U.S. Coast Guard

April 7, 2022
By Kimberly Underwood
U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer 2nd Class Makenzi Austin, a marine science technician aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Healy (WAGB 20), stands on the deck waiting to pull in a scientific instrument during operations in Baffin Bay in October 2021. U.S.C.G. Cutter Healy’s crew annually deploys to the Arctic to conduct missions including icebreaking operations and support of oceanographic research by the science community. Global warming has extended the operational season of the Arctic. U.S. Coast Guard

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has interrupted the meeting of the governing bodies that oversee coordination in the Arctic region, leaving discourse at a standstill, leaders from Arctic nations report. The unfortunate effect of global warming that has increased the polar ice melt is also making the Arctic region more navigable, and as such, the region is growing in geopolitical importance. To ensure open access and safe operations, several entities help govern the region but are not able to do so during the war.

February 17, 2022
By Kimberly Underwood
Panelists at WEST 2022 discuss acquisition and how the process can be changed to best meet future needs. Photo by Michael Carpenter

As it fields more advanced capabilities, the U.S. Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard are making changes to their acquisition processes, but the efforts are not without difficulties, system commanders from the services reported. Long-range fire missile systems, artificial intelligence, autonomy, 5G and C5I technologies require technical know-how as part of the acquisition process, and not just at the technical and engineering levels but also in the finance, contracting and human resource divisions, leaders said at WEST 2022, the conference and exposition hosted by AFCEA International and the U.S. Naval Institute in San Diego February 16-18. 

December 30, 2021

VT Halter Marine Inc., Pascagoula, Mississippi, is awarded a $552,654,757 fixed-price incentive modification to previously awarded contract N00024-16-C-2210 to exercise an option for the detail design and construction of the second Coast Guard Polar Security Cutter. Work will be performed in Pascagoula, Mississippi (61%); Metairie, Louisiana (12%); New Orleans, Louisiana (12%); San Diego, California (4%); Mossville, Illinois (4%); Mobile, Alabama (2%); Boca Raton, Florida (2%); and other locations (3%), and is expected to be completed by September 2026.

December 8, 2012
By Kimberly Underwood
Responding to a vessel fire in the Whale Harbor Channel, near Islamorada in the Florida Keys on October 13, 2021, U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer 3rd Class Logan Sayre manuevers with Petty Officer 3rd Class Broderick Jones (not pictured) to extinguish the flames after a Good Samaritan rescued the two passengers on board. To support its complex missions of sea rescue, homeland security and military-related operations, the service is expanding and modernizing its communications network.  U.S. Coast Guard photo

The U.S. Coast Guard will consolidate its disparate data communications networks onto a single modernized data communications platform through a new $161 million contract with AT&T. The telecommunications carrier will provide the Coast Guard with advanced global data telecommunications services to improve the sea service’s network efficiencies, speed and flexibility, the company reported. In addition, the effort will expand the sea service’s use of FirstNet, the public safety communications network provided by AT&T.

October 1, 2021
By Kimberly Underwood
The addition of cyber offense capabilities by the U.S. Coast Guard Cyber Command marks another step in the service’s growing cyber versatility, says the leader of the command, Rear Adm. Michael Ryan, USCG (l), speaking to Coast Guardsmen in the command’s Cyber Operations Center in Washington, D.C. Credit: USCG Cyber Command

As the 231-year-old U.S. Coast Guard guards the nation’s waterways and ports, more and more it is finding the need to increase its capabilities in the cyber domain, given the rising digital threats to the $5.4 trillion of waterway-based trade. This fall, the maritime service is adding new cyber offensive capabilities and is growing its existing cyber defense, reports Rear Adm. Michael Ryan, USCG, commander of the Coast Guard’s Cyber Command.

June 20, 2021

Vice Adm. Linda L. Fagan, USCG, has been nominated for assignment as vice commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard.


July 1, 2021
By Robert K. Ackerman
A U.S. Coast Guard cutter and a U.S. Navy Arleigh Burke-class destroyer patrol the Hawaiian Island operational area. All three sea services are modernizing amid budget constraints. Credit: MC2 Christian M. Huntington, USN

Despite fiscal restraints and force reductions, the sea services are positioned to improve their capabilities in the coming years. This assessment comes from no less than the commanders of the U.S. Navy, the U.S. Marines and the U.S. Coast Guard, who also described the role that technology will play in building their services’ future

June 29, 2021
By Kimberly Underwood
Royal Australian Navy, Republic of Korea Navy, Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force and U.S. Navy ships sail in formation during the Pacific Vanguard 2020 exercise. The DoD’s FY 2022 budget request does not include separate funding for contingency operations. The services now have to balance the possible need to come up with such funds from their base budgets, which may impact funding for exercises, training or other operational needs, leaders say. Credit: U.S. Navy/Lt. Mark Langford

The Fiscal Year 2022 Presidential budget request, released May 28, included $715 billion for the Department of Defense. Unique to that budget was the discontinuation—for the first time in 20 years—of separate Overseas Contingency Operation, or OCO, funds. Instead, the DoD’s direct war and enduring operation costs are now included as part of the base budget request, according to Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin.

The move stems from President Biden’s decision to withdraw U.S. troops by the end of September from Afghanistan, where a good portion of continued overseas operations and expenses had occurred.

March 3, 2021
By Kimberly Underwood
The newly commissioned National Security Cutter Midgett conducts sea trials on February 25. The U.S. Coast Guard needs to be more nimble in the Pacific region. Credit: U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters photo courtesy of Huntington Ingalls Industries

The seas of the Indo-Pacific region are an increasingly complex maritime environment. To combat an increase in nefarious activity, protect U.S. economic security and thwart brazen adversaries, the U.S. Coast Guard is adding resources to its operations there, says Vice Adm. Linda Fagan, USCG, commander, U.S. Coast Guard Defense Force West and commander, Pacific Area, presented a keynote address Thursday at AFCEA’s TechNet Indo-Pacific conference.

March 13, 2020

L3 Harris, Northampton, Massachusetts, is awarded a $14,181,070 firm-fixed-price modification to a previously-awarded contract (N00024-16-C-5366) to exercise options for Mk 20 Mod (automatic grenade launcher) 1 Electro-Optical Sensor Systems, radar cross-section kits, shock ring kits and spares for both the Navy and Coast Guard (USCG). Work will be performed in Northampton, Massachusetts, and is expected to be complete by March 2022. This option exercise is for additional Mk 20 Mod 1 Electro-Optical Sensor Systems, radar cross-section kits, shock ring kits and spares to support the Mk 34 gun weapon systems in support of anti-air warfare and anti-surface warfare.

November 20, 2019

BAE Systems Technology Solutions & Services Inc., Rockville, Maryland, is awarded a $104,775,349 cost-plus-fixed-fee, cost reimbursable, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract. This contract will provide engineering and technical services to support production, lifetime support engineering and in-service engineering for the radio communication system/command, control, communications, computers, combat systems, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance systems aboard Navy surface combatants and at associated shore sites.

November 20, 2019
By Robert K. Ackerman
Rear Adm. Kevin Lunday, USCG, commander, 14th Coast Guard District, describes the service's expanding mission in the Indo-Pacific region. Credit: Bob Goodwin Photography

The U.S. Coast Guard has increased its activities across the Pacific theater, including a national security cutter deployed under the control of the U.S. Navy’s 7th Fleet. Concurrent with these efforts are increased efforts in cyberspace, with a special focus on personnel.

These points were emphasized by Rear Adm. Kevin Lunday, USCG, commander, 14th Coast Guard District, at the keynote breakfast opening day 2 of TechNet Indo-Pacific 2019 being held November 19-21 in Honolulu. Adm. Lunday described an expanding mission that includes serving the maritime security needs of small Pacific nations.

February 12, 2019
By Maryann Lawlor
“I never thought that I would have to go to the food bank. We would always donate, because a lot of families out there don’t have the luxuries we have. I’ve been through four furloughs. This is the first time that I’ve needed to reach out for help,” says Michael Westmoreland, furloughed Coast Guard worker.

AFCEA chapters got to the heart of the matter of the recent partial government shutdown by responding to the immediate needs of federal workers and contractors with contributions to assistance organizations.

To ease the strain on resources the influx of families in need of food, the Energy and Earth Sciences Chapter donated $5,000 to the Maryland Food Bank (MFB). Its donation was matched by an individual AFCEAN.

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 1, 2019
By Kimberly Underwood
When pursuing information technology solutions, the Coast Guard has to be “risk aware” in order to have the tools needed to support its unique set of military, law enforcement, humanitarian, regulatory and diplomatic responsibilities, says Rear Adm. David Dermanelian, USCG, assistant commandant for C4IT (CG-6); and commander, Coast Guard Cyber Command.

Two years’ experience at the U.S. Cyber Command has shaped U.S. Coast Guard Rear Adm. Dermanelian’s perspective as he implements, as commander, the Coast Guard Cyber Command’s three main missions: (1) defending the Coast Guard’s portion of the Department of Defense Information Network, or DODIN; (2) protecting the maritime transportation sector; and (3) enabling cyber operations. The admiral is dual hatted as the assistant commandant for command, control, communications, computers and information technology/CG-6 as well as being the commander of the Coast Guard Cyber Command.

September 1, 2018
By George I. Seffers
Artificial intelligence-driven voice forensics can yield a great deal of information about a speaker, including physical characteristics, health, genealogy and environment. Credit: Shutterstock

In the future, voice analysis of an intercepted phone call from an international terrorist to a crony could yield the caller’s age, gender, ethnicity, height, weight, health status, emotional state, educational level and socioeconomic class. Artificial intelligence-fueled voice forensics technology also may offer clues about location; room size; wall, ceiling and floor type; amount of clutter; kind of device, down to the specific model used to make the call; and possibly even facial characteristics of the caller.  

December 6, 2017
The U.S. Coast Guard is conducting a study through March 31 on the Waterways Analysis and Management System.

The U.S. Coast Guard is seeking input from mariners for a study of navigation requirements in the Pacific Seacoast System. 

The Waterways Analysis and Management System (WAMS) study will review the short-range Aids to Navigation (ATON) system that covers American waterways from the Canadian border to the Mexican border and around Alaska, Hawaii and the Marianas Islands.

Interested mariners and maritime stakeholders can provide input by taking the survey, which will be available online until March 31, 2018.

September 12, 2017
By Beverly Mowery Cooper
Vice Adm. Sandra Stosz, USCG, deputy commandant, Mission Support, U.S. Coast Guard, speaks at the AFCEA Homeland Security Conference.

The Coast Guard is under-resourced and yet is always trying to do more, said Vice Adm. Sandra Stosz, USCG, deputy commandant, Mission Support, U.S. Coast Guard, at the AFCEA Homeland Security Conference in Washington D.C. For example, today the service is performing its normal mission; supporting response to Hurricanes Harvey and Irma; and providing security for the U.N. Security Council.

September 28, 2016
By Julianne Simpson
The Coast Guard's national security cutters are 418 feet long and have a top speed of 28 knots.

The U.S. Coast Guard announced the service’s sixth national security cutter, Munro, will be commissioned April 1, 2017, at the Smith Cove Terminal in Seattle.

The cutter will be home ported in Alameda, California, and is named after Signalman First Class Douglas A. Munro, the Coast Guard’s only Medal of Honor recipient.

February 1, 2016
By George I. Seffers
The U.S. Coast Guard is increasing its presence in the Arctic region as melting ice makes the area more accessible. Researchers evaluate technologies capable of supporting the Coast Guard mission under the Arctic’s extreme conditions.

U.S. Coast Guard researchers are assessing a wide array of technologies capable of performing in the Arctic’s harsh conditions, including unmanned vehicles, satellite communications and search and rescue systems. Those that work well in this severe environment may reshape the future of maritime operations in the region.


Vice Adm. Paul F. Zukunft, USCG, has been nominated as commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard, Washington, D.C.

June 29, 2012
By Rachel Eisenhower

A 3-D imaging system is providing the U.S. Coast Guard with real-time undersea data critical to its mission. Although the technology is still under evaluation, it has already assisted the service in its response to the Coast Guard helicopter crash off the Alabama shore in February.

June 5, 2012
By Beverly Schaeffer

The polar ice cap is melting, and with that comes many challenges-and potential opportunities-for the U.S. Coast Guard.

August 5, 2011
By George Seffers

General Dynamics Information Technology, Fairfax, Virginia, recently announced that it has been awarded a blanket purchase agreement to provide information technology support services to the U.S. Coast Guard Force Readiness Command (FORCECOM). The agreement has a ceiling value of $11 million over a five-year period. General Dynamics will provide FORCECOM with information technology and simulator support services for non-standard workstations and systems. Non-standard workstations are customized and stand-alone from the overall enterprise, and support command, control, communications, computers and intelligence systems, navigational, telecommunications and shipboard sensors.

April 29, 2011
By Rachel Eisenhower

As the U.S. Coast Guard examines new ways to consolidate its logistics systems into a single business model, it is using social media platforms to open a dialogue with government and industry. In the process, the guard is learning how the acquisition community responds to unfamiliar tools in their familiar environment.

In this month's issue of SIGNAL Magazine, Editor in Chief Robert K. Ackerman describes how these social platforms are helping to solve age-old problems in his article, "Coast Guard Logistics Learns Social Media."

January 27, 2011
By Robert K. Ackerman

The U.S. Coast Guard is facing the dilemma of its traditional threats combining to pose a synergistic danger to U.S. homeland security. Longtime menaces such as drug smuggling, alien immigration and terrorism may be merging their organizations and their tactics to pose an even greater threat to the nation. Stopping these threats will require data sharing and consolidation. Unfortunately, even organizations willing to share information often find legal and technological roadblocks in their way. Rear Adm. (S) Stephen Metruck, USCG, chief of staff, Eleventh Coast Guard District, told the Thursday breakfast audience at West 2011 in San Diego that the Coast Guard is striving to head off threats before they near the homeland.

June 8, 2010
By Rachel Eisenhower

The recently formed Interagency Alternative Technology Assessment Program (IATAP) announced last Friday it plans to collect and review oil spill response solutions.

The U.S. Coast Guard's Research and Development Center has been providing on-site support for the oil spill response and issued a Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) along with interagency partners calling for the submission of new technology solutions. The BAA requested white papers addressing several key problem areas: sensing and detection; wellhead control and submerged response; traditional and alternative technologies; and damage assessment and restoration.

October 21, 2009
By Maryann Lawlor

The commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard is simply enthralled with the opportunities social networking platforms offer. Adm. Thad W. Allen, USCG, opened the final day of MILCOM 2009 by explaining that it took some time for him to move into the Web 2.0 realm, but now that he's there, he understands that it is a domain that all military leaders must learn to use. "We have to understand that the changes in technology, computation and so forth have created what I call a fundamental change in our social atmosphere.