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.
U.S. Coast Guard
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.
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.
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.
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.
Vice Adm. Linda L. Fagan, USCG, has been nominated for assignment as vice commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The polar ice cap is melting, and with that comes many challenges-and potential opportunities-for the U.S. Coast Guard.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.