– War Zone – As Russia is building literally a new armada of new icebreakers, ice-capable supply ships, a massive arctic “research” submarine and icebreaker surface combatants armed with cruise missiles, the Pentagon is now looking at arming its relatively tiny fleet of future icebreakers with similar weapons as well.
– Proceedings of the US Naval Institute – Transferring the U.S. Coast Guard to the Department of Defense would enhance the service’s capabilities and the nation’s defense.
– USNI News – The Coast Guard has determined it would be too costly to refurbish the heavy icebreaker USCGC Polar Sea (WAGB-11) and has designated the ship a “parts donor” to sister ship USCGC Polar Star (WAGB-10).
– National Interest – The United States’ peer naval competitors are on the rise, and our Navy is woefully deficient in the small surface combatants that provide global presence during peacetime and serve as utility players during times of conflict. Until the early 1990s, the U.S. Coast Guard’s largest cutters could be expected to fill a portion of the small surface combatant gap. However, decisions made since the end of the Cold War have left the service without cutters to meet today’s minimum threshold of combat value. Restoring credible warfighting capability to the major cutter fleet is an efficient way to address the small surface combatant shortfall.
– Proceedings of the US Naval Institute – The Coast Guard is well suited for employment in gray zone environments, where interactions fall between the traditional war and peace duality. But the 2015 capture of U.S. Navy riverine crews by the Iranians should prompt an examination of predeployment training.
– Breaking Defense – After a decade of dithering, the White House and Congress have finally come close to agreeing that America must build a new icebreaker. One congressional subcommittee, the Senate Appropriations defense subcommittee, has actually come up with the $1 billion needed to build it in less than a decade. But the money wasn’t put in the Coast Guard’s budget. The defense subcommittee put the money in the Navy’s budget. But the Navy won’t operate the ship. So why should the Navy get the money? Is that a good idea?.
– US Naval Institute Proceedings – As relations between Cuba and the United States trend toward amiable, the Florida Straits maritime domain could become chaotic.
– 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.