By Sareth Neak, President & Publisher, Maritime Security Outlook
Last week I attended the Sea Air and Space Conference at the National Harbor Gaylord Convention Center. It is billed as the largest Maritime event in the U.S. focusing on the Navy and somewhat U.S. Coast Guard capabilities and topics. It had about 300 exhibitors with 10,000 participants from around the world.
My mission was to find solutions, topics and resources that are relevant to U.S. maritime security. To my surprise and delight, I found some great resources/information for solutions/products providers and some great products and tools for maritime security operators.
First, let’s start with the resources and information that can be useful for our solutions and products providers.
This first article is about the Coast Guard Acquisition Directorate for those looking to do business with the Coast Guard.
As it seems at Sear Air and Space, the Coast Guard is really pushing this program. They had an 800 square feet booth at the conference that was fully staffed with signage that must of cost $100,000 or more.
After a few stops at their booth, I was finding it hard to find someone to speak to that had much in depth knowledge that applied to maritime security acquisition that is useful to small businesses. However, they did send me a PDF brief of the program that they wanted me to share with my readers.
Here is a brief of the program:
The Coast Guard is investing approximately $1 billion annually in major and non-major acquisition programs that purchase and modernize the service’s ships, boats, aircraft, and command, control, communication, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (C4ISR) systems. This process of “recapitalizing” older and difficult-to-maintain assets is essential in order to carry out the Coast Guard’s missions, which help ensure our nation’s maritime security.
The Coast Guard’s mission capabilities–saving lives, interdicting smugglers and illegal migrants, enforcing our nation’s laws and treaties, and protecting our ports and natural resources–derive from the readiness of our fleets of cutters, boats, aircraft, and the C4ISR systems that link them together. During the last few decades, the Coast Guard’s readiness has been challenged by its reliance on outdated assets and shore infrastructure. The cost of sustaining these assets continues to rise, while their reliability declines. The Coast Guard must replace these with state-of-the-market assets that will continue to deliver high-quality service to the American people.
Working closely with Coast Guard Headquarters partners, such as the Assistant Commandant for Engineering and Logistics (CG-4) and the Assistant Commandant for C4IT (CG-6), the Acquisition Directorate develops acquisition strategies that deliver affordable assets that meet mission requirements, as defined by the Deputy Commandant for Operations, and sponsored by the Assistant Commandant for Capability (CG-7).
By working together with our partners at headquarters, The Acquisition Directorate plays a vital role in contributing to the Coast Guard’s ability to execute its missions. The acquisition investment portfolio contributes a unique set of capabilities to each of the three objectives of the National Strategy for Maritime Security.
- Preserving the freedom of the seas.
- Facilitating and defending commerce.
- Facilitating the movement of desirable goods and people cross our borders, while screening out dangerous people and materials.