The U.S. Coast Guard needs more unmanned aircraft as eyes in the sky to support key missions such as search and rescue, drug interdiction and maritime patrol. The service will soon deploy these aircraft from its cutters as part of a long-term effort to expand the Coast Guard’s use of airborne robot platforms. Both ships and shore-based installations will be equipped with medium-range unmanned aerial systems to aid manned aircraft and provide real-time, around-the-clock surveillance.
Technological development has transformed U.S. Coast Guard networks into warfighting platforms as the service operates in a dramatically different realm, a senior leader says.
“That’s significant for us,” says Rear Adm. Kevin Lunday, USCG, commander of Coast Guard Cyber Command and assistant commandant for Command, Control, Communications, Computers and Information Technology (C4IT). “It’s really the first time we’re creating an operating force for a new domain—cyberspace—since we created operating forces for aviation over a century ago.”
Orolia, through its McMurdo brand, was awarded a contract by the U.K. Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) for nationwide enhancements to search and rescue satellite technology. Enhancements will enable the MCA to operate with the new Medium-altitude Earth Orbit Search and Rescue (MEOSAR) satellites being deployed now.
The Coast Guard's Command, Control and Communications Engineering Center (C3CEN) awarded a contract to FLIR Maritime U.S. Inc., of Nashua, New Hampshire, on Wednesday for the Scalable Integrated Navigation System, Two (SINS-2). The single award firm fixed price indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contract is valued at $50 million and consists of a five-year base with a five-year option. The total period of performance is 10 years. SINS-2 is a suite of commercially available electronic equipment and sensors consisting of low-power radar/chart plotter, multifunction displays, single-frequency Global Positioning System and other required navigation components.
The SIGNAL Magazine Online Show Daily, Day 3
Quote of the Day:
“Innovation is a contact sport; it is not for the weak of heart.”—Jay M. Cohen, principal, The Chertoff Group, former chief of naval research
The U.S. Navy is counting on industry and academia to generate new capabilities that can meet sea service needs rapidly in a dynamic threat picture. Achieving this goal effectively will require overcoming cultural inertia and an acquisition architecture that is stacked against speed and innovation.
The U.S. Coast Guard published guidance February 5 that allows mariners to use electronic charts and publications instead of paper charts, maps and publications. Combining the suite of electronic charts from the U.S. hydrographic authorities and the Electronic Charting System (ECS) standards published this past summer by the Radio Technical Commission for Maritime Services, electronic charts can provide mariners with a substitute for the traditional official paper charts.
The Navigation and Vessel Inspection Circular, NVIC 01-16 establishes uniform guidance on what is now considered equivalent to chart and publication carriage requirements.
The U.S. Coast Guard is engaged in a major overhaul of airborne reconnaissance capabilities. Ultimately, the various aviation reconnaissance programs will allow the service to shed aging platforms, add unmanned systems, enhance interoperability, improve efficiency and perform its missions more effectively.
The Coast Guard is adding three types of manned, fixed-wing aircraft to its overall reconnaissance fleet—the HC-130J long-range surveillance aircraft and the HC-144A and C-27J, both of which are medium-range reconnaissance platforms. The service also is investigating the possibility of adding small unmanned aerial systems (UASs) in the short term and larger UASs over the long term.
The U.S. Coast Guard is adopting new technologies and capabilities that it hopes will provide it with needed intelligence while also being complementary to that of other intelligence organizations. The service is uniquely positioned to act both locally and globally to support U.S. intelligence needs, and it aims to be able to interoperate with foreign partners.
Ishpi Information Technologies Inc., Mount Pleasant, S.C., has won a $6.7 million dollar multi-year task to provide the United States Coast Guard with subject matter expertise in the areas of information systems security and analysis, certification and accreditation, risk management, and information assurance training support to the Command, Control, Communications, Computers, and Information Technology Service Center.
ISHPI Information Technologies Incorporated, Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, was recently awarded three multi-year task orders totaling $4 million via the STARS II contract to provide support to the U.S. Coast Guard Telecommunications and Information Systems Command. ISHPI will be providing telecommunications and network systems, communications and engineering, and web design and database support.
The U.S. Coast Guard has selected HMS Technologies Incorporated for the $46 million Enterprise Managed Telephony Unified Communications Systems Installations & Equipment Recapitalization project. HMS will be responsible for an Internet protocol-distributed telephony communications system that will deliver the benefits of network convergence and collaborative communications. The program will provide the foundation for a mission critical unified communications environment for millions of stakeholders worldwide.
National security threats are drawing the U.S. Coast Guard deeper into the Asia-Pacific region as it carries out its conventional missions in unconventional areas. Piracy, drug smuggling and even overfishing are becoming more prevalent in U.S. and neighboring waters, and the Coast Guard is finding itself forming alliances with foreign counterparts. Rear Adm. Manson Brown, USCG, commander, 14th Coast Guard District, outlined several national security aspects of its stewardship mission to a Tuesday luncheon audience at TechNet Asia-Pacific 2009, held in Honolulu, Hawaii, November 2-5.
The U.S. Coast Guard's Deepwater program has a new name and already is generating results for Coast Guard personnel. Now known as the Coast Guard Acquisition Program, the troubled effort is generating positive results, according to Rear Adm. Manson Brown, USCG, commander, 14th Coast Guard District. Responding to an audience question after his luncheon and keynote address at TechNet Asia-Pacific 2009, held in Honolulu, Hawaii, November 2-5, Adm. Brown stated that the program is necessary for replacing old equipment that may not be capable of meeting the new demands facing the Coast Guard.
U.S. Coast Guard acquisitions are focusing on requirements across an array of major projects. Though the Department of Homeland Security organization has vastly different efforts underway, all demand clear guidelines and teamwork, including unambiguous understandings with the private sector.