Coast Guard Technologies

February 1, 2019
By Kimberly Underwood
The Coast Guard faces bandwidth challenges, and the service is looking at how to optimize applications on smaller ships.

The U.S. Coast Guard is pursuing digital solutions to support its unique set of military, law enforcement, humanitarian, regulatory and diplomatic responsibilities. It is no small feat to provide information technology to its workforce of 87,570, as well as to its cutters, boats, and aircraft that move along the coastline and inland waterways protecting the United States.

February 13, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman

The U.S. Coast Guard wants contractors to provide it with affordable systems instead of top-of-the-line technology solutions, said its commandant. Adm. Robert J .Papp Jr., USCG, told the audience at the West 2014 Thursday luncheon town hall in San Diego that everything the Coast Guard does is within a constrained environment, and it needs solutions that don’t strain its already tight financial resources.

He explained that many contractors apply the Defense Department model to Coast Guard acquisition, but the same rules do not apply and many great technological solutions just cost too much. The Coast Guard will be scrutinizing bidders on its upcoming programs, he added, because affordability is the number-one requirement.

December 18, 2013

The U.S. Coast Guard will release its 2013 Top 10 videos on December 22, highlighting its achievements and asking members of the public to vote for their favorites. The Coast Guard Compass will publish one of the 10 videos each day beginning Sunday. Each video will include commentary from a service member who participated in the mission. The public will vote by liking their favorites on the Coast Guard’s Facebook page or on the Coast Guard’s YouTube channel. Voting will be open through January 13, 2014.

May 1, 2014
By George I. Seffers

Dealing with the world’s increasing complexity is the primary challenge to keeping the homeland secure, according to Adm. Thad Allen, USCG, (Ret.), executive vice president of Booz Allen Hamilton and former commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard. He lists border security, the cyberthreat, information sharing, terrorism, criminal organizations and climate change as elements adding to that complexity.

“We have to start understanding that the root problem we’re trying to deal with is to defeat complexities that inhibit working across boundaries to deliver solutions,” he said while serving as the morning keynote speaker on the first day of the AFCEA Homeland Security Conference in Washington, D.C., in March.

February 14, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman
(r-l) Capt. Dale Rielage, USN; Capt. Stuart Belt, USN; Capt. David A. Adams, USN; Capt. James Fanell, USN; Dr. James R. Holmes; and panel moderator Rear Adm. James G. Foggo III, USN, exchange views in a panel titled “What About China?”

West 2014 Online Show Daily, Day 3

Quote of the Day:

“We have global responsibilities. We will not be able to do less with less. We will do the same with less.”—Gen. James F. Amos, USMC, commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps

March 1, 2014
By George I. Seffers
U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Sapelo and Royal Netherlands Navy Offshore Patrol Vessel HNLMS Holland search Caribbean Sea waters for bales of contraband. SeaWatch is the Coast Guard’s next-generation command and control system for cutters.

By the end of this fiscal year, the next-generation command and control system for much of the cutter fleet should be installed on the U.S. Coast Guard’s 270-foot cutter class, and the system is now being considered for inclusion on 225-foot and 110-foot vessels. The system, called SeaWatch, combines navigational and tactical, optical surveillance and communications into one situational awareness picture; provides commonality across the fleet; and replaces an aging system that has outlived its usefulness.

February 1, 2014
By George I. Seffers
The USCGC Waesche, the second of the National Security Cutter class, was outfitted in 2013 with a suite of technologies procured under the Coast Guard’s C4ISR project.

When the U.S. Coast Guard fields its newest cutter next year, the ship will be equipped with an information technology package that offers common tools and capabilities among the cutter and aviation fleets. The technology suite will improve interoperability across the service and with other agencies, and it enhances situational awareness while providing flexibility for future upgrades.

July 1, 2013
By Max Cacas

Rear Adm. Robert Day Jr., USCG, assistant U.S. Coast Guard commandant for command, control, communications and information technology, sees the Joint Information Environment as an opportunity to resolve some of the most pressing information technology problems in the years to come as he faces a future with more challenges and fewer resources. He says a military-wide common operating environment will establish “enterprisewide mandates that programs cannot ignore.”

May 1, 2013
By Arthur Allen and Zdenka Willis
A U.S. Coast Guard helicopter delivers passengers from the sailing ship Bounty after the ship foundered during superstorm Sandy last October.

The synergy between operational planning and radar sensing provides enhanced search and rescue capabilities.

The U.S. Coast Guard is combining high-frequency coastal radar data with traditional oceanographic and geographic information to improve its chances of rescuing people in distress on the high seas. By merging these different sources of data, the Coast Guard enhances its search abilities while also providing better weather prediction for both its search and rescue teams and an endangered public in coastal areas.

April 2011
By Robert K. Ackerman

April 2011
By George I. Seffers, SIGNAL Magazine


One of the U.S. Coast Guard’s many research and development efforts focuses on the U.S. Navy’s Fire Scout vertical take-off unmanned system.

U.S. Coast Guard’s wide array of operations requires eclectic mix of research efforts.

April 2011
By George I. Seffers, SIGNAL Magazine


A U.S. Coast Guard law enforcement team joins members of the guided missile cruiser USS Gettysburg in a board, search and seizure operation of a suspected pirate vessel.

November 2003
By Robert K. Ackerman

The maritime service is upgrading its command and control systems.

The U.S. Coast Guard is undertaking a massive upgrade of its command and control with an eye toward improving situational awareness. Digitized information will alleviate some of the tasks currently performed manually by crew members actively engaged in operations at sea, and it also will provide a clearer picture of both missions and options.

Unlike the U.S. military services, the Coast Guard is not looking to develop completely new approaches from information technologies. Rather, it aims to incorporate known capabilities that it views as essential for carrying out its diverse missions.

November 2003
By Maryann Lawlor

U.S. Coast Guard forms natural bridge between law enforcement and armed forces.

Effectively standing watch over 3.5 million square miles of ocean area and 98,000 miles of coastline calls for careful planning, and the U.S. Coast Guard is taking a layered approach to carrying out this mission. Ever-expanding homeland security demands have prompted the sentinel of the seas to create maritime domain awareness plans that extend from international to local borders and from industry to the federal government. Assessing, addressing and reducing risk is at the core of the strategy.

November 15, 2013
By Maryann Lawlor

A revolution quietly erupted in October. On the University of Chicago campus, more than 80 innovators came together to discuss their ideas about how to solve some of the military’s most vexing problems. Not blind to the chain-of-command bureaucracy in which they operate, these pragmatic dreamers passionately moved forward in spite of it, because the Defense Entrepreneurs Forum (DEF) conference provided a place for in-person networking and commiserating, brainstorming and bracing one another up.

December 17, 2012
By Rachel Eisenhower

After growing up as the fifth child out of 10, it comes as no surprise that Master Chief Petty Officer Vince Patton, USCG (Ret.), thrives as part of a team. He joined AFCEA International in 2011 and recently took the helm of the newly established Homeland Security Department. It’s the latest role in a career that has taken Patton across the globe, from Coast Guard cutters to classrooms and beyond.