Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Coast Guard Marks Acquisition Milestones

By Coast Guard Lt. Tony Migliorini
Special to American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 9, 2009 - The Coast Guard's acquisition directorate has marked a number of positive milestones in delivering new assets and capabilities to the field, the Coast Guard's senior acquisitions official said Feb. 6.

Coast Guard Rear Adm. Gary T. Blore, assistant commandant for acquisition, provided bloggers and online journalists with an update on several major projects and announced the delivery of the 200th vessel from the foreign military sales program.

Blore also discussed the importance of ensuring American taxpayers know the Coast Guard is spending their money wisely.

"One of the tenets of our new acquisition processes is we try to be as transparent as possible," he said. "We want the public ... to be aware of what we are doing in the Coast Guard."

Among the 22 major acquisition projects under way, Blore highlighted the progress of the "response boat medium" project, the Rescue 21 system, the HC-144A Ocean Sentry medium-range surveillance aircraft, the national security cutter and the Sentinel-class patrol boat.

The Coast Guard has delivered the sixth of 180 planned response boat medium vessels, and officials are conducting operational tests in a variety of geographic areas. Blore noted that one of the new vessels participated in the rescue operation when U.S. Airways Flight 1549 made an emergency landing in the Hudson River on Jan. 15.

The Rescue 21 project -- the Coast Guard's advanced command, control and communications rescue system -- is now being employed on more than 60 percent of the nation's coastline, Blore said. It will be deployed at Sector North Carolina at the end of the month, and Sector Boston is scheduled to be accepted in May, he added.

The Coast Guard's sixth HC-144A "Ocean Sentry" aircraft is flying from Spain to its U.S. destination of Elizabeth City, N.C., this week, Blore said. Five additional aircraft are under contract and are scheduled for delivery before November 2010.

The Coast Guard's first Legend-class national security cutter, Bertholf, is on track to complete electronic emissions security compliance and final acceptance by May, the admiral said. Also, the U.S. Navy's Naval Surface Warfare Center's Carderock division recently delivered its report on Coast Guard fatigue design enhancements to the national security cutter.

Coast Guard officials are excited about moving forward with its Sentinel-class patrol boat project, and are planning to take delivery of a lead vessel in 2011, Blore said.

"We have a lot of things going on in acquisitions," he said. "We think we have reformed our processes and are doing things very well."

(Coast Guard Lt. Tony Migliorini serves at the Coast Guard Headquarters public affairs office.)

Related Sites:

U.S. Coast Guard
Defense Department Bloggers Roundtable

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