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The U.S. Coast Guard today.

 The men and women of our Coast Guard are showing once again that
 you are "always ready." You're always ready to serve with courage
 and excellence. You are always ready to place your country's safety
 above your own. You shield your fellow Americans from the danger of
 this world, and America is grateful.


The first anniversary of the U.S. Coast Guard's realignment under the Department of Homeland Security in March 2003 provides an appropriate opportunity to reflect on the extraordinary events that have transpired since that transition and to consider their implications for tomorrow's Coast Guard.

We are all well aware that the terrorist events of the last two years have substantially changed the national security environment in which our armed forces serve our nation. In fact, these factors of change are elements of a new range of transitional and nonstate cultural threats (drugs, illegal migrants, piracy, illegal fishing, and organized crime, along with terrorism) that have been gathering momentum over the last decade or so. The breadth of security threats directed at our nation has grown not only more expansive but more complex--driving the need for the armed services to make a "transformational" examination of the capabilities and capacity (force structure) needed to address them. We in the U.S. Coast Guard, although aligned organizationally outside the Department of Defense, are no less impacted by these winds of change, especially in terms of mission relevance and our emphasis on the need for a transformational approach to our capabilities and capacity so that we may deal effectively with evolving national security requirements.

The Coast Guard's roles as a military service, as a federal law-enforcement agency, as a regulatory authority of maritime transportation systems, and as a member of the new Department of Homeland Security place it squarely at the center of national initiatives to reduce security risks to our nation. Coast Guard operations over the past year reflect these dynamics and were as challenging as any in its 213-year history. These realities suggest that 2003 was a watershed for today's Coast Guard. I use the term advisedly, because the past year represents a true dividing line between our past and our future with respect to our continued role as a maritime, military, and multimission service.

Confronting new demands of homeland security and the global war on terrorism, the Coast Guard supported Operation LIBERTY SHIELD to defend the nation's ports, waterways, coastlines, and critical infrastructure. Deployed Coast Guard forces executed Operations ENDURING FREEDOM and IRAQI FREEDOM as American and coalition forces liberated the people of Afghanistan and Iraq. At the same time, we successfully met unabated and unrelenting demands in our multiple mission areas of search and rescue (SAR), marine safety, environmental protection, drug and illegal migrant interdiction, fisheries enforcement, aids to navigation, and domestic and polar icebreaking.

On 1 March 2003 the Coast Guard moved smoothly from the Department of Transportation into the new Department of Homeland Security (DHS) as part of the largest reorganization of the federal government in more than fifty years. We used the largest budget increases in Coast Guard history to raise operational readiness rates in our aging inventory of cutters and aircraft. We continued to build tomorrow's readiness by executing the two largest acquisition programs in Coast Guard history, Rescue 21 and the Integrated Deepwater System. We led the international effort to adopt a new comprehensive maritime-security code and issued expansive domestic security regulations for ports and vessels in response to the Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002.

The dual threads of change and continuity are woven into the fabric of the Coast Guard's performance of today's missions and its anticipation of tomorrow's. On the one hand, the changes that the Coast Guard is experiencing today are of epic proportions by any measure. The Coast Guard must lead that change--to seize its opportunities by transforming itself so as to be ready to address tomorrow's challenges. At the same time, we in the Coast Guard must implement transformation initiatives within a framework that allows us to hold fast to the core characteristics and values--honor, respect, and devotion to duty--that have defined the very essence and success of our service to the nation throughout our history and will continue to do so in the future.

Our steady strategic focus on people, readiness, and stewardship will sustain the Coast Guard through today's challenges, transform it to meet evolving demands and the uncharted future that stretches ahead, and preserve its enduring character.


During the protracted legislative discussions and debate leading to the passage of the Homeland Security Act of 2002, there was discussion of the Coast Guard's ability to sustain performance in all of its traditional missions after it was realigned under the Department of Homeland Security. Fortunately, a critical infusion of significantly increased funding, resources, and people over the past two years has enabled the service to make tremendous progress improving readiness and restoring its performance in non-homeland security mission areas. The past year's operational highlights tell the story.

In our national-defense mission during Operation IRAQI FREEDOM, we provided port security for all Defense Department "outload" operations, activated 68 percent of our reserve force to meet increased operating and personnel tempo at the peak of mobilization, and deployed approximately 1,250 personnel to support combatant commanders. During the final weeks of 2002, two high-endurance cutters, eight patrol boats, a buoy tender, four port-security teams, strike team personnel, and two maintenance-support units made preparations for short-notice deployment to the Persian Gulf and Mediterranean Sea. On station early in 2003, these units participated capably in maritime interception operations and coastal security patrols with U.S. Navy and coalition forces; provided port-security resources in Bahrain, Kuwait, and Iraq; conducted search-and-rescue missions; helped open Iraq's main shipping channel to commercial traffic and humanitarian support; and maintained security for Iraqi oil terminals in the North Arabian Gulf.

The multimission capabilities, flexibility, and initiative of the crew of the buoy tender USCGC Walnut (WLB 205)--performing the first out-of-hemisphere deployment by a buoy tender in support of Department of Defense operations--are instructive. The U.S. Fifth Fleet originally wanted Walnut on station in the event Iraq resorted to environmental warfare and released a massive amount of oil into its coastal waters (the cutter can skim 420 gallons of oil per minute with its modern oil-recovery gear). Immediately after arriving in Bahrain in February, prior to combat operations, however, Walnut was pressed into service conducting maritime interception of commercial shipping entering and leaving Iraq, in support of United Nations Security Council Resolution 986.

When the coalition went to war, Walnut applied its multimission capabilities in other ways, transporting Navy equipment on its large buoy deck and searching for the crew of two Royal Navy helicopters that collided during the opening days of hostilities. Walnut also made a critical contribution to coalition objectives by resetting navigational markers and buoys in Iraq's forty-one-mile Khawr Abd Allah, making this strategic waterway safe for navigation. This important communication link leads from the Persian Gulf to Umm Qasr, Iraq's only deep-draft port. Using new buoys "liberated" from an Iraqi warehouse in Umm Qasr, Walnut replaced thirty-five decrepit, nonfunctioning buoys and then worked with a British hydrographic team and the National Imagery and Mapping Agency to inform all mariners of the improvements to the aids to navigation marking the channel--enabling the opening of the port for humanitarian and commercial shipping at a critical stage in the coalition's campaign.

Other Coast Guard units also made important contributions during combat operations in Iraq. Vice Admiral Timothy J. Keating, U.S. Navy, then commander of the U.S. Fifth Fleet and Naval Forces Central Command, awarded Bronze Stars to the commanding officers of the patrol boats Adak, Aquidneck, Baranof, and Wrangell. * I was proud to stand by Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge when he presented these combat decorations at Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington, D.C., last August. I was struck by a phrase in Admiral Keating's award citations. He described the boat crews as having been the "first line of defense" for coalition naval forces during the amphibious assault of Iraq's Al Faw Peninsula and for naval mine-clearing forces operating in mine-danger areas within Iraqi territorial waters. During this ceremony Secretary Ridge also presented a Coast Guard Unit Commendation to the Coast Guard Patrol Forces, Southwest Asia, for its collective work supporting U.S. combatant commanders during IRAQI FREEDOM.

Our success in these historic events was due to five key factors. The first was the hard work, integrity, professionalism, and adaptability of our people; the second, the military character of our service; the third, the multimission capability embedded in our cutters, in our aircraft, in our boats, in our systems, and in our people. The fourth was our close partnership with the Navy and our investment throughout the year in joint training opportunities and interoperability; and the fifth, our transfer to the Department of Homeland Security, which strengthens both our relationships with other agencies within our department and our partnerships with the Department of Defense, as well as with other federal, state, and local agencies.


From U.S. military operations overseas to vital homeland security missions in the United States, to a host of significant operations in its full multimission portfolio, the Coast Guard in 2003 proved repeatedly that it is semper paratus--always ready to do whatever it takes to support the nation and the American people. It is worth reviewing some of the past year's operational highlights.

Working closely with its interagency and international law-enforcement partners, for example, the Coast Guard had by the end of the fiscal year seized its second-highest annual total of illegal drugs--136,865 pounds of cocaine and more than fourteen thousand pounds of marijuana. Coast Guard units stopped more than six thousand undocumented migrants from entering the United States illegally. This law-enforcement presence to preserve maritime security in the 3.4-million-square-mile American exclusive economic zone also led to the documentation of more than a hundred significant violations of fisheries regulations (and the seizure of more than forty illegal catches) and of more than 140 violations of laws protecting marine mammals and endangered species.

International partnerships forged with law-enforcement agencies from nations of the North Pacific region and the establishment of Coast Guard Maritime Intelligence Fusion Centers contributed directly to the past year's seizure of four People's Republic of China trawlers engaged in illegal high-seas driftnet fishing, identification of eighteen additional suspect vessels from other nations, and ongoing investigations of other cases.

This level of success in law-enforcement missions is due in part to innovative tactics, techniques, and procedures. Previously limited to counterdrug operations, armed Coast Guard helicopters now patrol port and harbor approaches to counter more complex terrorist threats. New equipment also is being fielded to enable units to stop vessels that refuse to comply with boarding-and-search orders.

As part of their mission to protect natural resources, Coast Guard men and women worked hard in 2003, through a concerted program of prevention, education, and enforcement, to eliminate pollution discharged into the nation's waterways from any source. More than 3,800 pollution incidents were reported and investigated by the Coast Guard during the year. Incidents calling for a response took many forms--a ninety-eight-thousand-gallon spill in Cape Cod's Buzzards Bay, an explosion on an oil drilling platform in the Gulf of Mexico, a spill from an oil pipeline under a lake in Louisiana, the release of hazardous materials from a merchant vessel in a major port in the Pacific Northwest, and a fishing vessel sinking in port and releasing fuel oil, to cite but a few examples.

The winter of 2003 was one of the coldest in decades in the northern United States. Coast Guard cutters from Maine to New York were employed to break ice along navigable rivers and waterways. Strong winds and bitterly cold temperatures on the Great Lakes created the worst ice season that region had experienced in more than twenty years, yet Coast Guard icebreaking cutters kept merchant vessels and barges on the nation's inland waterways moving.

A hemisphere away, in Antarctica, the icebreakers USCGC Polar Sea (WAGB 11) and USCGC Healy (WAGB 20) completed the most difficult resupply of McMurdo Station during the forty years of Operation DEEP FREEZE. They smashed through fifty miles of ice more than thirteen feet thick to enable American scientists to continue their studies of the earth's climate. Healy again headed out to sea soon after returning from Antarctica--this time on a four-month Arctic mission that included a circumnavigation of the North American continent by way of the Northwest Passage. In mid-November, Polar Sea left Seattle, Washington, for a return mission to Antarctica with the icebreaker Polar Star (WAGB 10) to escort resupply vessels participating in DEEP FREEZE 2004.

In home waters, Coast Guard units conducted more than 41,500 SAR cases as the year drew to a close, saving more than six thousand lives and assisting in safeguarding property. When several large tropical storms and hurricanes (including, in September, Hurricane Isabel) lashed the East Coast and inflicted extensive damage, Coast Guard personnel were at their stations, ready to respond--which they did, with traditional resolve.

As the lead federal agency for maritime security, the Coast Guard also worked closely with DHS directorates and other federal, state, and local agencies to improve its presence and responsiveness in the nation's ports, waterways, and coastal regions as part of its homeland security mission.

In March, incident to the onset of combat operations in Iraq, Secretary Ridge announced LIBERTY SHIELD, a comprehensive national plan to increase the safety of U.S. citizens and security of infrastructure while maintaining the free flow of commerce and people across the nation's borders. To enhance security along maritime borders and protect naval shipping and deployments en route to Iraq, the Coast Guard increased the number of patrols by its aircraft, cutters, and small boats. We also increased the number of escort vessels for commercial ferries and cruise ships; every high-interest vessel arriving at or departing from U.S. ports had an armed Coast Guard sea marshal on board to observe the crew and ensure that the ship made port safely. New security zones were established and enforced in and around critical infrastructure sites in many of the nation's major ports.

The Department of Homeland Security, the Coast Guard, and the maritime industry also implemented the far-reaching provisions of the Maritime Transportation Security Act (MTSA) during 2003. Designed to protect the nation's ports and waterways from a terrorist attack, the law requires, among its many measures, area maritime security committees and security plans for facilities and vessels that may respond to a transportation security incident. The act significantly strengthens and standardizes the security measures of the nation's domestic port security team of federal, state, local, and private authorities.

In October, as part of its implementation plan for MTSA, the Coast Guard published new maritime security requirements mandating significant changes in security practices within all segments of the maritime industry--including cruise ships, container ships, and offshore oil platforms. The industry is now required to complete security assessments, develop security plans and submit them to the Coast Guard for approval, increase security measures as a threat arises, and install automatic identification systems aboard large ships.


The scope and diversity of Coast Guard operations during 2003 illustrate the fundamental strength of its long history of partnerships with other government agencies and the private sector to carry out its maritime safety, security, mobility, and environmental protection missions. The Coast Guard's move from the Department of Transportation to the Department of Homeland Security was a change of historic proportions, but it is entirely consistent with our history--we have been a leader in providing for the maritime security needs of our nation since 1790.

The Coast Guard's multimission assets, its military role as an armed force (codified in law under Title 14 U.S. Code Section 1), its law-enforcement authority, and its collaborative response capabilities bridge federal, state, local, and private sectors. As both a military and law-enforcement agency, it also straddles the seam separating the federal government's homeland-security and homeland-defense mission areas--an important consideration, given the possibility that the transition from a homeland security incident to a full-fledged homeland defense crisis could occur in a matter of minutes. As Secretary Ridge told cadets at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy last November, "If we didn't have a Coast Guard working with the Department of Defense and as an integral part of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, we'd have to invent one."

Our past year's realignment in DHS was accomplished smoothly and efficiently thanks in large measure to the leadership of Secretary Ridge and the hard work and professionalism of the twenty-two agencies involved, including Coast Guard men and women. The secretary's rallying cry--"One Team, One Fight--"reminds us all that we are engaged in a common battle against the forces of international terrorism and other threats to national security. "Over the years, the Coast Guard has always provided a shield of protection against those who would seek to do America harm," Secretary Ridge said during his visit to Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington, D.C., last August to observe the service's 213th birthday. "That shield is more important now than ever before, and while the mission remains the same and the Coast Guard remains the same, no longer must you shoulder the burden alone,"

Working in close cooperation with all agencies in the Department of Homeland Security in 2003, the Coast Guard began forceful implementation of its new Maritime Strategy for Homeland Security to support the president's broader strategy for protecting the U.S. homeland. Our maritime strategy's layered-defense approach provides Coast Guard operating forces with a time-proven means to enhance security in U.S. ports and waterways while facilitating the smooth flow of commerce. The collective result of our efforts is aimed at reducing maritime security risks.

The strategy is based on the Coast Guard's statutory authorities, operational capabilities and capacity, and both internal and external partnerships. Four "pillars" (see figure 1) constitute the strategy's main elements: enhancing maritime domain awareness; building and administering an effective maritime security regime domestically and internationally; increasing military and civil operational presence in ports, coastal areas, and beyond; and improving response posture in the event a security incident does occur.


The Coast Guard's strategy will bolster the nation's maritime security by reducing risks. Key to its success will be our ability to prevent future attacks through preemption or deterrence as the result of improved maritime domain awareness--the ability to collect comprehensive knowledge of vulnerabilities, threats, and targets of interest on the water. Maritime domain awareness will be increased through more aggressive and effective means of gathering, using, and sharing information and intelligence. It means providing a level of knowledge that is increasingly comprehensive and specific as the activities and potential threats move closer to the United States.

In 2002, the Coast Guard became a formal member of the National Foreign Intelligence Program. Since that time, it has expanded cooperative efforts with the U.S. Navy at the National Maritime Intelligence Center. Our ability to share information that is gathered by all agencies and to derive tactical applications at the Coast Guard's operational level is steadily improving. New Coast Guard Maritime Intelligence Fusion Centers were established on the East and West Coasts in 2003. Field Intelligence Support Teams now serve in major ports throughout the country. Joint Harbor Operations Centers (manned by Coast Guard and Navy personnel, and harbor police) began operations early in 2004 in Norfolk, Virginia, and San Diego, California.

Fortunately, consistent with our strategy's goals of increasing operational presence and improving response posture, the Coast Guard's capabilities and capacity are now on the upswing following a prolonged period when the demands for its services simply exceeded the supply of modern platforms and systems in the fleet. ** We are now increasing our operational presence in ports, domestic waterways, and coastal zones to deter and prevent terrorist incidents, to be sure, but also to improve our overall responsiveness to any incident calling for the Coast Guard's services.

The key to our current and future readiness is obtaining the right capabilities and the right capacity as we grow, modernize, and realign our force. In recent years the Coast Guard's budget has increased by more than $1.6 billion--a 30 percent increase between 2002 and 2004. This budget growth is allowing us to improve our current readiness, balance better our full range of missions, modernize our aging fleet, build our homeland security capability, and sustain our non-homeland security missions.

Near-term improvements to Coast Guard operational capabilities in 2003 include ongoing execution of the contract for our Rescue 21 maritime distress network for coastal waters, seven hundred new maritime security boats (under a $145 million contract, the Coast Guard's largest single acquisition of identical response craft), twelve new hundred-person maritime safety and security teams, and additional sea marshals. Three Juniper-class 225-foot seagoing buoy tenders were delivered to the fleet in 2003, and two more were launched. In addition, contracts were awarded to Bollinger Shipyard for two eighty-seven-foot coastal patrol boats, and negotiations were set in motion for an additional nine to be awarded in fiscal year 2004, for a total of sixty-five boats in the class. We also accepted six C-130J Hercules maritime patrol aircraft in 2003.

Well trained and properly equipped people constitute an all-essential element in our response to today's growing operational tempo. We are poised to add thousands of new billets to our enlisted and officer force structure, which is to grow to an expected authorized end strength of 45,500 personnel during fiscal year 2004. Recruit training at Cape May, New Jersey, is operating at maximum levels to meet this expected growth. Our Coast Guard Reserve component began an incremental growth to nine thousand in 2003, and I expect it will grow to ten thousand during the years ahead. A robust and well trained force of selected reservists is an integral part of our ability to provide critical infrastructure protection, coastal and port security, and defense readiness. Our Coast Guard Auxiliary proved again to be an invaluable resource in today's high-paced operations, and we will continue to rely on the talent and experience of its dedicated volunteers during the years ahead.

Increased capacity will allow the Coast Guard to become as much a "presence" organization as a response organization. In keeping with a central premise underlying our strategy for maritime homeland security, we cannot afford simply to respond to emergencies--we must prevent them. Ongoing modernization and recapitalization programs are critical in this regard, because they will deliver the platforms and systems needed to close the capability gaps found in today's Coast Guard.

In particular, the long-range Integrated Deepwater System will recapitalize our entire inventory of aging cutters and aircraft, as well as systems at sea and ashore for C4ISR ***--all supported with an integrated logistics system. When the transformational Deepwater program is fully implemented (figure 2), the total system will consist of three classes of new cutters and their associated small boats, a new fixed-wing manned aircraft fleet, a combination of new and upgraded helicopters, and both cutter-based and land-based unmanned aerial vehicles.


Deepwater will provide the means to extend our layered maritime defenses from ports and coastlines many hundreds of miles to sea to increase maritime domain awareness. It is a flexible program, able to meet emerging requirements for maritime security and other missions. When Deepwater is complete, our cutters and aircraft will no longer operate as independent platforms with only limited awareness of what surrounds them in the maritime domain. Instead, they will have the benefit of information from a wide array of mission-capable platforms and sensors--enabling them to share a common operating picture as part of a network-centric force operating in tandem with other cutters, boats, and both manned aircraft and unmanned aerial vehicles. ****

The Deepwater program, backed strongly by the Department of Homeland Security as the Coast Guard's top acquisition priority, enjoys broad bipartisan support in Congress. We must move forward to execute the program aggressively so that its modern, more capable platforms and systems are delivered with an appropriate urgency.


The Deepwater program will allow the Coast Guard to enhance its operational excellence in the future. However, as discussed at the 2003 International Seapower Symposium at the Naval War College, maritime security must be a concerted effort that encompasses more than just protecting a nation's national interests against hostile nations (an enormously challenging task in its own right). It also includes protection against terrorist attacks and threats to national sovereignty, as well as the areas of natural resources, the environment, economic prosperity, and social welfare. The world's oceans are global thoroughfares. A cooperative international approach involving partnerships of nations, navies, coast guards, law-enforcement agencies, and commercial shipping interests is essential with all parties acting collaboratively to confront broadly defined threats to their common and interdependent maritime security.

Applying this strategy of "maritime power" in an integrated way among the world's navies and coast guards is a powerful notion. We have within our grasp the opportunity to leverage new technologies and attain new capabilities that will enable coordinated, systematic, and fused intelligence that will, in turn, provide detailed, in-depth knowledge of the maritime domain. Improved unity of effort and coordination, clear lines of authority and command, more effective risk-based investment decisions, and opportunities for greater synergy have all flowed from the Coast Guard's realignment within the Department of Homeland Security.

The benefits of operating with other federal agencies sharing a common DHS mission perspective are multiplying daily. The DHS Border and Transportation Security Directorate, for example, receives information on cargo and shipping entering U.S. ports. We collect information on ships and shipping by our work with the Navy in the Joint Intelligence Coordination Center. Our National Vessel Movement Center catalogues and assesses this information. Coast Guard captains of ports, responsible for safety and security issues in all major American ports, chair port-security committees comprising federal, state, and local officials as well as representatives from the maritime industry. Quickly sharing and exploiting relevant, time-critical information at the working level on a daily basis will yield important short and long-range dividends. Similar opportunities exist--and must be taken advantage of--overseas, through our partnership with the International Maritime Organization.

Maritime power in the twenty-first century is about awareness--gathering and synthesizing large amounts of information and specific data from many disparate sources to gain knowledge of the entire maritime domain. Maritime domain awareness and the knowledge it imparts will allow maritime forces to respond with measured and appropriate force to any threat. Building a network of alliances, people, and systems--at home and abroad with our friends and allies--to increase maritime domain awareness will be a critical product of collaborative partnerships. This has never been more important than it is now in our collective national imperative to defend our nation and win the war against terrorism.


In addition to the critical strategic relationships that we are forging within the Department of Homeland Security, our battle-tested special relationship with the U.S. Navy warrants emphasis. The two services have always enjoyed close relations, but we are today working together more effectively than at any time since World War II. This partnership is yielding important dividends in the global war on terrorism at home and overseas. In today's post-9/11 world, we must forge even closer bonds.

It is worth recalling that one of the first telephone calls that Admiral Vern Clark, Chief of Naval Operations, made on 9/11 was to my predecessor as Commandant, Admiral James M. Loy. Admiral Clark, recognizing the Coast Guard's leading role in providing enhanced levels of maritime homeland security in the wake of the terrorist attacks, asked how the Navy could assist the Coast Guard in carrying out this responsibility. Consistent with this vision of partnership, thirteen Cyclone-class coastal patrol ships were quickly transferred by the Navy for Coast Guard use in Operation NOBLE EAGLE.

Early in my own tour as commandant, Admiral Clark and I signed a revision to the "National Fleet" policy agreement that guides our mutually supportive policies, programs, and operations. This policy guarantees that the U.S. Coast Guard will be steaming in close formation with the U.S. Navy during its transit through the sea of change. Our National Fleet agreement commits us to shared purpose and common effort focused on tailored operational integration of our multimission platforms, infrastructure, and personnel. Full cooperation and integration of our nonredundant and complementary capabilities will be achieved to ensure the highest level of maritime capabilities and readiness for the nation's investment. Processes are in place to synchronize research and development, planning, fiscal stewardship, procurement, development of doctrine, training, and execution of operations for the National Fleet.

The Coast Guard's contribution to the National Fleet includes its statutory authorities (including law enforcement), multimission cutters, boats, aircraft, and C4ISR systems designed for the full spectrum of Coast Guard missions. All ships, boats, aircraft, and shore command-and-control nodes of the National Fleet will be interoperable to provide force depth for peacetime missions, homeland security, homeland defense, crisis response, and wartime tasks. Coast Guard assets and expertise will continue to flow to the Navy in selected niche naval-defense operations, and U.S. Navy assets and expertise will flow to the Coast Guard, when necessary, in connection with our lead role for maritime homeland security.

Expanded Navy-Coast Guard collaboration extends from acquisition planning to current operations--an area where there is more than enough fight for each of us. This strengthened Navy-Coast Guard partnership occurs at a critical time. When Admiral Clark addressed the International Seapower Symposium last year, he asserted that sea lines of communications are under attack all over the world. During the first half of 2003 alone, he said, there was a record 234 reported attacks against seafarers--the worst six-month period since the International Maritime Bureau started compiling piracy statistics in 1991, and a full 34 percent increase over the same time period in 2002. Successful terrorist attacks against lucrative maritime targets and the U.S. maritime transportation system are especially worrisome because they could wreak economic havoc. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, based in Paris, estimated that a terrorist strike against the American cargo-shipping system could cost the U.S. economy as much as fifty-eight billion dollars.

Four years ago, the Coast Guard and the Navy produced a landmark joint intelligence forecast of the maritime security environment, projecting two decades into the future. This assessment still serves as a valuable guide to anticipate future trends and to understand how our increasingly interconnected world will continue to be highly reliant upon the sea for food, commerce, and energy. The study concluded that legal maritime trade, driven by global economic growth and international trade, will triple by 2020--with the most explosive growth in the container-shipping industry. Organized crime also will increase in influence and scope through 2020 as demand for and profits from the illicit transportation of people, drugs, and contraband multiply. Criminals will take advantage of growing maritime trade to transport their products.

Completed two years before 9/11, this assessment described how adversaries of the United States will be more likely to engage in asymmetric warfare, such as terrorism, sabotage, information operations, and chemical or biological attacks. The report projects that the proliferation of nuclear weapons will remain a concern, and it foresees that international migration, fueled by tremendous population increases in developing countries and uneven global economic growth, will be another important factor in the future U.S. maritime security environment. The mandate for closer Navy-Coast Guard collaboration, framed by our joint National Fleet policy, is clear.

The policy's focus on operational integration provides the foundation for closer cooperation to synchronize planning, training, and procurement in order to provide the highest levels of maritime capabilities for the nation's security investments. The policy will continue to remain a cornerstone for the Coast Guard, reaffirming its expeditionary capability as well as the requirement for the modern fleet that will become a reality as Deepwater's assets and systems enter service.

Shortly before relinquishing his responsibilities as deputy secretary of the Department of Homeland Security in October to reoccupy his office in the Pentagon, Secretary of the Navy Gordon R. England stated that our two services' roles and missions need to be defined in terms of specific authorities, responsibilities in the chain of command, and responses during any given emergency. He noted that the already strong relationship between the Navy and Coast Guard will continue to grow closer but that there is more that can be done to assist the relationship.

The discussion about the Coast Guard's role in relationship to both national defense and homeland security requirements has been, is, and will continue to be appropriately reexamined, especially in the post-9/11 security environment we face today. A review of the past year's operations demonstrates quite vividly that the Coast Guard's military and multimission character has never been more relevant. The Coast Guard offers unique capabilities, competencies, authority, and access in its military, law-enforcement, and intelligence roles. Whatever the ultimate defense/homeland security tasking of the Coast Guard, preserving a robust, seamless, and totally interoperable collaborative relationship with the U.S. Navy remains one of my top priorities. We serve the nation best when we sail and fight as one team.


What of tomorrow? How, amid transformational changes of immense scope and complexity, will the Coast Guard position itself to achieve even higher levels of operational excellence in the decades ahead? I see two primary and connected ways to achieve this vision.

Part of the answer rests in our ability to forge more robust capability, capacity, and strategic partnerships through attention to the fundamental enablers of people, readiness, and stewardship. I codified this focus in my Commandant's Direction ***** soon after I assumed my duties as Commandant in 2002, and I reaffirmed it in 2003. An unswerving commitment to people, readiness, and stewardship will sustain our service, allow us to transform it to meet evolving demands, and preserve our enduring character. If change is the price of progress, continuity must be the coin of the realm as we hold fast to our core characteristics--as a multimission, military, and maritime service--and precious core values of honor, respect, and devotion to duty.

Preserving our enduring characteristics, traditions, and values will give the Coast Guard the flexibility, discipline, and capability to respond to evolving national priorities and an ever-changing national security environment. We will nurture, preserve, and build on a legacy forged over more than two hundred years as the nation's maritime guardian and shield of freedom.

We begin with people--the bedrock of our service. Our ability to attract, develop, retain, and deploy quality people is the key to the Coast Guard's future; it is a top priority and perhaps our greatest challenge. People in tomorrow's Coast Guard will operate in a more complex and technologically sophisticated environment--one characterized by modern deep-water cutters, superior response boats, new manned and unmanned aircraft, and advanced systems for command, control, and communications. Our people must be properly trained, equipped, organized, and motivated. Transforming our service with new technology requires that we also transform our dedicated and professional workforce with the same care and foresight. We must restructure decades-old human resource policies and processes. We must be more agile in adapting to the new marketplace for people, provide for both quality of life and workplace, and ensure performance-based policies to lead and manage the workforce.

During the years ahead, we will increase our commitment to people through a new emphasis on education, training, and professional growth. We will expand the workforce to meet increasing mission demands. We will identify new strategies to recruit, train, retain, and deploy a diverse, highly capable, and flexible force.

Readiness--a capable, competent, and vigilant force, mission-ready in all areas--is, simply stated, the Coast Guard's raison d'etre. Superior operational service is our core purpose. America expects that we will bring the same level of professionalism and maritime leadership to the war on terrorism that we have traditionally brought to all our other missions. We are doing so, and we will. We must ensure that our units are trained in sound and safe doctrine and tactics, are supported with integrated logistics systems, are adequately staffed with properly trained people, and are equipped with modern and well maintained cutters, boats, aircraft, equipment, and facilities.

We are building robust maritime homeland security strategies, capabilities, and competencies. Through the Integrated Deepwater System we are designing and implementing a maritime domain awareness capability that provides integrated afloat, ashore, and airborne command, control, and communication capabilities as well as improved means for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance. We will ensure future readiness by leveraging the Deepwater project, Rescue 21, and homeland security initiatives as the strategic recapitalization of the Coast Guard for the twenty-first century gathers momentum with each passing year.

Lasting strategic partnerships will help us to sustain readiness in the future and will enhance mission outcomes at all levels--federal, state, and local; international and bilateral; public and private. Coast Guard missions reach to every port and waterway, to small towns as well as cities, and beyond to international venues as well as domestic ones.

Stewardship, the final building block in preparing for the future, is a reflection on the trust granted to the men and women of the Coast Guard in our role as public servants. We have earned an enviable reputation for excellence in managing our resources as we strive to be the best led and best managed organization in government. We must strengthen our commitment to stewardship--embracing innovation, technology, and effective leadership and management principles to achieve measurable outcomes. Performance-based program planning and acquisition, resource planning based on sound strategic analysis, risk-based management, and cause-and-effect metrics are indispensable.

Adapting to change is one of the most difficult tasks we face as individuals or as an organization, but with change comes new opportunities. We must inspire a culture of innovation and process change so that technology is infused creatively in all mission areas so as to enhance productivity and reduce workload--all the while driving toward quality outcomes. The results of our programs and operations must support the President's Management Agenda ****** and directly contribute to achieving the desired outcomes of the Department of Homeland Security and the Coast Guard Strategic Plan.

Past and future organizational realignments at Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington, D.C., will help to ensure a rapid flow of information, facilitate better decision making, and improve performance. This reorganization effort began with the establishment of a new Assistant Commandant for Intelligence in 2003 and will include integration of selected operational functions within the Operations and Maritime Safety Directorates, as well as of support processes. New posts also have been established for an Assistant Commandant for Command, Control, Communications, Computers, and Information Technology and for an Assistant Commandant for Planning, Resources, and Procurement.

This reorganization will more closely align the Coast Guard's resource planning and execution structures, enhance our ability to integrate information technology and allocate resources more effectively, and ensure that we have the capabilities we need to perform all Coast Guard missions. There is more that we must do.


We continually live in the "tyranny of the present," where endless budget battles, hearings, audits, operational tempo, and organizational "churn" seem to crowd out every other activity. While these things are important and need to be attended to, we must demonstrate that we can take a thoughtful approach to leading and managing the Coast Guard. We need to provide the type of leadership that allows our people, programs, field commands, and partners to sense the right priorities and allocate resources to the highest needs of the service. Most importantly, we must chart a path in a direction we desire, not one we are forced to accept. Through "Project EVERGREEN" we have in fact taken the time to break free intellectually from the tyranny of the present and think critically about what it will take to continue to be successful in a variety of "futures" that may come to pass. Through this project, we are using scenario-based planning to create a forward-looking agenda that will guide our service through major changes currently under way, as well as others not yet on the planning horizon.

The EVERGREEN Project is a comprehensive approach to creating continuous strategic renewal within the Coast Guard (hence the name). It is not just a strategic plan; it is even more than strategic planning. It is really a strategic framework that delivers my strategic intent, my Commandant's Direction, through linkage to our daily operations and activities. It assumes that we have applied our finite resources--time, energy, and money--in current operations and future investments in a purposeful way.

EVERGREEN is supported by an in-house "Red Cell," with a charter to reflect on past large-scale efforts to institutionalize change in our management systems. The Red Cell will identify barriers to the Coast Guard's transformation--the cultural and organizational disablers that inhibit our ability to seize the opportunities before us.

To prepare for and "shape the future," the EVERGREEN Project has highlighted the criticality of enhancing capabilities and competencies in four enduring mission areas: defending national and homeland security interests; enforcing laws and treaties in the U.S. maritime domain; promoting safe and efficient maritime activities; and protecting the marine environment. To this end, EVERGREEN has helped us identify our "world of work," where we must:

* Shape the global maritime setting to promote American national interests

* Know maritime conditions, anomalies, and threats to prevent, protect, and respond (maritime domain awareness)

* Create and manage an integrated U.S. maritime domain to preserve and promote the national interest, and

* Position the Coast Guard, as a member of the Department of Homeland Security, to act with strategic intent in a complex and uncertain environment.

Indeed, the overall goal of the EVERGREEN Project is to revitalize our strategic thinking and to ensure that we plan, program, budget, train, equip, and deploy with strategic intent--with strategic performance outcomes in mind that are directly relevant to our mission in the Department of Homeland Security.

One definition of transformation holds that it is the productive integration of technological change. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Richard B. Myers, argues that transformation goes far beyond technology and organizational change. In his view, transformation is as well a process and a mindset associated with managing change entailing intellectual, cultural, and technological dimensions. This is the definition of transformation that we readily identify with in the Coast Guard--and it is our pathway to the future.

Despite some of the most sweeping changes in our 213 years, the constants that have guided our service through other perilous times in our nation's past will endure. By confronting and leading the challenge of change in a spirit of continuity with our proud traditions, the future Coast Guard will remain the military, multimission, and maritime service that we know today. However, with a transformed and recapitalized force structure, it will be a Coast Guard adding substantially more value--through the right set of authorities, capabilities, and capacities matched to a range of maritime "futures" and productive domestic and international strategic partnerships--to the task of providing for the safety of our citizens and the security of our nation.

* All Island-class 110-foot patrol boats, respectively WPB 1333, 1309, 1318, and 1332.

** For an assessment of Coast Guard capabilities in that period (and for background on the National Fleet, discussed below), see Colin S. Gray, "The Coast Guard and Navy: It's Time for a 'National Fleet,'" Naval War College Review 54, no. 3 (Summer 2001), pp. 112-38.

*** Command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance.

**** See Rear Admiral Patrick M. Stillman, USCG, "Small Navies Do Have a Place in Network-Centric Warfare" Naval War College Review 57, no. 1 (Winter 2004), pp. 95-101.

***** Available at

****** Available at

Admiral Collins assumed the duties of Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard on 30 May 2002. Prior to becoming Commandant, he served as the Coast Guard's Vice Commandant, spearheading servicewide initiatives as the Coast Guard Acquisition Executive. From 1998 to 2000 he served as Commander, Pacific Area and Eleventh Coast Guard District. His other flag assignments include service as Commander, Fourteenth Coast Guard District in Honolulu, Hawaii, and Chief, Office of Acquisition at Coast Guard Headquarters.

Admiral Collins began his Coast Guard career as a deck watch officer and first lieutenant aboard the cutter Vigilant (WMEC 617). Following that assignment, he commanded the cutter Cape Morgan (WPB 95313). His shore operational assignments include Deputy Commander, Group St. Petersburg, Florida, and Commander of Coast Guard Group and Captain of the Port, Long Island Sound, in New Haven, Connecticut. Prior to his promotion to flag rank in 1994 he served as the Chief, Programs Division at Coast Guard Headquarters, and then the Coast Guard's Deputy Chief of Staff.

Admiral Collins graduated from the Coast Guard Academy in 1968 and later served as a faculty member within the Humanities Department. He earned a master of arts degree in liberal studies from Wesleyan University and a master of business administration from the University of New Haven.
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Title Annotation:Change And Continuity
Author:Collins, Thomas H.
Publication:Naval War College Review
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Mar 22, 2004
Previous Article:President's forum.
Next Article:A tale of two fleets: a Russian perspective on the 1973 Naval standoff in the Mediterranean.

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