would require either a large increase in the size of the Coast Guard, or we would see miles-long lines of ships waiting to enter the harbors, which would significantly delay the flow of commerce," Cross noted. "Maritime trade is the lifeblood of the U.S. and world economy. Inspecting every single boat is not a viable option." World maritime trade, he said, has increased by 220 percent during the past three years, and 95 percent of all U.S. overseas trade travels by water.
The catchphrase Noun 1. catchphrase - a phrase that has become a catchword
phrase - an expression consisting of one or more words forming a grammatical constituent of a sentence "maritime domain awareness Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA) is an initiative by the United States Coast Guard (USCG) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to create a national Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance (C4ISR or C4ISTAR) capability monitoring all " has been adopted by government agencies to describe the reliance on information to protect U.S. shores from terrorist attacks. Although the Deepwater program is expected to deliver a sophisticated information network that could expand the U.S. government's awareness of potential threats, several issues remain unsettled, such as the performance requirements for sensors, communications devices and processes for channeling information across the command structure.
"Maritime domain awareness is not a technology issue, it's a policy issue," said Shawn James, business development director at Lockheed Martin For the former company, see .
Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) is a leading multinational aerospace manufacturer and advanced technology company formed in 1995 by the merger of Lockheed Corporation with Martin Marietta. Corporation. A team of Lockheed and Northrop Grumman Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) is an aerospace and defense conglomerate that is the result of the 1994 purchase of Grumman by Northrop. The company is the third largest defense contractor for the U.S. serves as "systems integrators" for the Deepwater program.
James said that although the policies remain embryonic, "we have technology today that can answer 50-80 percent of the solution."
The information-based approach to coastal security is a drastic departure from traditional practices, he told reporters. "Port security, in general, is vulnerable ... Largely it has been just about physical security--guards, gates, dogs--but not about situational awareness Situation awareness or situational awareness  (SA) is the mental representation and understanding of objects, events, people, system states, interactions, environmental conditions, and other situation-specific factors affecting human performance in ."
Before 9/11, the captain of a ship approaching U.S. waters would radio the port. After the attacks, the United States United States, officially United States of America, republic (2005 est. pop. 295,734,000), 3,539,227 sq mi (9,166,598 sq km), North America. The United States is the world's third largest country in population and the fourth largest country in area. instituted the 96-hour rule for ships to notify the port. "It's a good rule," James said, but it has loopholes. "A ship may be 50 miles off the coast of Alaska, but still be 128 hours from port. It wouldn't have to radio in, but still could be a threat to our territorial waters territorial waters: see waters, territorial.
Waters under the sovereign jurisdiction of a nation or state, including both marginal sea and inland waters. ."
A senior Navy official described maritime awareness as being "all about generating actionable intelligence Having the necessary information immediately available in order to deal with the situation at hand. With regard to call centers, it refers to agents having customer history and related product data available on screen before the call is taken. , so we can go out and do something" to prevent a terrorist attack.
Pieces of information that appear mundane--crew lists, cargo manifests, sailing times, ship arrival times--when combined, could help intelligence analysts assemble a reasonable case that terrorist organizations may be targeting U.S. ports, the official said in a briefing to defense reporters.
No single agency or military service alone can collect all the necessary data, he added. "The information lives mostly in the private sectors. Ships are loaded overseas." Another major concern for U.S. officials is to secure the cooperation of other nations.
"We don't want to have to do all this policing of the maritime domain," the Navy official said. There are many navies out there that are as or more capable than we are." Neither the U.S. Navy nor the Coast Guard can be everywhere.
To assist the Coast Guard, the Navy has about 15-20 ships under way on each U.S. coast," the official said.
Although the Coast Guard--which reports to the Department of Homeland Security--and the Navy operate under separate chains of command, it is not unusual for the Navy to assign ships to the Coast Guard for specific homeland security missions, the official said. "You'll see more Navy ships working for the Coast Guard."
The Coast Guard also is working closely with the Navy at the National Maritime Intelligence Center, in Suitland, Md., where reams of data get processed and analyzed. The chief of naval operations chief of naval operations
n. pl. chiefs of naval operations Abbr. CNO
The ranking officer of the U.S. Navy, responsible to the secretary of the Navy and to the President. , said the official, "has committed NMIC NMIC National Meat Inspection Commission (Philippines)
NMIC National Maritime Intelligence Center (Office of Naval Intelligence, Suitland, MD)
NMIC Northern Manhattan Improvement Corporation to be the national level asset responsible for maritime domain awareness."
Meanwhile, as part of the recent revisions to Deepwater, the Coast Guard expanded its requirements for upgraded C-130 transports. The Coast Guard C-130 fleet is composed of 33 aircraft--27 H models and six J models.
The six C-130J aircraft will be equipped with advanced sensors, beginning in 2007. The "H" fleet upgrades are tied to the Air Force's program to update the avionics of its aging C-130 fleet.
The Coast Guard also plans to buy three C-235 coast patrol aircraft, although it downsized future buys from 35 to 20.
Another post-9/11 decision was to eliminate the AB139 medium-lift helicopter, in favor of an upgraded HH-60.
"Although the AB139 was initially proposed for medium-range recovery operations Operations conducted to search for, locate, identify, rescue, and return personnel, sensitive equipment, or items critical to national security. , the requirements changed to include a new six-person vertical insertion team," said Coast Guard spokesman Jeffrey G. Murphy. "The AB-139 helicopter was not able to carry a six-member boarding team 200 nautical miles from a shore station or cutter for vertical insertion or delivery."
The HH-60 aircraft was a better choice, he added, because it's employed by all U.S. armed services The Constitution authorizes Congress to raise, support, and regulate armed services for the national defense. The President of the United States is commander in chief of all the branches of the services and has ultimate control over most military matters. and other government agencies.
The shipbuilding portion of the program also was modified. The original National Security Cutter was redesigned to fit a longer, automated flight deck, a secure command center and communications systems. The construction of a smaller vessel to be purchased under Deepwater, the Maritime Patrol Maritime patrol is the task of monitoring areas of water. Generally conducted by military and law enforcement agencies, maritime patrol is usually aimed at identifying human activities. Boat, had to be slowed down as a result of cracks in the hull, industry sources said. Eight ships were built so far.
Consequently, the Coast Guard decided to accelerate the design and delivery of another ship, the Fast Response Cutter The Fast Response Cutter is part of the United States Coast Guard's Deepwater program. At 140 feet it is similar to, but slightly larger than 123 foot extended Island Class Cutters, like the USCGC Matagorda. .
To date, three of the maritime patrol boats are operational "with limitations," while the remaining five are expected to be operational by September 2005, Murphy said.
Unmanned aircraft Unmanned Aircraft (UA) is a term used in the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) definition of Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS). UA refers to the aircraft portion of the system required to operate it, also known as Unmanned Aerial Vehicle. also will be part of Deepwater, although several technology hurdles stand in the way. Specifically, the Coast Guard has yet to be assured that UAVs can operate safely from relatively small ships, noted Rear Adm. Patrick M. Stillman Patrick M. Stillman was a Rear admiral of the United States Coast Guard.
He graduated from the Coast Guard Academy in 1972. Stillman was assistant commandant for governmental and public affairs and has held several sea commands. , program executive officer for Integrated Deepwater Systems. "The UAV UAV Unmanned Aerial Vehicle
UAV Unmanned Air Vehicle
UAV Unmanned Aerospace Vehicle
UAV Unmanned Airborne Vehicle
UAV Uninhabited Air Vehicle
UAV Urban Assault Vehicle
UAV Unpiloted Aerial Vehicle (less common) is the highest risk item in the program," he said. "It is difficult to launch and recover UAVs from corvettes and frigates."
Several technologies now in development could help the Coast Guard get an easier grip on UAV operations aboard ships, experts said.
Navy researchers, for example, are working on a ship motion detector that will allow a UAV to gauge the safety of a landing by measuring the pitch and roll of the ship.
Another landing aid program sponsored by the Office of Naval Research The U.S. Office of Naval Research (ONR), headquartered in Arlington, Virginia (Ballston), is the office within the U.S. Department of the Navy that coordinates, executes, and promotes the science and technology programs of the U.S. models the ship's wake. David Ludwig, a project officer, said other areas of research seek to integrate UAVs into chaotic flight deck operations by programming them to respond to the hand signals used by flight deck crews. The UAVs can be programmed to use video to recognize and respond to hand gestures.