united states coast guard

R 131651Z JAN 21

ALCOAST 016/21
1. The Coast Guard has been a sea-going service since 1790,
continuously protecting our Nation’s interests in the maritime
commons and deterring threats around the globe in a complex and
ever-evolving maritime environment. Coast Guard cutters deliver
broad authorities and unique multi-mission and intelligence
capabilities wherever they sail, working with interagency partners,
the Joint Force, and international navies, coast guards, and
maritime services to uphold the rules based international order at
sea. The demand for Coast Guard cutter forces to execute local and
worldwide missions has never been greater. This growing demand has
continued amid the COVID-19 global pandemic, where cutter crews are
experiencing pre-deployment restrictions of movement, a reduction in
liberty port calls, and extended time underway, away from loved ones
during this global pandemic.
2. The recent accomplishments of our cutter fleet are nothing short
of extraordinary, embodying the words from Semper Paratus – spanning
from Aztec Shores to Arctic Zone to Europe and Far East. This year,
Coast Guard women and men on cutters executed the President’s
enhanced counter-narcotics operation where, nearly every day, a
Coast Guard cutter interdicted a drug-laden vessel. Near the
Galapagos Islands, at the request of Ecuador, National Security
Cutter BERTHOLF utilized its ScanEagle unmanned-aerial system to
surveil a group of 350 Chinese flagged or characteristic fishing
vessels and made Right-of-Approach inquiries. River Tender CHEYENNE
responded to record-high water on the Mississippi River, and
Construction Tender AXE responded to multiple Gulf Coast hurricanes.
Black hull cutters surveyed, serviced, and corrected thousands of
aids to navigation, restoring efficient maritime commerce. The
Medium Endurance Cutter (WMEC) TAHOMA participated in Operation
NANOOK with Canadian, Danish, and U.S. Navy Forces. Similarly,
sister WMEC CAMPBELL participated in the high-latitude Search-and-
Rescue exercise ARGUS off Greenland, operating alongside Canadian,
Danish, and French Naval Forces. Heavy Icebreaking Cutter POLAR STAR
sailed for the first time in decades to the U.S. Arctic to project
U.S. sovereignty, reaching 72 Deg North Latitude, the farthest North
a Coast Guard cutter has traveled in the Arctic winter. WMEC BEAR
deployed to Cabo Verde and increased partnerships with a key U.S.
ally. Fast Response Cutter OLIVER BERRY made a historic 10,000
nautical mile patrol from Hawaii to strengthen Maritime Domain
Awareness within the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of both the
Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) and Federated States of
Micronesia (FSM), supporting the Pacific Island Forum Fisheries
Agency. National Security Cutter KIMBALL supported Pacific Island
nations in building organic capability and law enforcement expertise
to combat Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing. These
operations represent a mere fraction of the accomplishments of our
cutter fleet since the start of the pandemic.
3. The Coast Guard is in the middle of our most robust fleet
recapitalization effort since World War II, and global demands for
Coast Guard assets are rising — the opportunities for seagoing
members have never been greater. In the coming year, National
Security Cutter STONE, our ninth NSC, will be commissioned, and the
Plankowner Crew will be established for the first Offshore Patrol
Cutter, ARGUS. Fast Response Cutters will continue to commission and
PATFORSWA in the spring, and two additional Fast Response hulls
later in the year. In addition, steel will soon be cut for our first
Polar Security Cutter; we will begin the fleet-wide transition to
completely paperless navigation; and a “Request for Proposal” will
be released to start building new Waterways Commerce Cutters.
4. While there is much to celebrate about our ongoing Coast Guard
fleet recapitalization efforts, and the daily accomplishments of
both our legacy and new assets, most importantly, we recognize the
contributions of our women and men serving at sea. In October 2020,
monthly sea pay for all afloat members was increased, and all WMEC
270-foot cutters were placed at Level 5 Sea pay. These changes
represent a 26.5% increase to the Coast Guard’s annual commitment
for sea pay. At the same time, numerous specific monetary and non-
monetary incentives were implemented to benefit those serving in
particular billets at sea. Communications and data bandwidth across
our cutter fleet has been increased in order to maintain better
connectivity, and cellular-based WiFi hotspots have been provided
for our deployed cutters for their use in-port or near-shore,
enabling reliable communication for our deployed crews with friends
and families during deployments. Additional near and long-term
strategies are in development to reduce in-port workload,
particularly for our major cutter crews, including: re-balancing in-
port maintenance O-level workloads, restoring WMSL Quality Assurance
billets, and expanding Operational Driven Maintenance Scheduling
(ODMS) for the entire fleet to provide dedicated time periods for
restoration of crew readiness. Due to the unique challenges the
cutter community has faced through the ongoing pandemic, in the
coming month, anticipate an announcement of a new program to provide
up to 15 days of resiliency absence for members assigned to major
cutters during periods of the pandemic where there were significant
restrictions on movement and impact to cutter port calls.
5. In recognition that there is more that must done to support those
assigned to seagoing cutters, we have also stood up a Sea-Duty
Readiness Council with dedicated staff support. This council will
identify longer-term opportunities to further enhance life at sea,
including examining in-port workload requirements, enhancing
education opportunities for cuttermen, and advocating for other new
initiatives. This council will be informed by completed analyses,
such as the RAND Analysis of Major Cutter Employment, the Women's
Retention Study, and the Afloat Officer Corps Analysis and Survey.
This group will also proactively address pressing needs and concerns
raised by the fleet via CO's Conferences. We look forward to keeping
the fleet updated on the council’s initiatives.
6. Thank you for your service and the support of your loved ones
that enable you to serve at sea. Semper Paratus.
7. Point of contact: CAPT M. Davanzo, COMDT (CG-751),
(202) 372-2321,
8. VADM Scott Buschman Deputy Commandant for Operations (DCO) and
VADM Michael McAllister Deputy Commandant for Mission Support
(DCMS), send.
9. Internet release is authorized.