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Author Topic: USCG DEEPWATER - News & Info  (Read 72202 times)
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« on: March 06, 2008, 09:42:39 am »

The Integrated Deepwater System Program (IDS Program), or Deepwater, is the 25-year program to recapitalize the United States Coast Guard's aircraft, ships, logistics, and command and control systems. The $24 billion program includes equipment that will be used across all missions.

When the program is complete, the interoperable system will include new cutters and small boats, a new fleet of fixed-wing aircraft, a combination of new and upgraded helicopters, and land- and cutter-based unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). All of these assets will be linked with Command, Control, Communications and Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C4ISR) systems. Performance Based Logistics is also an aspect of the contract.



HISTORY

The Coast Guard’s mission includes policing the maritime domain, identifying anomalies and deterring threats to protect the United States shores. During the 1990s, it was determined that the assets and capabilities needed to complete this mission were antiquated and becoming obsolete. An evaluation by the Coast Guard determined that seven of their nine classes of deepwater assets would reach the end of their planned service life over the following 15 years, making it older than all but two of 42 worldwide naval fleets of similar mission and size.

In 1993, the Commandant’s Office of Operations formally acknowledged that the Coast Guard needed a long-term strategy to recapitalize its inventory of 93 cutters, 206 aircraft, and supporting systems. In 1998 the Coast Guard issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) for industry teams to bid in proposal a package of assets and systems to meet an identified set of Coast Guard mission requirements. This unique “performance based” approach to modernization and replacement of the Coast Guard deepwater fleet was bid on by three teams: One was an SAIC-led team, one lead by Boeing and one lead by a joint venture of Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman, named Integrated Coast Guard Systems LLC. On June 25, 2002, the Coast Guard awarded the base-term agreement of the then 20-year, $17 billion Deepwater contract to Integrated Coast Guard Systems (ICGS).

During the first three years of the initial five-year contract the Coast Guard re-baselined the Deepwater program in July 2005, expanding requirements due to post-9/11 mission needs, which expanded the program to 25 years and a total of $24 billion.

DEEPWATER MOVES FULL SPEED AHEAD  “The Coast Guard’s move to Homeland Security and the administration’s strategy for homeland defense has made the Coast Guard [an integral part] of the plan.” — Rear Adm. Patrick Stillman

April 17, 2002 Rear Adm. Patrick Stillman Is Relieved By Rear Adm. Gary Blore As Head Of Deepwater

 
Outgoing Rear Adm. Patrick Stillman                                               Incoming Rear Adm. Gary Blore

Rear Adm. Gary Blore took over as head of the U.S. Coast Guard’s Deepwater program April 17, becoming the second officer to lead the service’s ambitious recapitalization program. Blore relieved Rear Adm. Patrick Stillman, who ran the program since its inception in 2001. Blore, an aviator, piloted helicopters and jets after graduating from the Coast Guard Academy in 1975. At service headquarters in Washington, he was chief of the Coast Guard’s aviation forces from 2000 to 2002, when he became responsible for the service’s budget office. He was promoted to flag rank in 2004 and, as a special assistant to the president, was senior director for border and transportation security under the Department of Homeland Security. Stillman, who at one time commanded the Coast Guard sail training ship Eagle, was given the difficult task of getting the Deepwater program off the ground. The program is a wide-ranging $24b, 25-year effort to acquire new ships, aircraft and communications, computer and sensor systems to modernize the service. Stillman will retire from active duty at a May 26 ceremony.
(Source: DefenseNews.com)



MAY 25, 2006 Admiral Thad Allen Relieves Admiral Thomas Collins as USCG Commandant


WASHINGTON, DC – United States Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen assumed the duties of Commandant of the Coast Guard today, May 25, to serve as the service’s 23rd commandant, replacing Admiral Thomas H. Collins. Allen, who replaced FEMA Director Michael Brown in Sept. 2005 as the federal point man during the Hurricane Katrina relief efforts, has become the face of the Coast Guard for many through his appearances on media outlets while leading the coordination and response.

The nation’s largest recreational boating trade association, the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA), represented by Monita Fontaine, NMMA Vice President of Government Relations; and Thomas Marhevko, NMMA Vice President of Engineering Standards, attended the Change of Command ceremony held at Ft. McNair. For Marhevko the event had personal ties; he was a classmate and graduate of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy with Allen in the Class of 1971.

“The Coast Guard is an important partner for recreational boaters and our industry,” said Monita Fontaine, NMMA Vice President of Government Relations. “I’d like to congratulate Admiral Allen on this great honor; I know how proud he and his family must be today. The Coast Guard and the Nation will be well served by his proven leadership.”

Allen is widely admired for his straightforward leadership style and candor. He is a second generation Coast Guardsman, graduating in 1971 from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. Following the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks Allen commanded the service’s East Coast response before overseeing the Coast Guard’s transition into the Department of Homeland Security.

“I can think of no greater honor and no better way to continue serving our Nation than through our Coast Guard, a Service whose embedded responsibilities impact every American,” Admiral Allen said during his statement to the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee following his nomination to be Commandant. “My Coast Guard service has ingrained in me an abiding respect for its people, their work, and the value this work provides to the Nation. My pledge to the Committee and the public we serve is to effectively lead and improve a tested and trusted organization that provides value to people's lives every day.”

The change of command ceremony was held in the highest traditions and honors of the military services, and was attended by President George W. Bush, members of his cabinet, and members of Congress. In remarks at the ceremony, both President Bush and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff praised Admiral Allen and the outgoing commandant, Admiral Thomas H. Collins, for their service and leadership of the Coast Guard.



TROUBLES BREWING OVER DEEPWATER

The United States Coast Guard has maintained various classes of patrol boats, amongst them were the aging 49 patrol boats in its 110-foot Island class with their hull numbers WPB 1301 through WPB 1349.

As part of the DEEPWATER program and to extend the service life of the 110's they were scheduled to go through a refit which included adding 13 feet to the stern, to make room for a high-speed stern launching ramp, and replacing the superstructure so that these vessels have enough room to accommodate mixed gender crews. The refit added about 15 tons to the vessel's displacement, and reduced its maximum speed by approximately one knot.  The first of the 110's decommissioned for the refit was the CGC MATAGORDA WPB-1303 in January 2003.



On 27 March 2004 the MATAGORDA the first 123-foot cutter conversion was recommissioned in New Orleans
 

In the summer of 2004, during sea trials to determine how effective the 15-year life extension program was, the lead ship, USCGC MATAGORDA , at one point was running at approximately 24 knots in Sea State Five conditions (8-to-12-foot seas), when the hull cracked amidships (Frame 22), Coast Guard sources said. Similar cracking problems subsequently occurred on the next three vessels coming off the ways. The shipyard made hurried repairs to strengthen the hulls but the converted cutters continued to crack at high speed in rough seas.

In March 2005 while in transit from Key West to Savannah, GA, the CGC NUNIVAK, WPB-1306 experienced hull deformation in an area aft of the new reinforcing straps that were supposed to fix problems encountered with the MATAGORDA.  This deformation occurred in a different area from that of the MATAGORDA. Further, this was not an area which had indicated potential for high stresses under any conditions modeled in the earlier finite element analysis.

Following the MATAGORDA and NUNIVAK probems the Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Thomas H. Collins made the decision to stop at eight hulls the Integrated Deepwater System’s (IDS) conversion of 110-foot Island Class patrol boats into 123-foot patrol boats. The decision to stop conversions at eight hulls reflects the Coast Guard’s determination that the 123-foot cutters will not provide homeland security capabilities required to meet current or projected needs of the post-9/11 threat environment, as defined in the revised Deepwater Mission Needs Statement.

In August 2006, a Lockheed Martin engineer went public with allegations that the company and the Coast Guard were ignoring serious security flaws in the refitting project, and that they were likely to repeat the same mistakes on similar projects. The flaws included blind spots in watch cameras, FLIR equipment not suitable for operating under extreme temperatures, and the use of non-shielded cables in secure communications systems, a violation of TEMPEST.

In late November of 2006 all of the 123 WPB's were taken out of service due to debilitating problems with its hull, engine and propeller systems. These as well as other issues - such as C4ISR problems - drove the program $60 million over budget on just the first 8 boats which was three times the original bid for those boats. Ironically the 41 unmodified 110's - which were destined for the 123 upgrade - are now being pressed harder in to service to take up the slack.

Because of the failures with the 123-foot patrol boat refits and continuing allegations of there being problems with the C41SR and TEMPEST systems, and allegations of structural defaults in the design of the National Security Cutters, hearings before the Senate subcommittee on Commerce, Science & Transportation were ordered to investigate the budget overruns, allegations and failures connected with DEEPWATER.
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« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2008, 09:44:16 am »

ADMIRAL ALLEN'S TESTIMONY BEFORE THE SENATE SUBCOMMITTEE
PAGE 1 & 2

FEBRUARY 14, 2007


ADMIRAL THAD W. ALLEN
COMMANDANT

ON THE RECENT SETBACKS TO THE COAST GUARD DEEPWATER PROGRAM

BEFORE THE

SUBCOMMITTEE ON OCEANS, ATMOSPHERE, FISHERIES & COAST GUARD

COMMITTEE ON COMMERCE, SCIENCE & TRANSPORTATION

U. S. SENATE



Introduction

Good afternoon, Madam Chairman, and distinguished members of the Subcommittee.  It is an honor to be here today to discuss the state of the Integrated Deepwater System, its recent milestones and challenges, and provide you with a look at the way ahead.

Our ability to save lives, interdict drug and alien smugglers, and protect ports, waterways and natural resources depends on our having the best-trained people operating a modern, state-of-the-art fleet.  The Deepwater Program has and will continue to provide America with more capable, interoperable assets that will close today’s operational gaps and enable the Coast Guard to perform its demanding missions more effectively, efficiently and safely.  Deepwater remains my capital priority and I greatly appreciate all that this Subcommittee has done to move the program forward.

I am also grateful for the opportunity to discuss in detail Deepwater issues recently covered in the national media.  Some of the stories spoke factually to program challenges that genuinely merit further attention.  It is my goal this morning to provide you the facts and reassure you of my absolute commitment to sound stewardship, robust oversight and the corrective actions I’ve taken to outfit our fleet to meet 21st-century threats and requirements.  We have to get this right:  the Coast Guard’s future readiness depends on it.  America depends on it. 

Past as Prologue

Before I discuss the current state of Deepwater and the program’s way ahead, I ask you to bear with me briefly to consider how we got here.  By the mid 1990s, most of our ships and aircraft were approaching the end of their service lives.  Our cutter fleet was then, and remains, one of the oldest among the world’s naval fleets.  Some of our cutters are old enough to be eligible for Social Security!  In light of a looming block fleet obsolescence, it wasn’t sensible to attempt piecemeal, one-for-one replacement of each class of assets.  We also didn’t have the capacity to manage that many projects in parallel.

Because of these anticipated challenges, we knew an innovative approach was required.  And because maritime threats were evolving in the post-Cold War environment in which Deepwater was conceived, we knew expectations for maritime security were changing as well, so our asset mix would need to support these dynamic requirements.  We determined, therefore, that it would be most cost effective and efficient to acquire a wholly-integrated system of ships, aircraft, sensors and communications systems, or, as it is commonly called, a “system of systems.”  The idea is based on the concept that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts; all elements combine to generate greater capabilities across the entire system.  Given that, our goal is not to replace ships, aircraft, and sensors with more ships, aircraft, and sensors, but to provide the Coast Guard with the functional capabilities required to safely achieve mission success.
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« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2008, 09:59:48 am »

PAGE 3



This wholly-integrated acquisition strategy called for progressive modernization, conversion and recapitalization using a mix of new and legacy assets, replacing those that are obsolete, while upgrading existing ones until a new fleet is acquired.  This complex strategy, and the fact that the Coast Guard had not built a ship the size of the National Security Cutter for over three decades, drove our decision to engage the services of a system integrator with proven technical expertise in the acquisition of large systems.  Following a rigorous, multiple year selection process, the result was our contract with Integrated Coast Guard Systems (ICGS), a joint venture of Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman.

Adding to the program’s complexity was adoption of an innovative performance-based acquisition strategy.  Compared to more traditional methods, performance-based acquisition is designed to promote innovation and spread risk more evenly between government and industry. 

Following nearly ten years of planning, beginning in 1993, the Coast Guard moved toward contract award believing that we had addressed many of the concerns likely to arise from this transformational strategy.  We understood there would be challenges, but we never expected the larger challenge that lay ahead for the Coast Guard and the nation in the wake of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.  Following the Service’s transfer to the Department of Homeland Security in March 2003, we conducted a Performance Gap Analysis, drafted a new Mission Needs Statement, and developed a revised, post-9/11 Implementation Plan to ensure Deepwater capabilities would support new mission sets assigned to the Coast Guard.  All of these steps were carried out in full consultation with the Administration and Congress.  As Deepwater requirements were expanded in the post 9/11 environment, the program’s timeline expanded and its overall projected cost grew from $17 to $24 billion. 
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« Reply #3 on: March 06, 2008, 10:45:40 am »

PAGE 4

Where we are Today in Deepwater

It is important to remember that we are in the early stages of a 25-year acquisition.  As is typical, much of the early years of contract execution was focused on design and development work, and we have obligated only about 15 percent of what we project to be the total program cost.  However, our Fiscal Year 2007 appropriation of $1.06 billion supports the program’s ongoing progress, and I thank you for your continued investment in these critically needed assets that are beginning to make a difference today.

CASA (HC-144A)
Maritime Patrol Aircraft



Despite the challenges that Deepwater has experienced, the Coast Guard has been the beneficiary of significant program accomplishments, including:
  • command, control and sensor (C4ISR) upgrades to all 39 medium and high endurance cutters and at Communications Area Master Station Atlantic (CAMSLANT);
  • the December 2006 arrival of our first new HC-144A Maritime Patrol Aircraft, currently undergoing installation of mission pallets in Elizabeth City, NC, to be followed shortly by delivery and missionization of the second and third airframes;
  • commencement of our HC-130J missionization program, with scheduled first delivery in 2007;
  • upcoming ribbon cutting ceremonies for new Deepwater shore facilities, including a surface ship training center in Petaluma, California, and a hangar to house HC-144As in Mobile, Alabama; and
  • continuation of the Mission Effectiveness Programs for 110’ patrol boats and for 270’ and 210’ medium endurance cutters, projects funded by Deepwater and managed by the Coast Guard Acquisition Directorate.
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« Reply #4 on: March 06, 2008, 10:57:17 am »

PAGE 5

National Security Cutter #1 – USCGC BERTHOLF


Additional milestones include the launch and christening last fall of the first of eight planned National Security Cutters, along with the keel authentication ceremony for the second, which fittingly took place on September 11, 2006.  These particular achievements in shipbuilding are especially noteworthy in light of the impacts of the 2005 hurricane season when Hurricanes Katrina and Rita came ashore along the Gulf Coast, upending lives, severely damaging shipbuilding facilities, and further challenging the program.  Construction of the NSCs continues and we appreciate the efforts of shipyard workers and Coast Guard men and women in keeping production of these important vessels moving forward.  I firmly believe the NSC will provide a great contribution to the Coast Guard and the nation.

Reengined HH-65C Helicopters


Eighty-four of 95 HH-65 helicopters will have been re-engined and converted to Charlie models by June 2007, enabling operators to routinely perform missions they could not have attempted before, including remaining aloft for longer periods and having the ability to carry greater loads as was demonstrated during Hurricane Katrina rescues. 

The Coast Guard and ICGS, Deepwater’s systems integrator, are leveraging sound principles of systems engineering and integration to derive high levels of sub-system and component commonality, improve interoperability with the U.S. Navy and other agencies, and achieve significant cost avoidances and savings.  This approach conforms with and directly supports the National Fleet Policy. 
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« Reply #5 on: March 06, 2008, 10:59:54 am »

PAGE 6

Beginning in 2002, the Program Executive Officer of Deepwater formalized a collaborative partnership with his Navy and Marine Corps counterparts in order to identify common systems, technologies and processes for improved interoperability.  By incorporating common and interoperable Navy systems into Deepwater assets, the Coast Guard has also avoided paying unnecessary costs.

As examples, the National Security Cutter and Off-Shore Patrol Cutter will use 75 percent of the Navy’s AEGIS Command and Decision System.  Deepwater assets also will incorporate Navy Type/Navy Owned systems, including the 57-mm deck gun, selected for major Deepwater cutters and the Navy’s Littoral Combat Ship and DD(X) programs.  The Operation Center Consoles on the NSC use 70 percent of the design of the Navy’s Display Systems (AN/UYQ-70).  And, by using more than 23,000 lines of software code from the Navy’s Antisubmarine Warfare Improvement Program (AIP) in the CASA Maritime Patrol Aircraft’s command and control systems, we are maximizing the use of mission systems that are installed on more than 95 percent of the world’s maritime surveillance aircraft.  The CASA Maritime Patrol Aircraft will utilize more than 50 percent of the functionality of the Navy’s P-3 AIP system.  Navy and Coast Guard personnel even train side-by-side at the Coast Guard’s training facility in Petaluma, California.

We work closely with the Navy’s Operational Test and Evaluation Force (COMOPTEVFOR).  Currently, the Naval Air Systems Command staff is assisting us in evaluating the way ahead for Deepwater’s VUAV project.  We routinely rely on the expertise of Naval Sea Systems Command for a variety of assessments.  Personnel from the Navy Supervisor of Shipbuilding Office (SUPSHIP) are assigned to our Program Management Resident Office (PMRO) in Pascagoula, MS, where they are supporting construction of the NSC at Northrop Grumman Ship Systems.

Looking to the future, there are many other opportunities for the Coast Guard and Navy to build on today's rich partnership in the design and delivery of the National Fleet in support of the National Strategy for Maritime Security.  Potential areas for future cooperation include the design of the offshore patrol cutter, unmanned aerial vehicles, and common systems for weapons, sensors, and propulsion. Evaluations of sub-systems should include both the equipment and crewing support (e.g., crew composition aligned with capabilities required for a deployment).  The collaborative development of LCS mission modules for coastal surveillance and port security missions also offers the potential for greater partnership in an operational mission area shared by both services.
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« Reply #6 on: March 06, 2008, 11:02:00 am »

PAGE 7

Challenges in Program Execution

The innovative Deepwater program is large and complex and we have faced some challenges.  Our performance-based acquisition strategy has created unique contracting and management challenges for the Coast Guard and our industry partners.  In my view, some of these come from the need for an integrated Coast Guard, that unifies our technical authority, requirements owner, and our acquirers in a way that allows early and efficient adjudication of problems and ensures transparency so that Coast Guard would be capable of working successfully with ICGS on a simultaneous and complex acquisition of this size.  We knew early on that this acquisition would be transformational for our Service, but we have to actively manage that transformation and not allow this acquisition to manage us.  We are aggressively tackling and correcting these problems.

And clearly, we have experienced some failures in the Deepwater Program.  The planned conversion of 110-foot patrol boats to 123 feet as a bridging strategy until new assets came online to fill the patrol gap has failed.  Early on, we experienced hull problems with the first eight patrol boats that had been converted and halted the project in May 2005.  Technical problems continued in spite of multiple attempts at repair.
 

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« Reply #7 on: March 06, 2008, 11:03:36 am »

PAGE 8

Last November, new problems were discovered, and I made the decision to suspend operation of our 123-foot patrol boats until we determine whether a technical fix is possible and economically prudent.  Removing these boats from service was a difficult decision and has added to our critical gap in patrol boat hours.  I know that this is of great concern to each of you.  I assure you that I, too, am concerned – my highest priority is to mitigate and fill this gap as quickly as possible with the most capable assets. 



To that end, I have directed my senior staff to aggressively examine and recommend ways we can use current resources to mitigate the loss of the 123-foot patrol boats.  In response and as partial mitigation of the impact, we:

  • began multi-crewing eight of our existing 110-foot patrol boats;
  • increased their operational tempo;
  • redeployed and surged assets to areas of greatest need, based upon risk;
  • secured continued use of three PC 179s from the Navy;
  • are aggressively examining the purchase of additional 87-foot patrol boats; and
  • are compressing the 110’ WPB Mission Effectiveness Project (MEP) schedule to reduce operational impacts.

 


 
 
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« Reply #8 on: March 06, 2008, 11:06:08 am »

PAGE 9 & 10

The Coast Guard will do whatever is necessary to ensure that our maritime borders are secure and we can respond to existing and emergent requirements.

The failure of the 123-foot patrol boat project is unacceptable.  I have established a group of legal, contracting, and engineering experts to examine the process at all stages, from beginning design work until we tied up the boats.  I have directed this group to establish responsibility and propose measures to prevent similar problems in the future.  We will work aggressively with ICGS to reach resolution and put this behind us.

When problems arose with the 123-foot patrol boats, the Coast Guard realized a need for additional patrol boats sooner than the original plan called for.  After examining a series of options, we decided to move construction of the FRC forward on the overall Deepwater timeline.  However, early tank testing showed technical risks with the initial FRC composite hull design; prudence required suspending the design and development While we considered the way ahead.

Ultimately, we decided to implement a “dual path” approach to acquire a fully capable patrol boat while expediting delivery.  First, we took a step back from the initial FRC design to more thoroughly examine both its design and the composite hull technology that the design incorporated.  We are completing a bottom-up business case analysis on what we have termed the “FRC-A Class” to provide an “apples to apples” look at composite versus steel hulls.  Results from this analysis should be available later this month.  Additionally, we had a technology readiness assessment performed to review critical technology elements associated with a composite-hulled design.  Initial findings from this assessment indicate that necessary critical technology elements do not yet support immediate production of a composite-hulled patrol boat.

Clearly with this design review, the FRC-A Class path doesn’t get boats into the fleet as quickly as needed.  As an interim solution, the Coast Guard is simultaneously working to acquire a “parent craft” design based on a vessel already in operation; one that will require minimal modifications to meet our basic mission requirements.  We call this our Replacement Patrol Boat or “FRC-B Class.” After a good, hard look at the market to determine whether adequate boats exist to support a parent craft approach, we issued a Request for Proposal for such a vessel to ICGS.  We expect a design proposal no later than March 31st of this year that will support delivery of the first FRC-B Class in the first half of FY 2010.



Turning to the National Security Cutter (NSC), I would like to clarify reports of structural problems.  The DHS OIG recently concluded an audit of the NSC which highlighted concerns with our approach to potential structural integrity issues with the NSC hull.  The issue here, which we have communicated to DHS OIG and which we have been actively addressing for several years, is a question of fatigue life over the course of the cutter’s 30-year service life.  There has never been a question of safety related to the ship’s structure, nor have we ever anticipated any operational restrictions related to its design.  As you are well aware, we drive our ships hard, so service and fatigue life of new cutters is of critical concern to us. 

An early Coast Guard review of the design of the NSC indicated that the ship might experience fatigue-level stresses sooner than anticipated.  Because we want to ensure that all of our ships meet the service and fatigue life requirements our missions demand, we are implementing changes and enhancements to the design of the NSC.


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« Reply #9 on: March 06, 2008, 11:25:11 am »

PAGE 11 & 12


Some have wondered why we didn’t suspend construction of the first NSC when we learned of these concerns.  The Coast Guard’s decision to continue production of the NSC reflects more than simply the naval engineering perspective.  They also encompass considerations of cost, schedule, and performance.  After extensive research and deliberation and with all of these considerations in mind, the Coast Guard decided that the need for enhancements to NSC #1 could be effectively addressed by later retrofits and did not justify the schedule and cost risk associated with stopping the production line.  These kinds of issues are not unusual in production of a first-in-class vessel, and I believe the decision to move forward was prudent.  We will fix NSC #1 and 2 and design the fix into future hulls’ production.



To minimize future delays and disruption resulting from these kinds of design and technical concerns, I:
  • reaffirmed in writing the role of the Coast Guard’s chief engineer as the technical authority for all acquisition projects;
  • directed independent, third-party design reviews as new assets are developed or major modifications to assets are contemplated; and
  • am working to expand our relationship with the Naval Sea and Air Systems Commands to leverage outside technical expertise.

We’ve learned from this experience.  Adjudication of technical concerns within the Coast Guard could have been accomplished more efficiently.  Existing organizational barriers made it harder for us to jointly address concerns and develop mutually acceptable solutions.  We also could have been more proactive in informing Congress–and this Subcommittee–about fatigue concerns.  One of my axioms is that “transparency of information breeds self-correcting behavior;” I assure you that as we move forward that transparency will be my watchword.
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« Reply #10 on: March 06, 2008, 11:31:23 am »

PAGE 13 & 14a

The Way Ahead

The Deepwater Program Executive Officer, Rear Admiral Gary Blore, has already undertaken a number of independent reviews, including the comprehensive business case analysis and technology readiness assessment for the FRC-A Class just mentioned.  Of particular note, we contracted with the Defense Acquisition University (DAU) in 2006 to conduct a “quick-look” review of Deepwater to examine the program’s key management and technical processes, performance-based acquisition strategy, organizational structure and our government/industry “partnership” contract.  The USCG Research and Development Center is conducting a study and will provide recommendations for the way ahead on the planned Deepwater Vertical-Launch Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (VUAV), and we’ve initiated an independent review of workload and workforce management issues.  Based on these findings and recommendations, we will make “course corrections” where needed in order to lead an efficient organization and guarantee successful execution of the Deepwater Program.

As I mentioned earlier, many of the challenges within the Deepwater Program stem from the lack of an integrated Coast Guard acquisition program to manage this system-of-systems acquisition, as well as to conduct effective of oversight to Integrated Coast Guard Systems.  We have developed an initial Blueprint for Acquisition Reform, and in the coming months, you will see significant changes inside the Coast Guard’s acquisition directorate to bring all acquisition efforts -- traditional as well as system-of-systems -- under one organization.  Rear Admiral Blore will become the Coast Guard’s Chief Acquisition Officer, with responsibility over all procurement projects.  The Program Executive Officer for Deepwater will work within the new organization.  I have directed Rear Admiral Ron Rabago, a naval engineer, former Commanding Officer of the Coast Guard Yard, and a technical expert on naval engineering issues to take Deepwater’s “helm.”  Consolidating our acquisition efforts will provide immediate benefits, including better allocation of contracting officers and acquisition professionals, and an integrated product line approach to our management of acquisitions, thereby allowing projects to be handled by the same people, with the same expertise and the same linkages to the technical authorities.

Additional efforts are underway within Deepwater and the Coast Guard to develop more appropriate staffing in order to efficiently obligate program funding and ensure successful delivery of needed assets to the fleet.  We’re reinvigorating our acquisition training and certification process to ensure that Deepwater staff, program managers and contracting officers have the requisite skills and education needed to manage this complex program.  Our desired end state is to become the model for mid-sized federal agency acquisition and procurement, in full alignment with the Department of Homeland Security acquisition activities. 

DAU’s recent Quick Look Study of the Deepwater program concluded that our initial Blueprint for Acquisition Reform “is comprehensive and responsive to the human capital, organization, process and governance related findings and recommendations” in its report. 
 

Cost Change and Contractor Oversight

In discussing these challenges and my actions to address them, I need to mention two concerns raised in recent media coverage of the Deepwater program: the first is cost growth, the second is contract oversight.  Much of what’s been reported in the press as “cost overruns” simply does not tell the full story.  There is obvious truth to claims of programmatic cost increases.  As noted, the original Deepwater plan was estimated to cost $17 billion and now we’re projecting a $24 billion cost over 25 years.  However, it is imperative to understand that the main driver of these cost increases was the complete revision of the original plan to meet post 9/11 mission requirements. New missions meant that we needed more capable assets which cost more to acquire and build.


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« Reply #11 on: March 06, 2008, 12:06:03 pm »

PAGE 14b & 15

In addition to improved mission capabilities, Hurricanes Katrina and Rita hit the Gulf Coast shipyard industry hard during production of the first National Security Cutter, flooding the hull and causing extensive damage to the facility.  The impacts to industry – even just in terms of rebuilding a skilled, sufficient workforce – should not be underestimated.  The tragedy was real (I can personally attest to this) and contributed to cost increases and some schedule slippage for the cutter.  That these impacts were not greater speaks volumes about the dedication of the shipbuilding industry and its employees along the Gulf Coast.

Of course, we must remain vigilant regarding cost growth.  However, I am committed to working with industry to develop and promote cost reduction measures and am personally engaged with the CEO’s of Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman regarding my concerns.

I’ve also read that the Coast Guard is not in control of the Deepwater Program; that we’ve somehow abrogated our oversight responsibilities and handed industry the “keys to the vault.”  That is not true.  The Coast Guard has been and remains fully involved in the management of this program and has made all final and critical decisions.  When appropriate, the issues are briefed all the way up the chain of command to me, and I make the decision myself.  And following recommendations from DHS auditors, we have taken steps to ensure that we accurately and thoroughly document such decisions for future reference. 

We’ve redefined our award term and award fee criteria, making them more objective in order to improve contractor performance.  As resources allow, the Coast Guard will assume greater responsibility as the system integrator, a role we now feel better positioned to take on.

(15)

It is critical that the senior leadership in each of our organizations meet regularly to be informed of the progress of this program so we can provide executive level oversight at all times, and specific direction when warranted.  As a result, I am personally committed to doing all that I can to make this a successful starting point for further improvement in both the performance and relationships that exist within the Deepwater program, which is so vital to Coast Guard readiness.

We’re on the Path to Change

In conclusion, we have learned some hard lessons and are implementing recommendations from the GAO and OIG to keep Deepwater moving forward.  We are making significant progress and outfitting our fleet to meet 21st century threats and requirements.

I am confident the NSC is on the correct course, I’m convinced our FRC “dual path” approach is the best and fastest way to address the patrol boat gap, and I’m pleased that our Deepwater aviation assets are already making real contributions within the fleet.  I look forward to the delivery of additional assets and the operational capacity they will bring.  They will close the existing aircraft and patrol boat gaps so that we can best protect our maritime borders and tend to the nation’s business at sea.

I know you’re anxious for results; I am too, and I assure you nobody is as anxious as the men and women of the Coast Guard.  We are on the path to change, and we will not stop until Coast Guard has the tools it needs to protect America.

I am the Commandant of the Coast Guard, I am responsible, I will do this right.

Thank you for the opportunity to testify before you today and for all you do for Coast Guard men and women.  I’m happy to answer any questions you may have.
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« Reply #12 on: March 06, 2008, 12:11:03 pm »



Coast Guard Chief Announces Plans to Overhaul the Service

By ERIC LIPTON
Published: February 14, 2007

WASHINGTON, Feb. 13 — Acknowledging that the Coast Guard has failed to keep up with changing times, its commandant, Adm. Thad Allen, unveiled a plan Tuesday to restructure its management radically and expand its surveillance efforts along the nation’s coasts.


The overhaul is intended to address mounting criticism of a $24 billion equipment program known as Deepwater, which is replacing or rebuilding most of the service’s large ships, planes and helicopters.

But it is much broader, including revamping the way the Coast Guard manages its response to natural disasters and terrorist attacks, supervises its Atlantic and Pacific fleets, maintains its aircraft and ships and handles its payroll and financial systems.

Some of Admiral Allen’s proposals could be felt by boat owners. He is advocating the mandatory use of devices like the automated identification beacons that are on large ships on smaller commercial fishing vessels and at least some pleasure boats.

The plan reflects changes that have already taken place at the service since 2001 when it assumed a broader antiterrorism mission and has had its budget grow by 50 percent, to $8.6 billion this year.

“We have been running some parts of the Coast Guard like a small business when we are a Fortune 500 company,” Admiral Allen said in a speech on Tuesday to several hundred Coast Guard officials. “We need to evolve with changing times.”

Instead of operating separate Pacific and Atlantic fleets, Admiral Allen said, all 35,000 active duty Coast Guard personnel on the service’s nearly 250 large ships, 1,700 smaller boats, 200 aircraft and 750 shore-side units will now report to a single commander.

A hundred-person operations group will coordinate how specially trained Coast Guard units respond to terror attacks, natural disasters, chemical or oil spills and its war-time assignments with the Department of Defense.

A new deputy commandant for mission support will oversee the design, acquisition and construction of new ships and aircraft and the maintenance of the fleet once they are built, functions that are now managed separately.

That will allow the Coast Guard to avoid giving so much authority for design and construction choices to contractors, like Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman, which renovated the first eight trouble-plagued ships in the Deepwater program.

The speech by Admiral Allen was in advance of the release of another scathing report by the Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general on the Coast Guard’s management of its ship procurement program.

The newest report, a copy of which was obtained by The New York Times, confirmed safety complaints that had been filed by a former Lockheed employee, who was so frustrated that his observations had gone unheeded that he posted a Web video to detail them.

The report says that as the former employee, Michael DeKort, had asserted, Coast Guard contractors installed hundreds of cables on 123-foot patrol boats that could cause toxic smoke if they caught fire. The ships are now out of service because of hull breaches. The contractors also installed electronics equipment that was prone to failure in open-sea conditions.

Since 2001, the Coast Guard has become much more of an extension of the military, instead of a service that primarily focuses on safety, with law enforcement playing a secondary role.

“This is not my father’s Coast Guard,” Admiral Allen said. “And my father is in the room.” Admiral Allen’s father, Clyde Allen, served in the Coast Guard and was in the hotel ballroom to hear his son’s speech.

It will be several years before all the changes are made, officials said, but the plan won early praise Tuesday. James L. Hested, the former commanding officer of the Coast Guard yard, said the service needed to go on a bureaucrat diet.

“You will have fewer fiefdoms,” Mr. Hested said.

Representative Elijah E. Cummings, Democrat of Maryland and chairman of the House panel that oversees Coast Guard operations, said he hoped that Admiral Allen had time to complete the work before his four-year tour of duty ended in 2010.

“He has laid out for himself a very tall order,” said Mr. Cummings, who attended the speech. “But I think he can do it.”


*********************************************************************************************************



Coast Guard Cancels Contract
Cutter Program Part of Troubled Deepwater Effort

By Renae Merle
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, March 15, 2007; Page D01

Original Article

The Coast Guard took the unusual step yesterday of canceling a troubled $600 million patrol boat program, saying the service could manage the effort more efficiently than two of the nation's largest defense contractors.

The Coast Guard had given Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman broad latitude to develop the Fast Response Cutter, shifting significant control to the contractors. But the effort stalled after concerns emerged last year about the design of the vessel. By managing the work itself and rebidding the development work, Coast Guard officials estimated they would save enough money to buy an extra ship and address a patrol boat shortage by getting ships built faster.

"We are the patrol boat experts in the United States," said Rear Adm. Gary Blore, the program's executive officer.

Development of the Fast Response Cutter is part of a $24 billion Coast Guard effort, known as Deepwater, to modernize and greatly expand its aging fleet of ships, planes and helicopters. The program has faced heavy criticism from Congress as government auditors have identified design flaws in three ship programs and attributed the problems in part to the service's decision to give so much control to the contractors. About $2.3 billion has been spent on the overall Deepwater effort.

Lockheed, based in Bethesda, and Northrop, headquartered in Los Angeles, had teamed up to manage the entire Deepwater project. They said they understood that the Coast Guard had the option to cancel the contract.

The companies said in a statement yesterday that they had "only just been informed of the Coast Guard's decision. It is difficult to comment as we have not seen their new program plan."

The Fast Response Cutter is meant to be speedier and more durable than its predecessor. To achieve those goals, the contractors had proposed a hull design using composite materials instead of steel, which they said would weigh less and be cheaper in the long run. The Coast Guard approved the approach despite having never used such material, officials have confirmed. But concern emerged within the service about the decision, and the Coast Guard opted to halt work in February 2006 so it could study alternatives.

During that lull, service officials said they reassessed the contract and estimated they could save 4 to 6 percent overall if they did not have to pay the contractors to manage the program. The Coast Guard also surveyed the market for potential builders and found more companies willing to do the work than Lockheed and Northrop had initially identified when they were running the program. "Competition is really going to help us," Blore said.

The move is also a reflection of the Coast Guard's effort to beef up its internal acquisition capabilities, he said.

"The Coast Guard has become a lot more self-sufficient" than when Deepwater was launched, Blore said.

When it restarts the program, the service plans to solicit bids on the first 12 of 58 cutters it buys. Delivery on ships is expected to begin in 2010.

The decision to rebid the contract comes as Congress continues to heap criticism on the management of the Deepwater program. One measure being considered by the House would limit Lockheed's and Northrop's powers. "We need a comprehensive fix for Deepwater's problems before any more taxpayer dollars go down the drain," Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) said in a statement yesterday, calling for the Coast Guard to ensure that taxpayers would not cover cost overruns on the project.

The Coast Guard said it would review other portions of the Deepwater program as it goes forward. "We will make the decision on an asset by asset basis" whether the contractors or the service will be in charge of those phases, said Adm. Thad Allen, commandant of the Coast Guard.





Cantwell Introduces Legislation to Fix Deepwater

Plan would make sure Coast Guard needs are met without waste of taxpayer dollars by requiring open
competition, strict oversight, and third-party review Comprehensive, bipartisan plan is Cantwell's first bill
as Chair of Coast Guard subcommittee; bill has backing of Ranking Member Snowe


Tuesday, March 20,2007

WASHINGTON, DC - Tuesday, as Chair of the Senate Coast Guard Subcommittee, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) introduced comprehensive new legislation to fix Deepwater and get the troubled Coast Guard fleet replacement program back on track. Cantwell's legislation would ensure open competition for future Deepwater contracts and end Coast Guard reliance on a single private sector entity to oversee the entire project. It would mandate better technical oversight by Coast Guard engineering staff, and improve internal Coast Guard management of Deepwater. Subcommittee Ranking Member Olympia Snowe (R-ME) is a cosponsor of Cantwell's bill. [A full summary of Cantwell's legislation follows below]

"This comprehensive, bipartisan plan will get Deepwater back on track, stop the waste of taxpayer dollars, and deliver the men and women of our Coast Guard the assets they need," said Cantwell. "Outsourcing management and oversight of Deepwater to industry has not worked. The lack of transparency combined with technical failures has wasted tens of millions of taxpayer dollars. By putting in place strong oversight and transparency standards, moving away from the use of a private sector lead systems integrator, requiring open competition, and giving the Coast Guard the tools it needs to manage this program, we can fix Deepwater and end waste. This plan is the critical, commonsense solution Deepwater needs."

Since taking over as Subcommittee Chair, Cantwell has aggressively pursued fixing Deepwater. In February, Cantwell chaired the first Senate hearing on Deepwater, and heard testimony from Coast Guard Commandant Admiral Thad Allen, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Inspector General Richard Skinner, Deepwater contractors, and retired Coast Guard engineer Kevin Jarvis. In developing the new legislation, Cantwell worked with the Coast Guard and took into account recommendations by the DHS Inspector General, the Defense Department's Defense Acquisition University (DAU), and the Government Accountability Office (GAO). Cantwell also met with Commandant Allen on several occasions.

Earlier this month, Cantwell and Snowe sent a letter to Commandant Allen calling on him to work with the Justice Department to ensure taxpayers are not burdened with National Security Cutter cost overruns, and to implement the significant changes needed to correct Deepwater's widespread problems. In a second letter, Cantwell and Snowe asked Inspector General Skinner to review and report on the Coast Guard's plans to hold ICGS accountable for failures to meet contract requirements.

Cantwell's Integrated Deepwater Program Reform Act:

-Direct the Coast Guard to stop using a lead systems integrator for all future deepwater assets not currently under contract, and instead require the Coast Guard to acquire future assets through an open, competitive process

-So as not to slow work already in progress, the Coast Guard could continue to use the current lead systems integrator to complete specific work orders currently under contract at the time of the legislation's enactment; the Coast Guard could only use a lead systems integrator if it could ensure that ICGS had no financial relationship with subcontractors or that subcontracts were openly competed

-Require a third-party entity with expertise in major acquisitions to review all of the proposed Deepwater assets for which contracts have not been issued; this third-party entity would also analyze the assets the Coast Guard needs to complete its mission, and how the Coast Guard can best acquire these assets

-Require the Coast Guard to certify to Congress, prior to issuing new contracts for proposed acquisitions, that the proposed technology meets feasibility, design, mission, and cost objectives

-End the practice of allowing lead Deepwater contractors to self-certify design standards instead of adhering to accepted industry-wide standards and procedures

-Require the Coast Guard to provide significant additional information to Congress on the status of Deepwater, and require the GAO to closely monitor the Coast Guard's implementation of the legislation's requirements

-Ensure better technical oversight by the Coast Guard's engineering staff and allow the Coast Guard to shift personnel to its acquisitions staff

-Improve the Coast Guard's management of Deepwater by implementing recommendations made in the Coast Guard's Blueprint for Acquisition Reform, as well as recommendations for improved management included in a February 5, 2007 DAU report

Deepwater—a partnership between the Coast Guard and a joint venture by Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman, known as Integrated Coast Guard Systems (ICGS)—is a 25-year, $24 billion initiative to replace the aging fleet of Coast Guard assets used in missions more than 50 miles from the coast. The program is plagued by cost overruns, debilitating design flaws, ships and technology that fall far short of contract requirements, and a contract structure that strips the Coast Guard of oversight and decision-making authority. Recent reports from DHS and the Defense Department have detailed problems with specific portions of the contract as well as the overall contract structure.

So far, eight 123-foot patrol boats converted under the Deepwater program are out of service—a waste of $100 million. After spending $25 million, the Coast Guard suspended the Fast Response Cutter project because the contractors' design failed to meet testing requirements. The National Security Cutter—the largest of the new Deepwater ships—is over budget and the current design and construction fails to meet the Coast Guard's performance goals. Deepwater's Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, Eagle Eye, has significant delays, and the prototype crashed. These mistakes have cost taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars, while delays have forced the Coast Guard to rely more heavily on outdated equipment that was not built for post-9/11 missions.


More and Original Press Release
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« Reply #13 on: March 06, 2008, 12:16:48 pm »

THURSDAY, APRIL 5, 2007 STRIKE OVER AT NORTHROP GRUMMAN, PASCAGOULA SHIPYARD

        Employees at Northrop Grumman Ship Systems' Ingalls Operations in Pascagoula voted Wednesday to accept a revised three-year 
                contract, ending a nearly month-long strike at the shipyard.
                http://www.wlox.com/Global/story.asp?S=6326696&nav=menu40_2
   
This has got to be welcome news for the folks along the Alabama and Mississippi gulf coast.  Post Katrina living expenses have soared, it's good to see the workers have reached agreement after nearly a month on strike.  Good news for the CG and the Admiral too, to see Ingalls yard go back to work on getting the CGC Bertholf (NSC 1) ready for sea trials and for resuming work on the construction of CGC Waesche (NSC 2).
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« Reply #14 on: March 06, 2008, 12:17:40 pm »

ORIGINAL DEEPWATER CONTRACT EXPIRES IN JUNE, bills in both houses to renegotiate contracts for project.

In separate pieces of legislation to fund the Iraq war, the House and Senate have included provisions to tighten oversight over procurement and require competition for portions of the Coast Guard’s $24 billion Integrated Deepwater Systems modernization program. Both bills address numerous issues related to design flaws, lax oversight and cost overruns that have been raised by the Government Accountability Office and the Homeland Security Office of the Inspector General.

The House bill, H.R. 1591, stipulates that for contracts entered into after May 1, for all major system procurements by the Homeland Security Department, the lead systems integrator may not have a financial interest in the development of individual systems, with several exceptions. The provision is expected to require competition in future Deepwater asset acquisition.

The Senate bill also assigns Coast Guard managers to serve as chairs of the Deepwater integrated product teams, requires third-party reviews of design changes and demands life-cycle cost estimates for future assets.

FULL ARTICLEhttp://www.fcw.com/article98122-04-02-07-Web
« Last Edit: March 13, 2008, 09:59:24 am by BuoyJumper » Logged

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