– Associated Press – The last U.S. icebreaker capable of crushing through the thickest ice of the Antarctic and Arctic resumed its mission after the latest repairs to postpone its already past-due retirement.
– USNI News – The Arabian Gulf (AG) has evolved into a proving ground for expeditionary patrol boat operations. In the future, reduced high-end combatant availability, a truncated LCS fleet, and the growing importance of the kinds of littoral and irregular warfare operations that favor patrol craft capabilities will likely sustain or increase demand for patrol craft in overseas contingency operations. Both the Navy and Coast Guard should pause to reflect on some of the enduring lessons-learned from operating patrol craft in the AG for the last twelve years to ensure that future patrol craft crews are well-prepared for operating in politically-sensitive, high-threat environments.
– Defense News – It’s not often the US Coast Guard takes center stage at the sprawling Ingalls shipyard in Pascagoula, Mississippi. The huge facility builds more different kinds of ships for the US Navy than any other yard. But here in the dog days of summer, the white-hulled ships of the smaller service have been in the spotlight, with the acceptance trials of the fourth national security cutter (NSC) wrapping up Friday and the christening next day of the fifth ship.
– USNI News – The Coast Guard will likely need help from other government agencies to fund its proposed new $1 billion heavy icebreaker the service says it needs to operate in the Arctic and Antarctic, outgoing USCG commandant Adm. Robert Papp told reporters Wednesday following his final State of the Coast Guard address in Washington, D.C.
– BBC – A US ice-breaker Polar Star is to help two ships that are stuck in thick ice in Antarctica following a rescue mission.
– US Naval Institute Proceedings – The Navy needs to take the long view in delineating the ends, ways, and means of its shift to the Pacific.
– US Naval Institute Proceedings – The U.S. Coast Guard is in critical condition, and it needs several key changes to stop the hemorrhaging.
– Breaking Defense – While the Navy pivots to the Pacific, the Coast Guard has got their northern flank: the once icebound but now rapidly opening waters of the Arctic Ocean, with its new opportunities for oil, gas, and trade through the fabled Northwest Passage. For the chronically underfunded and “oversubscribed” service, however, the challenge is rebuilding Arctic skills and capabilities that have atrophied for decades – including construction of a new heavy-duty icebreaker that might cost up to a $1 billion, said Coast Guard Commandant, Adm. Robert Papp.
– San Diego Union Tribune – While the Pentagon complains about massive budget cuts, the U.S. Coast Guard — the smallest and sometimes overlooked arm of the armed forces — has been faring fairly well, moneywise.
– Los Angeles Times – Formerly ice-clogged Arctic waters are now navigable, opening a rush for oil and mineral resources — and raising heretofore unknown security concerns in the U.S. Far North.
– Associated Press – When a boat springs a leak, it’s often the Coast Guard to the rescue. But who rescues the Coast Guard when one its new ships does the same thing?
– Associated Press – A Coast Guard cutter is preparing for the departure of a Russian fuel tanker from an iced-in Alaska town.
– Associated Press – A U.S. Coast Guard cutter rescued six Iranian mariners from a vessel in distress in the Persian Gulf, the second time in less than a week that the American military has come to the aid of Iranians at sea.
– US Naval Institute Proceedings – It’s time to recapitalize aging U.S. Coast Guard cutters and permit the service to continue its invaluable defense of multiple mission areas.
– Seattle Times – The United States is running short of icebreakers, with its only pair of heavy icebreakers, Polar Sea and Polar Star, sidelined in Seattle, one with broken engines and the other undergoing an overhaul to keep it running a decade past its life span.
– US Naval Institute Proceedings – From the operational commanders’ perspective, the National Security Cutter is crucial for a growing array of Coast Guard missions.
– US Naval Institute Proceedings – The new Commandant evaluates the service’s recent successes but prescribes a pragmatic agenda.
Defense Technology International – Breaking Down the Coast Guard
After a devastating 7.0 magnitude earthquake rocked the city of Port au Prince, Haiti this past January, the U.S. Coast Guard responded quickly, and in force. But according to Building a U.S. Coast Guard for the 21st Century, a new report released yesterday by the Center for American Progress (CAP), twelve of the nineteen cutters that were sent to Haiti required emergency maintenance while en route, and two had to be recalled from operations for emergency dry-dock repairs.
The status of the US Coast Guard as of January 2010.
US Naval Institute Proceedings – To Fight and Save
The modernization of the U.S. Coast Guard must include instilling the guardian ethos espoused by Commandant Admiral Thad Allen.
US Naval Institute Proceedings – Heavy Weather Ahead for the Coast Guard
Aging cutters, budgets stretched too thin, and ever-expanding requirements are pushing the service to a moment of truth.
Defense Technology International – Coast Guard National Security Cutter
The U.S. Coast Guard’s newest vessel, the National Security Cutter Bertholf, was in the news a lot last week.
Defense Technology International – One of the Coast Guardís duties is to patrol the freezing cold waters off the northernmost coast of our United States. And they canít do it in shoddy boats. Two of the three USCG polar icebreakers ñ the Polar Star and Polar Sea ñ have exceeded their intended 30-year service lives. And on the serviceís current schedule, the first replacement ship might not enter service for another decade.
New York Times – A growing array of military leaders, Arctic experts and lawmakers say the United States is losing its ability to patrol and safeguard Arctic waters even as climate change and high energy prices have triggered a burst of shipping and oil and gas exploration in the thawing region.
The Times – A US Coast Guard cutter will depart for the Arctic this week as part of a race against Russia to claim the vast spoils of oil and natural gas below the sea floor that both nations are scrambling to exploit.