2022 U.S. Coast Guard Strategy

The following is the 2022 U.S. Coast Guard Strategy released this week. From the report Our Value to the Nation America’s waterways, coasts, and seas are the lifeblood of our economy, our national security, and our way of life. They are a source of vast natural resources— fueling commerce, transportation, and defense while enriching our […]

The following is the 2022 U.S. Coast Guard Strategy released this week.

From the report

Our Value to the Nation

America’s waterways, coasts, and seas are the lifeblood of our economy, our national security, and our way of life. They are a source of vast natural resources— fueling commerce, transportation, and defense while enriching our lives. The safety, security, and prosperity of America depend on reliable access to the maritime environment, protection from threats on the sea, and protection of the sea itself. To this end, the Coast Guard serves as a unique instrument of national power, championing the rule of law and governance on our waters and beyond.

As the Nation’s only multi-mission, military, maritime service, we are humanitarian first responders, environmental stewards, a law enforcement and regulatory agency, a member of the intelligence community, and a branch of the Armed Forces. Our missions have evolved over the last two centuries; we have developed enduring strategies to focus our efforts, nested underneath national and departmental strategies and priorities. As our missions continue to evolve in the future, we remain committed to developing the personnel, infrastructure, assets, and technology necessary to excel in tomorrow’s world.

The Coast Guard enables America to harness the potential of our multi-use waterways. We support national interests by saving lives, preventing terrorism, securing our maritime borders, promoting the rule of law, protecting natural resources, and enhancing cyber and critical infrastructure security, all in concert with other Department of Homeland Security (DHS) components. We operate at both the national and local level, cooperating with American communities to manage ports and inland waterways. Our vast network of international, interagency, industry, intergovernmental, tribal, and nongovernmental partners allows us to collaborate and lead through crises. We bring a broad and unique spectrum of powerful authorities to the Department along with highly trained, rapidly deployable, and well-equipped personnel and assets that fit across missions as needed.

The Coast Guard also plays a central role in strengthening maritime governance around the world, building on international engagements to bolster other nations’ inherent capabilities to police their own waters and support cooperative operations. As the only branch of the Armed Forces within DHS, we bridge the gap between the law enforcement focus of DHS, the diplomacy of the Department of State, and the defense capabilities of the Department of Defense (DOD). Within the Joint Force, we provide a full spectrum of engagement in the grey zone as nation-states and transnational criminal organizations (TCOs) generate increased uncertainty and complexity in the maritime domain. Finally, should conflict arise, the Coast Guard stands shoulder-to-shoulder with the DOD Services to defend America’s national security interests.

The key to our success has always been our people – our diverse total workforce of Active Duty, Reserve, Civilian, and Auxiliary members – who often accept great personal sacrifices and put themselves in harm’s way to serve the Nation. As our Service transforms, what remains is our steadfast commitment to serving others, our Coast Guard Core Values and Ethos, and a common purpose to remain Always Ready to protect, defend, and save the American public.

Download the document here.

Report to Congress on Coast Guard Polar Security Cutter

The following is the Aug. 30, 2022, Congressional Research Service report, Coast Guard Polar Security Cutter (Polar Icebreaker) Program: Background and Issues for Congress. From the report The Coast Guard Polar Security Cutter (PSC) program is a program to acquire three new PSCs (i.e., heavy polar icebreakers), to be followed years from now by the […]

The following is the Aug. 30, 2022, Congressional Research Service report, Coast Guard Polar Security Cutter (Polar Icebreaker) Program: Background and Issues for Congress.

From the report

The Coast Guard Polar Security Cutter (PSC) program is a program to acquire three new PSCs (i.e., heavy polar icebreakers), to be followed years from now by the acquisition of up to three new Arctic Security Cutters (ASCs) (i.e., medium polar icebreakers). The procurement of the first two PSCs is fully funded; the Coast Guard says the first PSC is to be delivered to the Coast Guard in the spring of 2025.

The Coast Guard’s proposed FY2023 budget requests $167.2 million in continued procurement funding for the PSC program, which would be used for, among other things, program management and production activities associated with the PSC program’s Detail Design and Construction (DD&C) contract, long leadtime materials (LLTM) for the third PSC, and government-furnished equipment (GFE), logistics, and cyber-security planning costs.

The Coast Guard’s proposed FY2023 budget also requests $125.0 million in procurement funding for the purchase of an existing commercially available polar icebreaker that would be used to augment the Coast Guard’s polar icebreaking capacity until the new PSCs enter service. Under the Coast Guard’s proposal, the Coast Guard would conduct a full and open competition for the purchase, the commercially available icebreaker that the Coast Guard selects for acquisition would be modified for Coast Guard operations following its acquisition, and the ship would enter service 18 to 24 months after being acquired.

The Navy and Coast Guard in 2020 estimated the total procurement costs of the three PSCs in then-year dollars as $1,038 million (i.e., about $1.0 billion) for the first ship, $794 million for the second ship, and $841 million for the third ship, for a combined estimated cost of $2,673 million (i.e., about $2.7 billion). Within those figures, the shipbuilder’s portion of the total procurement cost is $746 million for the first ship, $544 million for the second ship, and $535 million for the third ship, for a combined estimated shipbuilder’s cost of $1,825 million (i.e., about $1.8 billion).

On April 23, 2019, the Coast Guard-Navy Integrated Program Office for the PSC program awarded a $745.9 million fixed-price, incentive-firm contract for the detail design and construction (DD&C) of the first PSC to Halter Marine Inc. (formerly VT Halter Marine) of Pascagoula, MS, a shipyard owned by Singapore Technologies (ST) Engineering. Halter Marine was the leader of one of three industry teams that competed for the DD&C contract. On December 29, 2021, the Coast Guard exercised a $552.7 million fixed price incentive option to its contract with Halter Marine Inc. for the second PSC.

The DD&C contract includes options for building the second and third PSCs. If both of these options are exercised, the total value of the contract would increase to $1,942.8 million (i.e., about $1.9 billion). The figures of $745.9 million and $1,942.8 million cover only the shipbuilder’s portion of the PSCs’ total procurement cost; they do not include the cost of government-furnished equipment (or GFE, meaning equipment for the ships that the government purchases and then provides to the shipbuilder for incorporation into the ship), post-delivery costs, costs for Navy-specific equipment, or government program-management costs.

The operational U.S. polar icebreaking fleet currently consists of one heavy polar icebreaker, Polar Star, and one medium polar icebreaker, Healy. In addition to Polar Star, the Coast Guard has a second heavy polar icebreaker, Polar Sea. Polar Sea, however, suffered an engine casualty in June 2010 and has been nonoperational since then. Polar Star and Polar Sea entered service in 1976 and 1978, respectively, and are now well beyond their originally intended 30-year service lives. The Coast Guard plans to extend the service life of Polar Star until the delivery of at least the second PSC. The Coast Guard is using Polar Sea as a source of spare parts for keeping Polar Star operational.

Download the document here.

Report to Congress on Coast Guard Cutter Procurement

The following is the Aug. 30, 2022 Congressional Research Service report, Coast Guard Cutter Procurement: Background and Issues for Congress From the report The Coast Guard’s program of record (POR), which dates to 2004, calls for procuring 8 National Security Cutters (NSCs), 25 Offshore Patrol Cutters (OPCs), and 64 Fast Response Cutters (FRCs) as replacements […]

The following is the Aug. 30, 2022 Congressional Research Service report, Coast Guard Cutter Procurement: Background and Issues for Congress

From the report

The Coast Guard’s program of record (POR), which dates to 2004, calls for procuring 8 National Security Cutters (NSCs), 25 Offshore Patrol Cutters (OPCs), and 64 Fast Response Cutters (FRCs) as replacements for 90 aging Coast Guard high-endurance cutters, medium-endurance cutters, and patrol craft. The total of 64 FRCs includes 58 for domestic use and 6 for use by the Coast Guard in the Persian Gulf.

NSCs are the Coast Guard’s largest and most capable general-purpose cutters; they are replacing the Coast Guard’s 12 Hamilton-class high-endurance cutters. NSCs have an estimated average procurement cost of about $670 million per ship. Congress has fully funded the procurement of 11 NSCs—three more than the 8 in the Coast Guard’s POR—including the 10th and 11th in FY2018, which (like the 9th NSC) were not requested by the Coast Guard. In FY2020, Congress provided $100.5 million for procurement of long lead time materials (LLTM) for a 12th NSC, so as to preserve the option of procuring a 12th NSC while the Coast Guard evaluates its future needs. The Coast Guard’s proposed FY2023 budget requests $60.0 million in procurement funding for the NSC program. This request does not include further funding for a 12th NSC; it does include funding for closing out NSC procurement activities and transitioning to sustainment of in-service NSCs. Nine NSCs have entered service; the ninth was commissioned into service on March 19, 2021. The 10th is scheduled for delivery in 2023.

OPCs are to be less expensive and in some respects less capable than NSCs; they are intended to replace the Coast Guard’s 29 aged medium-endurance cutters. Coast Guard officials describe the OPC program and the Polar Security Cutter (PSC) program as the service’s highest acquisition priorities. (The PSC program is covered in another CRS report.) The Coast Guard’s FY2020 budget submission estimated the total acquisition cost of the 25 ships at $10.270 billion, or an average of about $411 million per ship. The first OPC was funded in FY2018. The first four OPCs are being built by Eastern Shipbuilding Group (ESG) of Panama City, FL. The Coast Guard held a full and open competition for a new contract to build the next 11 OPCs (numbers 5 through 15). On June 30, 2022, the Coast Guard announced that it had awarded a fixed-price incentive (firm target) contract to Austal USA of Mobile, AL, to produce up to 11 offshore patrol cutters (OPCs). The initial award is valued at $208.3 million and supports detail design and procurement of LLTM for the fifth OPC, with options for production of up to 11 OPCs in total. The contract has a potential value of up to $3.33 billion if all options are exercised. The Coast Guard’s proposed FY2023 budget requests $650.0 million in procurement funding for the 5th OPC, LLTM for the 6th, and other program costs.

FRCs are considerably smaller and less expensive than OPCs; they are intended to replace the Coast Guard’s 49 aging Island-class patrol boats. The Coast Guard’s FY2020 budget submission estimated the total acquisition cost of the 58 cutters intended for domestic use at $3.748.1 billion, or an average of about $65 million per cutter. A total of 64 FRCs were funded through FY2021. The Coast Guard’s proposed FY2022 budget did not request funding for the procurement of additional FRCs. In acting on the Coast Guard’s proposed FY2022 budget, Congress added $130 million in FRC procurement funding for the construction of up to two additional FRCs and associated class-wide activities. On August 9, 2022, the Coast Guard exercised a contract option with the FRC builder (Bollinger Shipyards of Lockport, LA) for $55.5 million of the $130 million for production of one FRC plus associated deliverables; this FRC will be the 65th. As of July 22, 2022, 48 FRCs have been commissioned into service. The Coast Guard’s proposed FY2023 budget requests $16.0 million in procurement funding for the FRC program; this request does not include funding for any additional FRCs.

Download the document here.

Two Sailors Evacuated After Hours-long Fire Breaks Out RIMPAC Warship

Two people were injured in a fire that burned for several hours on a Combined Task Force surface vessel participating in RIMPAC 2022, a Navy official said Sunday. A fire broke out in the engine room at 8 a.m. local time and was extinguished by 1:40 p.m., Cmdr. Sean Robertson, RIMPAC spokesperson, said in a […]

Peruvian Navy corvette BAP Guise (CC-28), French Navy frigate FS Prairial (F731), Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyerS USS Chafee (DDG-90) USS Gridley (DDG-101) gather in formation in front of legend-class cutter USCGC Midgett (WMSL-757) during a ship maneuver exercise during Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2022 on July 13, 2022. US Coast Guard Photo

Two people were injured in a fire that burned for several hours on a Combined Task Force surface vessel participating in RIMPAC 2022, a Navy official said Sunday.

A fire broke out in the engine room at 8 a.m. local time and was extinguished by 1:40 p.m., Cmdr. Sean Robertson, RIMPAC spokesperson, said in a statement.

Two personnel, in “critically stable” condition, were evacuated from the Combined Task Force surface vessel by a French helicopter from frigate FS Prairial (F731), Robertson said. They were taken to U.S. Coast Guard cutter USCGC Midgett (WMSL-757) then to carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) and then to shore. Navy officials would not detail the ship’s name or country other than it wasn’t American.

U.S. Safeguard-class rescue and salvage ship USNS Grasp (T-ARS-51) left Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, according to ship spotters. RIMPAC officials would not confirm if Grasp was dispatched to assist the stricken ship.

According to July 13 images released from the Navy, Midgett and Prairial had been operating in a surface group with Peruvian Navy corvette BAP Guise (CC-28) and Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS Chafee (DDG 90) and the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Gridley (DDG-101).

The following is the complete Sunday statement from the RIMPAC spokesperson.

“As of 1:40 p.m. HST, the fire in the engine room aboard a Combined Task Force surface vessel is now extinguished. Two critically stable patients were evacuated from the ship by a helicopter from French navy frigate FS Prairial (F731) to USCGC Midgett (WMSL 757), and have since been transferred ashore by U.S. Navy helicopter from USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72).”

Report to Congress on Coast Guard Cutter Procurement

The following is the July 7, 2022 Congressional Research Service report, Coast Guard Cutter Procurement: Background and Issues for Congress. From the report The Coast Guard’s program of record (POR), which dates to 2004, calls for procuring 8 National Security Cutters (NSCs), 25 Offshore Patrol Cutters (OPCs), and 64 Fast Response Cutters (FRCs) as replacements […]

The following is the July 7, 2022 Congressional Research Service report, Coast Guard Cutter Procurement: Background and Issues for Congress.

From the report

The Coast Guard’s program of record (POR), which dates to 2004, calls for procuring 8 National Security Cutters (NSCs), 25 Offshore Patrol Cutters (OPCs), and 64 Fast Response Cutters (FRCs) as replacements for 90 aging Coast Guard high-endurance cutters, medium-endurance cutters, and patrol craft. The total of 64 FRCs includes 58 for domestic use and 6 for use by the Coast Guard in the Persian Gulf.

NSCs are the Coast Guard’s largest and most capable general-purpose cutters; they are replacing the Coast Guard’s 12 Hamilton-class high-endurance cutters. NSCs have an estimated average procurement cost of about $670 million per ship. Congress has fully funded the procurement of 11 NSCs—three more than the 8 in the Coast Guard’s POR—including the 10th and 11th in FY2018, which (like the 9th NSC) were not requested by the Coast Guard. In FY2020, Congress provided $100.5 million for procurement of long lead time materials (LLTM) for a 12th NSC, so as to preserve the option of procuring a 12th NSC while the Coast Guard evaluates its future needs. The Coast Guard’s proposed FY2023 budget requests $60.0 million in procurement funding for the NSC program. This request does not include further funding for a 12th NSC; it does include funding for closing out NSC procurement activities and transitioning to sustainment of in-service NSCs. Nine NSCs have entered service; the ninth was commissioned into service on March 19, 2021. The 10th is scheduled for delivery in 2023.

OPCs are to be less expensive and in some respects less capable than NSCs; they are intended to replace the Coast Guard’s 29 aged medium-endurance cutters. Coast Guard officials describe the OPC program and the Polar Security Cutter (PSC) program as the service’s highest acquisition priorities. (The PSC program is covered in another CRS report.) The Coast Guard’s FY2020 budget submission estimated the total acquisition cost of the 25 ships at $10.270 billion, or an average of about $411 million per ship. The first OPC was funded in FY2018. The first four OPCs are being built by Eastern Shipbuilding Group (ESG) of Panama City, FL. The Coast Guard held a full and open competition for a new contract to build the next 11 OPCs (numbers 5 through 15). On June 30, 2022, the Coast Guard announced that it had awarded a fixed-price incentive (firm target) contract to Austal USA of Mobile, AL, to produce up to 11 offshore patrol cutters (OPCs). The initial award is valued at $208.3 million and supports detail design and procurement of LLTM for the fifth OPC, with options for production of up to 11 OPCs in total. The contract has a potential value of up to $3.33 billion if all options are exercised. The Coast Guard’s proposed FY2023 budget requests $650.0 million in procurement funding for the 5th OPC, LLTM for the 6th, and other program costs.

FRCs are considerably smaller and less expensive than OPCs; they are intended to replace the Coast Guard’s 49 aging Island-class patrol boats. The Coast Guard’s FY2020 budget submission estimated the total acquisition cost of the 58 cutters intended for domestic use at $3.748.1 billion, or an average of about $65 million per cutter. A total of 64 FRCs were funded through FY2021. The Coast Guard’s proposed FY2022 budget did not request funding for the procurement of additional FRCs. In acting on the Coast Guard’s proposed FY2022 budget, Congress added $130 million in FRC procurement funding for the construction of up to two additional FRCs and associated class-wide activities. If built, the two additional FRCs would be the 65th and 66th FRCs. As of July 7, 2022, 48 FRCs have been commissioned into service. The Coast Guard’s proposed FY2023 budget requests $16.0 million in procurement funding for the FRC program; this request does not include funding for any additional FRCs.

Download document here.

Report to Congress on Coast Guard Cutter Procurement

The following is the April 1, 2022 Congressional Research Service report, Coast Guard Cutter Procurement: Background and Issues for Congress. From the report The Coast Guard’s program of record (POR), which dates to 2004, calls for procuring 8 National Security Cutters (NSCs), 25 Offshore Patrol Cutters (OPCs), and 58 Fast Response Cutters (FRCs) as replacements […]

The following is the April 1, 2022 Congressional Research Service report, Coast Guard Cutter Procurement: Background and Issues for Congress.

From the report

The Coast Guard’s program of record (POR), which dates to 2004, calls for procuring 8 National Security Cutters (NSCs), 25 Offshore Patrol Cutters (OPCs), and 58 Fast Response Cutters (FRCs) as replacements for 90 aging Coast Guard high-endurance cutters, medium-endurance cutters, and patrol craft. The Coast Guard’s proposed FY2022 budget requested a total of $695.0 million in procurement funding for the NSC, OPC, and FRC programs, including $597 million for the OPC program.

NSCs are the Coast Guard’s largest and most capable general-purpose cutters; they are replacing the Coast Guard’s 12 Hamilton-class high-endurance cutters. NSCs have an estimated average procurement cost of about $670 million per ship. Although the Coast Guard’s POR calls for procuring 8 NSCs to replace the 12 Hamilton-class cutters, Congress through FY2021 has fully funded 11 NSCs, including the 10th and 11th in FY2018. In FY2020, Congress provided $100.5 million for procurement of long lead time materials (LLTM) for a 12th NSC, so as to preserve the option of procuring a 12th NSC while the Coast Guard evaluates its future needs. The Coast Guard’s proposed FY2022 budget requested $78.0 million in procurement funding for activities within the NSC program; this request does not include further funding for a 12th NSC. The Coast Guard’s proposed FY2022 budget also proposes rescinding $65.0 million of the $100.5 million in FY2020 funding for LLTM for a 12th NSC, “allowing the Coast Guard to focus investments on building, homeporting, and crewing Polar Security Cutters and Offshore Patrol Cutters.” The remaining $35.5 million appropriated in FY2020 for LLTM would be used to pay NSC program costs other than procuring LLTM for a 12th NSC. Nine NSCs have entered service; the ninth was commissioned into service on March 19, 2021.

OPCs are to be less expensive and in some respects less capable than NSCs; they are intended to replace the Coast Guard’s 29 aged medium-endurance cutters. Coast Guard officials describe the OPC and PSC programs as the service’s highest acquisition priorities. OPCs have an estimated average procurement cost of about $411 million per ship. The first OPC was funded in FY2018. The Coast Guard’s proposed FY2022 budget requested $597.0 million in procurement funding for the fourth OPC, LLTM for the fifth, and other program costs. On October 11, 2019, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), of which the Coast Guard is a part, announced that DHS had granted extraordinary contractual relief to Eastern Shipbuilding Group (ESG) of Panama City, FL, the builder of the first four OPCs, under P.L. 85-804 as amended (50 U.S.C. 1431-1435), a law that authorizes certain federal agencies to provide certain types of extraordinary relief to contractors who are encountering difficulties in the performance of federal contracts or subcontracts relating to national defense. The Coast Guard is holding a full and open competition for a new contract to build OPCs 5 through 15. On January 29, 2021, the Coast Guard released a Request for Proposals (RFP) for this Stage 2 contract, as it is called. Responses to the RFP were due by May 28, 2021. The Coast Guard plans to award the Stage 2 contract in the second quarter of FY2022.

FRCs are considerably smaller and less expensive than OPCs; they are intended to replace the Coast Guard’s 49 aging Island-class patrol boats. FRCs have an estimated average procurement cost of about $65 million per boat. A total of 64 have been funded through FY2021, including four in FY2021. Six of the 64 are to be used by the Coast Guard in the Persian Gulf and are not counted against the 58-ship POR quantity for the program, which relates to domestic operations. As of April 1, 2022, 46 of the 64 have been commissioned into service. The Coast Guard’s proposed FY2022 budget requested $20.0 million in procurement funding for the FRC program; this request does not include funding for any additional FRCs.

Download the document here.

Report to Congress on Coast Guard Polar Security Cutter

The following is the Feb. 28, 2021, Congressional Research Service report, Coast Guard Polar Security Cutter (Polar Icebreaker) Program: Background and Issues for Congress. From the report The Coast Guard Polar Security Cutter (PSC) program is a program to acquire three new PSCs (i.e., heavy polar icebreakers), to be followed years from now by the […]

The following is the Feb. 28, 2021, Congressional Research Service report, Coast Guard Polar Security Cutter (Polar Icebreaker) Program: Background and Issues for Congress.

From the report

The Coast Guard Polar Security Cutter (PSC) program is a program to acquire three new PSCs (i.e., heavy polar icebreakers), to be followed years from now by the acquisition of up to three new Arctic Security Cutters (ASCs) (i.e., medium polar icebreakers). The PSC program has received a total of $1,754.6 million (i.e., about $1.8 billion) in procurement funding through FY2021, including $300 million that was provided through the Navy’s shipbuilding account in FY2017 and FY2018. With the funding the program has received through FY2021, the first two PSCs are now fully funded. The Coast Guard says the first PSC is to be delivered to the Coast Guard in the spring of 2025.

The Coast Guard’s proposed FY2022 budget requests $170.0 million in procurement funding for the PSC program, which would be used for, among other things, procuring long leadtime materials (LLTM) for the third PSC.

The Navy and Coast Guard in 2020 estimated the total procurement costs of the PSCs in then-year dollars as $1,038 million (i.e., about $1.0 billion) for the first ship, $794 million for the second ship, and $841 million for the third ship, for a combined estimated cost of $2,673 million (i.e., about $2.7 billion). Within those figures, the shipbuilder’s portion of the total procurement cost is $746 million for the first ship, $544 million for the second ship, and $535 million for the third ship, for a combined estimated shipbuilder’s cost of $1,825 million (i.e., about $1.8 billion).

On April 23, 2019, the Coast Guard-Navy Integrated Program Office for the PSC program awarded a $745.9 million fixed-price, incentive-firm contract for the detail design and construction (DD&C) of the first PSC to Halter Marine Inc. (formerly VT Halter Marine) of Pascagoula, MS, a shipyard owned by Singapore Technologies (ST) Engineering. Halter Marine was the leader of one of three industry teams that competed for the DD&C contract. On December 29, 2021, the Coast Guard exercised a $552.7 million fixed price incentive option to its contract with Halter Marine Inc. for the second PSC.

The DD&C contract includes options for building the second and third PSCs. If these options are exercised, the total value of the contract would increase to $1,942.8 million (i.e., about $1.9 billion). The figures of $745.9 million and $1,942.8 million cover only the shipbuilder’s portion of the PSCs’ total procurement cost; they do not include the cost of government-furnished equipment (or GFE, meaning equipment for the ships that the government purchases and then provides to the shipbuilder for incorporation into the ship), post-delivery costs, costs for Navy-specific equipment, or government program-management costs.

The operational U.S. polar icebreaking fleet currently consists of one heavy polar icebreaker, Polar Star, and one medium polar icebreaker, Healy. In addition to Polar Star, the Coast Guard has a second heavy polar icebreaker, Polar Sea. Polar Sea, however, suffered an engine casualty in June 2010 and has been nonoperational since then. Polar Star and Polar Sea entered service in 1976 and 1978, respectively, and are now well beyond their originally intended 30-year service lives. The Coast Guard plans to extend the service life of Polar Star until the delivery of at least the second PSC. The Coast Guard is using Polar Sea as a source of spare parts for keeping Polar Star operational.

Download the document here.

Report to Congress on Coast Guard Polar Security Cutter

The following is the Jan. 6, 2021 Congressional Research Service report, Coast Guard Polar Security Cutter (Polar Icebreaker) Program: Background and Issues for Congress. From the report The Coast Guard Polar Security Cutter (PSC) program is a program to acquire three new PSCs (i.e., heavy polar icebreakers), to be followed years from now by the […]

The following is the Jan. 6, 2021 Congressional Research Service report, Coast Guard Polar Security Cutter (Polar Icebreaker) Program: Background and Issues for Congress.

From the report

The Coast Guard Polar Security Cutter (PSC) program is a program to acquire three new PSCs (i.e., heavy polar icebreakers), to be followed years from now by the acquisition of up to three new Arctic Security Cutters (ASCs) (i.e., medium polar icebreakers). The PSC program has received a total of $1,754.6 million (i.e., about $1.8 billion) in procurement funding through FY2021, including $300 million that was provided through the Navy’s shipbuilding account in FY2017 and FY2018. With the funding the program has received through FY2021, the first two PSCs are now fully funded.

The Coast Guard’s proposed FY2022 budget requests $170.0 million in procurement funding for the PSC program, which would be used for, among other things, procuring long leadtime materials (LLTM) for the third PSC.

The Navy and Coast Guard in 2020 estimated the total procurement costs of the PSCs in then-year dollars as $1,038 million (i.e., about $1.0 billion) for the first ship, $794 million for the second ship, and $841 million for the third ship, for a combined estimated cost of $2,673 million (i.e., about $2.7 billion). Within those figures, the shipbuilder’s portion of the total procurement cost is $746 million for the first ship, $544 million for the second ship, and $535 million for the third ship, for a combined estimated shipbuilder’s cost of $1,825 million (i.e., about $1.8 billion).

On April 23, 2019, the Coast Guard-Navy Integrated Program Office for the PSC program awarded a $745.9 million fixed-price, incentive-firm contract for the detail design and construction (DD&C) of the first PSC to Halter Marine Inc. (formerly VT Halter Marine) of Pascagoula, MS, a shipyard owned by Singapore Technologies (ST) Engineering. Halter Marine was the leader of one of three industry teams that competed for the DD&C contract. On December 29, 2021, the Coast Guard exercised a $552.7 million fixed price incentive option to its contract with Halter Marine Inc. for the second PSC.

The DD&C contract includes options for building the second and third PSCs. If these options are exercised, the total value of the contract would increase to $1,942.8 million (i.e., about $1.9 billion). The figures of $745.9 million and $1,942.8 million cover only the shipbuilder’s costs; they do not include the cost of government-furnished equipment (GFE), which is equipment for the ships that the government purchases and then provides to the shipbuilder for incorporation into the ship, post-delivery costs, costs for Navy-specific equipment, or government program-management costs.

The operational U.S. polar icebreaking fleet currently consists of one heavy polar icebreaker, Polar Star, and one medium polar icebreaker, Healy. In addition to Polar Star, the Coast Guard has a second heavy polar icebreaker, Polar Sea. Polar Sea, however, suffered an engine casualty in June 2010 and has been nonoperational since then. Polar Star and Polar Sea entered service in 1976 and 1978, respectively, and are now well beyond their originally intended 30-year service lives. The Coast Guard plans to extend the service life of Polar Star until the delivery of at least the second PSC. The Coast Guard is using Polar Sea as a source of spare parts for keeping Polar Star operational.

Download the document here.

Coast Guard Takes Delivery of Sixth Bahrain-Based Fast Response Cutter

The Coast Guard has taken delivery of the last Fast Response Cutter the service plans to station in Bahrain. Bollinger Shipyards, which builds the Fast Response Cutters, in a Thursday news release announced the delivery of the cutter Clarence Sutphin. “USCGC Clarence Sutphin is the final of six FRCs to be home-ported in Manama, Bahrain, which […]

USCGC Clarence Sutphin WPC-1147 in Key West, Fla., on Bollinger Shipyard Photo

The Coast Guard has taken delivery of the last Fast Response Cutter the service plans to station in Bahrain.

Bollinger Shipyards, which builds the Fast Response Cutters, in a Thursday news release announced the delivery of the cutter Clarence Sutphin.

“USCGC Clarence Sutphin is the final of six FRCs to be home-ported in Manama, Bahrain, which will replace the aging 110’ Island Class Patrol Boats, built by Bollinger Shipyards 30 years ago, supporting the Patrol Forces Southwest Asia (PATFORSWA), the U.S. Coast Guard’s largest overseas presence outside the United States,” the company said in the release.

USCGC Clarence Sutphin is part of the Sentinel-class of Fast Response Cutters built by Bollinger in its Louisiana shipyard. The ship is set to be commissioned in April.

Once based in Manama, Bahrain, the new cutter will work with the Coast Guard’s Patrol Forces Southwest Asia.

“Ensuring that the brave men and women of the U.S. Coast Guard have the most state-of-the-art, advanced vessels as they work to build and maintain the necessary regional alliances to ensure maritime security in the region is a top priority,” Ben Bordelon, the president of Bollinger, said in the release. “Bollinger is proud to continue enhancing and supporting the U.S. Coast Guard’s operational presence in the Middle East and ensuring it remains the preferred partner around the world.”

The ships are 154 feet long and can go more than 28 knots, according to a promotional video from Bollinger.

The Coast Guard also has several Fast Response Cutters based in Guam for operations in the Indo-Pacific. The service in July commissioned three cutters in Guam – USCGC Frederick Hatch (WPC-1143), USCGC Myrtle Hazard (WPC-1139) and USCGC Oliver Henry (WPC-1140).

“The triple commissioning of Coast Guard cutters Myrtle Hazard, Oliver Henry and Frederick Hatch signals our dedication to regional partners and the growing maritime demand in the region,” Coast Guard Forces Micronesia Sector Guam commander Capt. Nick Simmons said in a July news release about the commissionings.

At the time, the Coast Guard said it has contracted for 60 Fast Response Cutters and that 43 were currently operating in the fleet.

Report to Congress on Coast Guard Polar Security Cutter

The following is the Dec. 30, 2021 Congressional Research Service report, Coast Guard Polar Security Cutter (Polar Icebreaker) Program: Background and Issues for Congress. From the report The Coast Guard Polar Security Cutter (PSC) program is a program to acquire three new PSCs (i.e., heavy polar icebreakers), to be followed years from now by the […]

The following is the Dec. 30, 2021 Congressional Research Service report, Coast Guard Polar Security Cutter (Polar Icebreaker) Program: Background and Issues for Congress.

From the report

The Coast Guard Polar Security Cutter (PSC) program is a program to acquire three new PSCs (i.e., heavy polar icebreakers), to be followed years from now by the acquisition of up to three new Arctic Security Cutters (ASCs) (i.e., medium polar icebreakers). The PSC program has received a total of $1,754.6 million (i.e., about $1.8 billion) in procurement funding through FY2021, including $300 million that was provided through the Navy’s shipbuilding account in FY2017 and FY2018. With the funding the program has received through FY2021, the first two PSCs are now fully funded.

The Coast Guard’s proposed FY2022 budget requests $170.0 million in procurement funding for the PSC program, which would be used for, among other things, procuring long leadtime materials (LLTM) for the third PSC.

The Navy and Coast Guard in 2020 estimated the total procurement costs of the PSCs in then-year dollars as $1,038 million (i.e., about $1.0 billion) for the first ship, $794 million for the second ship, and $841 million for the third ship, for a combined estimated cost of $2,673 million (i.e., about $2.7 billion). Within those figures, the shipbuilder’s portion of the total procurement cost is $746 million for the first ship, $544 million for the second ship, and $535 million for the third ship, for a combined estimated shipbuilder’s cost of $1,825 million (i.e., about $1.8 billion).

On April 23, 2019, the Coast Guard-Navy Integrated Program Office for the PSC program awarded a $745.9 million fixed-price, incentive-firm contract for the detail design and construction (DD&C) of the first PSC to Halter Marine Inc. (formerly VT Halter Marine) of Pascagoula, MS, a shipyard owned by Singapore Technologies (ST) Engineering. Halter Marine was the leader of one of three industry teams that competed for the DD&C contract. On December 29, 2021, the Coast Guard exercised a $552.7 million fixed price incentive option to its contract with Halter Marine Inc. for the second PSC.

The DD&C contract includes options for building the second and third PSCs. If these options are exercised, the total value of the contract would increase to $1,942.8 million (i.e., about $1.9 billion). The figures of $745.9 million and $1,942.8 million cover only the shipbuilder’s costs; they do not include the cost of government-furnished equipment (GFE), which is equipment for the ships that the government purchases and then provides to the shipbuilder for incorporation into the ship, post-delivery costs, costs for Navy-specific equipment, or government program-management costs.

The operational U.S. polar icebreaking fleet currently consists of one heavy polar icebreaker, Polar Star, and one medium polar icebreaker, Healy. In addition to Polar Star, the Coast Guard has a second heavy polar icebreaker, Polar Sea. Polar Sea, however, suffered an engine casualty in June 2010 and has been nonoperational since then. Polar Star and Polar Sea entered service in 1976 and 1978, respectively, and are now well beyond their originally intended 30-year service lives. The Coast Guard plans to extend the service life of Polar Star until the delivery of at least the second PSC. The Coast Guard is using Polar Sea as a source of spare parts for keeping Polar Star operational.

Download the document here.