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'Hull Envy': The Looming Crisis of the US Coast Guard

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  • 'Hull Envy': The Looming Crisis of the US Coast Guard

    America needs and relies on the seas, but not every problem is a nail to be hit by the Navy's hammer. That's where the US Coast Guard comes in — and it's just about out of ships, money, and time.

    It's not yet 7am on a dreary Tuesday morning aboard the USCGC Spencer. The medium endurance Famous-class cutter is named after John Spencer, who served very briefly as President John Tyler's treasury secretary. The gleaming white, 270-foot, 1,800-ton Coast Guard vessel carries 14 officers and 86 enlisted personnel.

    The cutter is docked at Manhattan's Pier 92 in the Hudson River. Fleet Week is about to start, and public tours of the ship will start the next day. Lieutenant Commander Frank Montalvo, the Spencer's executive officer, points out the twin .50 caliber machine guns, mounted port and starboard, as well as the OTO Melara 76 millimeter naval gun up front.

    It's impressive, but some others aboard the ship — veterans, USO volunteers, a contingent of executives from the New York Jets front office, along with two Jets cheerleaders — seem far more impressed by nearby gray-hulled Navy ships. Two men gaze at the 25,000-ton, US Navy Amphibious Landing Platform tied up at the next slip. Then one turns to the other and says:

    "I have hull envy."
    VICE News - Full Article

  • #2
    Originally posted by VICE News
    "[T]he Coast Guard has ships sailing today that are 60 years old — well beyond their service life," Admiral Paul Zukunft, Commandant of the Coast Guard, told the Senate Commerce, Science and Technology subcommittee last month. "The Medium Endurance Cutters that make up the backbone of the offshore fleet are reaching 50 years of age. Over the last two years, four of these cutters have experienced emergency drydocks, losing nearly 20 percent of their planned patrol days."
    From the article.

    Comment


    • #3
      ... huh?

      First of all, its the Coast Guard, not the Navy.
      They go out on hair-raising weather with little boats and save people under conditions that would make anyone else want to stay in bed, Sailors included.

      Hull-envy?
      Let them have the Hydrofoils and other oddball ships the Navy can't do anything with, maybe that will help.

      EDIT- Oh, okay, its about older ships, eh?
      Guess the war on Drugs will have to wait until they get the equipment to deal with it.
      Priorities, you know.
      "Why is the Rum gone?"

      -Captain Jack

      Comment


      • #4
        Did you read the article? The Coast Guard is being asked to patrol all over the world. Did you notice the part about the South China Sea? Little boats and hydrofoils aren't going to do it.

        Many Americans don't realize that the Coast Guard's mission extends far beyond US waters. The Coast Guard is tasked with protecting the public and the environment, and also must safeguard US economic interests in "any maritime region as required to support national security." The United States Exclusive Economic Zone gives America sovereignty over 4.7 million square miles of ocean, which surrounds not only the US mainland, Alaska, and Hawaii, but also Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, and large parts of the Western Pacific — Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Midway, and several others are US territories.
        Sending Navy warships to the area would be "unreasonably provocative," Sam Bateman, a former commodore in the Australian Navy, recently said. Which is why last year, Captain David Adams, commander of the Navy's 7th Fleet, called for a Coast Guard presence in the South China Sea as a less inflammatory counterweight. In fact, the US Coast Guard maintains an excellent working relationship with its Chinese counterpart, former Coast Guard Captain Brian Kelley tells VICE News.
        Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.

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        • #5
          The Coast Guard should have grabbed up some of the retired O H Perry class frigate hulls for use. Those could have easily been converted for Coast Guard employment at a much lower cost than building new.

          Comment


          • #6
            These days, the Coast Guard is far more useful to us than our bloated and enormously expensive Navy.
            Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post
              These days, the Coast Guard is far more useful to us than our bloated and enormously expensive Navy.
              I'm actually in agreement with you on this, MM.
              Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post
                These days, the Coast Guard is far more useful to us than our bloated and enormously expensive Navy.
                Agreed 110%

                The Coast Guard (and it's predecessor the Revenue Marine/Revenue Cutter Service) has been waaaaaay underfunded since about 1790. The article makes an interesting point, most people don't seem to realize that the Coast Guard serves in some very far flung and remote regions far from the mainland and that necessitates much more than a patrol boat with a machine gun on the bow.

                Add in the fact that the Navy doesent want to do anything that doesent involve carriers, submarines, or SEALs and the Coasties have to handle littoral waters defense as well.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by R. Evans View Post
                  Did you read the article? The Coast Guard is being asked to patrol all over the world. Did you notice the part about the South China Sea? Little boats and hydrofoils aren't going to do it.
                  The link is full of pop-up crap, but yes I did see this;
                  Which is why last year, Captain David Adams, commander of the Navy's 7th Fleet, called for a Coast Guard presence in the South China Sea as a less inflammatory counterweight.
                  Which is asinine, we don't have a coast in the South China Sea.

                  The whole article is how the CG is being over-extended and the Navy is getting all the cash.
                  The answer is simple, put the oldest and most unreliable ships out on those distant and foolish missions the Navy won't pick up, and then let them take up the slack or transfer some better ships over.

                  BTW, the Nimitz is over 40 years old, too.
                  Last edited by The Exorcist; 31 May 15, 16:08.
                  "Why is the Rum gone?"

                  -Captain Jack

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I recommend this US Naval Institute Panel video

                    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Fve1uU47LY
                    Boston Strong!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by R. Evans View Post
                      I'm actually in agreement with you on this, MM.
                      Darn that makes two of us. USCG never gets a movie or a song but are always there for us.
                      "Ask not what your country can do for you"

                      Left wing, Right Wing same bird that they are killing.

                      you’re entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by The Exorcist View Post
                        The link is full of pop-up crap, but yes I did see this;

                        Which is asinine, we don't have a coast in the South China Sea.

                        The whole article is how the CG is being over-extended and the Navy is getting all the cash.
                        The answer is simple, put the oldest and most unreliable ships out on those distant and foolish missions the Navy won't pick up, and then let them take up the slack or transfer some better ships over.

                        BTW, the Nimitz is over 40 years old, too.
                        "Ask not what your country can do for you"

                        Left wing, Right Wing same bird that they are killing.

                        you’re entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
                          The Coast Guard should have grabbed up some of the retired O H Perry class frigate hulls for use. Those could have easily been converted for Coast Guard employment at a much lower cost than building new.
                          I would have to agree with this point. Those ships still had a lot of life left in them, as did some of the Spruance class destroyers. Granted they are larger, and would require more men/women to operate, but they would have been great platforms for the various missions the USCG carries out.
                          Don't waste your time always searching for those wasted years...

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by drivin-fool View Post
                            I would have to agree with this point. Those ships still had a lot of life left in them, as did some of the Spruance class destroyers. Granted they are larger, and would require more men/women to operate, but they would have been great platforms for the various missions the USCG carries out.
                            They would be refitted and modernized, requiring less crew.
                            ALL LIVES SPLATTER!

                            BLACK JEEPS MATTER!

                            BLACK MOTORCYCLES MATTER!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Half Pint John View Post
                              Darn that makes two of us. USCG never gets a movie or a song but are always there for us.
                              The Guardian (movie about the CG Rescue Swimmers)I would like to add that the Coast Guard also operates the ice breakers needed to operate in Arctic/Antarctic waters.

                              Unlike conventional forces, the Coast Guard always has a mission and is always "operational", whether in times of war or peace.
                              Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

                              Comment

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