USCG Asset Guide
A Desktop Reference Guide to the USCG
Last Updated: 4-25-06
copyright M. Cleary, reproduced by permission
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It was reported in Combat Aircraft that the Coast Guard will acquire 7 additional armed HH-65's to support their new National Capital Region defense mission. Three HH-65s from CGAS Atlantic City will be forward deployed to Regan National Airport.
CGAS San Francisco and CGAS Los Angeles are in the process of receiving their HH-65Cs.
Aircraft Fleet List
Tail Type Homeplate Last Log Remarks
101 VC-37A CGAS Washington, D.C. 01-28-06 Commandant's GS V
HC-130 Long Range Search Aircraft
The new HC-130J aircraft will provide long-range air coverage over the entire Coast Guard area of responsibility and increase the overall MDA/Common Operational Picture. The primary role of these aircraft will be to meet the long range maritime patrol requirements in the vast Pacific Ocean areas that cannot be accomplished by the medium range surveillance (MRS) CASA aircraft. The LRS will additionally provide heavy Air Transport for Maritime Safety & Security Teams, Port Security Units, and the National Strike Force. Intelligence-Information Collection and Sharing for Deepwater will be enhanced as the LRS will receive enhanced radar and optical sensors and will share a common C4ISR pallet with the MRS which will provide for integrated command and control and make the LRS a potential airborne command center. The LRS will receive Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosive Detection and Defense (CBR D&D) capabilities that will allow for insertion of specialized teams (e.g., the National Strike Force) into potential “hot” areas.
The FY06 budget request funds upgrades to and replacement of C-130H Avionics, MILSATCOM, weather radar, and search radar. The LRS solution includes both new C-130Js that are currently unmissionized and legacy HC-130Hs. The Hs require upgrades to ensure their continued performance in the Deepwater system until they are finally retired in decades to come. The Deepwater plan calls for a fleet of 27 HC-130s with a cost of $4.9 million per unit.
The HC-130H fleet is equipped with a Forward-Looking InfraRed/Electro-Optical/Low-Light TV (FLIR/EO/LLTV) turret-mounted camera system. This system provides a 360-degree field-of-view and high-resolution software magnification allowing use at standoff ranges. In addition, a DAMA-compatible MILSATCOM receiver is being installed. The FLIR/EO/LLTV interfaces with the HC-130H's AN/APS-137 Inverse Synthetic Aperture Radar (ISAR), allowing automatic direction of the FLIR system, reducing the operator workload for the tactical sensor operator. The 15xx series of HC-130H's is equipped to support the AN/APS-135 Side-Looking Airborne Radar (SLAR). Using the AN/APS-135, an area of over 100nm can be mapped on either side of the aircraft. This is especially useful in support of the International Ice Patrol and for tracking down sources of pollution.
Five older HC-130s are restricted in the amount of fuel they can carry due to center wing box structural fatigue. Mission time is reduced by 30%.
HC-235A Persuader Medium Range Search Aircraft
The MRS is an essential, highly capable element of the revised Deepwater implementation plan. The MRS will not only be Deepwater interoperable, but DHS and DoD C4ISR Interoperable including MILSATCOM. The MRS will share a common C4ISR pallet with the LRS, which provides for integrated command and control and makes the MRS a potential airborne command center and significant contributor to logistics transport. These capabilities feed the national Intelligence-Information Collection & Sharing/MDA picture. The MRS will be the second logistical workhorse for the fleet (with the LRS), with the ability to conduct Air Transport for smaller personnel and parts loads around the U.S. and Caribbean basin. The MRS will receive Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosive Detection and Defense (CBR D&D) capabilities that will allow for insertion of smaller, specialized teams (e.g., NSF) into potential “hot” areas.
FY06 President’s Budget Request: Does not seek any MRS funding. In FY06 the Coast Guard will begin operational assessment of the first MRS (CASA aircraft) delivered with prior year funding. Following this evaluation period, the Coast Guard projects seeking additional MRS funding in the out years.
Cost per unit: $33.5 million
Planned Quantity: 36
The HU-25 Guardian is an American-built variant of the Dassault-Brequet Falcon 20 light-transport jet. A total of forty-one HU-25 jets were purchased by the USCG. At a later date, eight HU-25As were modified to the HU-25B standard and were equipped with the AIREYE surveillance system to detect pollution. Again, at a later date, an additional nine HU-25As were modified into the HU-25C Guardian Interceptor. These HU-25Cs were equipped with the AN/APG-66 Airborne Intercept Radar and were used in the drug interdiction role.
In 2000, the USCG began a series of upgrades to the HU-25 fleet. The upgrades produced two new variants; the HU-25C+ and the HU-25D. The HU-25C+ incorporates a variety of sensor upgrades. The AN/APG-66 was upgraded to an improved version providing greater detection range while reducing weight. In addition, a new Forward-Looking InfraRed/Electro-Optical/Low-Light TV (FLIR/EO/LLTV) provides a "wide-angle search, detection, classification, and identification" capability. This upgrade also incorporates a Tactical Work Station (TWS) similar to that on the HC-130H. The HU-25D was developed from the HU-25A. The HU-25A's AN/APS-127 radar was replaced with the AN/APS-143(V) Inverse Synthetic-Aperture Radar (ISAR) system. In addition, the HU-25D includes the same FLIR/EO/LLTV turret as the HU-25C+ and also incorporates the Tactical Work Station. A total of six HU-25Ds will remain in service.
The FY02 budget funded 17 operational airframes. Funding was provided to convert 6 HU-25A models to HU-25D models and all HU-25Cs were converted to HU-25C+ models. A May 2003 press release stated there were 9 C+ models and 6 D models active.
The Coast Guard plans to operate the HU-25 until 2014, but will begin phasing them out in 2009.
HH-60J/MH-60T Medium Range Recovery Helicopter
The MRR solution has been dramatically altered in the revised Deepwater implementation plan. The HH-60 will be modernized with improved avionics and a new T700 turbine power plant. The hardened HH-60 will receive an Airborne Use of Force (AUF) package that will provide the capability to fire warning and disabling shots from the air while providing for crew protection from small arms fire. When deployed from a Coast Guard flight deck-equipped cutter, this gives the cutter the ability to apply force against a maritime target up to 400NM away. The MRR will additionally provide a Vertical Insertion and Vertical Delivery (VI/VDEL) capability – the ability to deliver a 6-person interagency counter-terrorism or response team 200NM from a US shore or a Coast Guard flight deck equipped cutter. The MRR will receive enhanced radar and optical sensors and will share a Common Operational Picture/MDA data exchange capability. The MRR will receive CBR D&D capabilities that will allow for insertion of specialized teams (e.g., NSF) into potential “hot” areas.
The revised Deepwater implementation plan retains and upgrades the Coast Guard’s existing fleet of HH-60s rather than acquire new MRR replacement aircraft. The original Deepwater baseline had notionally selected the smaller AB-139 as the MRR. This aircraft was determined to be unsuitable to meet the post 9/11 Airborne Use of Force and Vertical Insertion/Vertical Delivery mission requirements. The retention and upgrade of HH-60s also creates a $500M savings to the system that can be applied to other asset capability upgrades.
FY06 President’s Budget Request: Funds HH-60 AUF and V/VDEL installs, avionics upgrades, service life extension work, search radar and EO/IR upgrades.
According to USCG testimony in July 2004 before a Congressional committee on homeland security there are five MH-60Js operating from CGAS Elizabeth City. In addition to the ability to mount M240 machine guns, they are flying with WESCAM 12D sensor gimbals, EFW head-up displays, RT5000 civil radios, and revised exterior lighting.
HH-60Js are being modernized with a digital cockpit, new radars, a M240 machine gun, and a M-14 rifle derivative and will emerge as MH-60Ts.
On December 8, 2004 HH-60J # 6020 from CGAS Kodiak crashed into the Bering Sea during a rescue.
Cost per unit: $3.5 million Quantity: 41
HH-65/MH-65 B/C Multi-Mission Cutter Helicopter
The MCH is an extremely agile and sophisticated aircraft that is dramatically improved through the revised Deepwater implementation plan. The MCH power plant is upgraded with Turbomeca 2C2 turbines providing substantial power, flight control and flight safety improvements. The MCH will receive an Airborne Use of Force (AUF) package that will provide the capability to fire warning and disabling shots from the air. When deployed from a Coast Guard flight deck-equipped cutter, this gives the cutter the ability to apply force against a maritime target up to 100NM away. The MCH will additionally provide a Vertical Insertion and Vertical Delivery (VI/VDEL) capability – the ability to deliver a 3-person interagency response team 50NM from shore or a Coast Guard flight deck-equipped cutter. The MCH will receive enhanced radar and optical sensors and will share a Common Operational Picture/MDA data exchange capability. These capabilities will be integrated with an improved avionics suite. The MCH will receive CBR D&D capabilities that will allow for standoff detection and crew protection capability. Other improvements include strengthened landing gear, a reel in deck landing system for heavy seas, and a new 10-bladed tail rotor and drive shaft that will allow the HH-65 to to move horizontally to the left or right at 70 knots. The new designation following these upgrades will be MH-65C.
Four HH-65 DOLPHINs (6541, 6546, 6549, & 6594) have been lost in service-related accidents since their introduction in 1985.
Cost per unit: $8.8 million Quantity: 94 (83 operational)
The Sting Ray is an all-weather, short-range, armed interdiction helicopter, employing state of the art navigation, communication, and avionics equipment. The MH-68A Sting Ray's primary missions are maritime drug interdiction and Homeland Security.
Built by Agusta Aerospace Corporation, the Sting Ray is the military version of the A109E Power civilian helicopter, and is the newest helicopter in the U.S. Coast Guard inventory. The Sting Ray is flown by the U.S. Coast Guard's Helicopter Interdiction Tactical Squadron (HITRON) Jacksonville based at Cecil Field in Jacksonville, Florida.
HITRON aircrews routinely deploy aboard U.S. Coast Guard cutters patrolling the high seas to stem the tide of illegal drugs flowing into the United States. Sting Ray aircrews interdict go-fast smuggling vessels, using incremental steps to compel the vessel to stop. Ultimately, if the vessel refuses to comply, Sting Ray crews are authorized to disable the vessel's engines with gunfire. HITRON aircrews now also stand ready to deploy to cities around the nation to provide security for U.S. ports and associated waterways as a resource in the U.S. Coast Guard's new Maritime Homeland Security role whenever there is a credible terrorist threat.
MH-68As are to be replaced by MH-65C models in 2007.
VC-37 Gulfstream V
A single VC-37A aircraft is assigned to Reagan National Airport to serve as a long-range command and control aircraft that can be used to provide transportation for high-level Coast Guard and Homeland Security officials. It is capable of nonstop flight to any location in the United States. It is known as Coast Guard 01. CG 01 is the only ACARS equipped CG aircraft. It uses C101 on ACARS.
A Canadair CL-604 Challenger is based at Reagan National Airport. Known as a VC-43A Medium Range Command and Control Aircraft, it's onboard secure communications suite provides operational support for high-level Coast Guard and Homeland Security officials.
HV-911 VTOL Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (VUAV)
The Bell HV-911 Eagle Eye will possess the following characteristics: composite construction, low maintenance, shipboard deployable capabilities, six-hour flight endurance, 220 knots maximum air speed. The Eagle Eye will be deployed aboard the National Security Cutter (NSC) as part of the National Security Cutter “force package.” The force package will consist of an NSC and either two Eagle Eyes and one MCH helicopter or four Eagle Eyes. The “force package” will vary depending on the assigned mission. The Eagle Eye may also be deployed aboard legacy Deepwater cutters.
The primary function of the Eagle Eye is to receive and transmit data using its airborne sensor platform. The VUAV system includes the aircraft, the sensor payload, the data link, command and control system, launch and recovery and logistics support. The air vehicle is designed to carry and operate multiple mission payloads (MMPs), which would be pre-configured in easily removable and exchangeable air vehicle noses as mission sets change. The Eagle Eye will possess the ability to transmit Electro-Optical/Infrared (EO/IR) imagery as part of a Common Operational Picture (COP) to cutters. The VUAV will receive an air-to-air and air-to-surface multimode radar that will improve the Common Operational Picture/MDA to a range of 100NM from the flight deck-equipped cutter.
The quantity of VUAVs will be a smaller component of the Deepwater system to reflect a more efficient use of VUAVs per
operational flight decks. The VUAV will receive Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosive Detection and
Defense (CBR D&D) capabilities that will allow for an unmanned standoff detection and monitoring capability.
The FY06 budget request funds the full operational capability of the first three VUAVs, production of the third VUAV, missionization of all three aircraft, and acquisition of ground control technology and training.
Cost per unit: $6.6 million Planned Quantity: 45
RQ-4 High Altitude Endurance Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (HAEUAV)
The RQ-4A is a leased system that will require no improvements in the revised Deepwater implementation plan. The baseline capability of the platform is substantial. The HAEUAV will have a sophisticated sensor suite with ISAR radars and EO/IR cameras that will feed the national Common Operational Picture/MDA. The airframe will be equipped with a Specific emitter ID capability and AIS to feed the Intelligence-Information Collection and Sharing. The quantity of HAEUAVs in the system has been reduced to reflect the strategic utilization of the platform in future years.
The FY06 budget request does not fund any capital investment in HAEUAVs, since this aircraft will be leased from the supplier once the Deepwater infrastructure to support it has been fully implemented. Cost per unit: will be leased
Planned Quantity: 4
Maritime Safety and Security Teams
MSSTs were created under the Maritime Transportation Security Act (MTSA) 2002, in direct response to the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, and are a part of the Department of Homeland Security's layered strategy directed at protecting our seaports and waterways. MSSTs Provide waterborne and a modest level of shoreside antiterrorism force protection for strategic shipping, high interest vessels and critical infrastructure. MSSTs are a quick response force capable of rapid, nationwide deployment via air, ground or sea transportation in response to changing threat conditions and evolving Maritime Homeland Security (MHS) mission requirements. Multi-mission capability facilitates augmentation for other selected Coast Guard missions.
MSST personnel receive training in Advanced Tactical Boat Operations and Anti-terrorism/ Force protection at the Special Missions Training Center located at Camp Lejeune , N.C.
Modeled after the Port Security Unit (PSU) and Law Enforcement Detachment (LEDET) programs, MSSTs provide a complementary non-redundant capability designed to close critical security gaps in our nations strategic seaports. MSSTs are staffed to support continuous law enforcement operations both ashore and afloat. In addition, MSSTs:
· Jointly staffed to maximize effectiveness executing Port, Waterways, and Coastal Security (PWCS) operations (enforce security zones, port state control boardings, protection of military outloads and major marine events, augment shoreside security at waterfront facilities, detect WMD weapons/agents, and participate in port level antiterrorism exercises).
· Provide enhanced port safety and security and law enforcement capabilities to the economic or military significant port where they are based.
· Deploy in support of National Special Security Events (NSSEs) requiring Coast Guard presence, such as OpSail, Olympics, Republican & Democratic National Conventions, major disasters or storm recovery operations.
· Prototype/employ specialized capabilities to enhance mission performance (K-9 program, radiation detectors, dive program, vertical insertion, running gear entangling systems, less –than-lethal weapons, etc).
· Deploy on board cutters and other naval vessels for port safety and security, drug law enforcement, migrant interdiction or other maritime homeland security mission requirements.
· Support Naval Coastal Warfare requirements during Homeland Defense (HLD) and in accordance with long standing agreements with DOD and the Combatant Commanders (protect strategic shipping, major naval combatants and critical infrastructure at home and abroad)
MSST 91101 -- Seattle (Established 2002)
MSST 91102 -- Chesapeake, Va. (Established 2002)
MSST 91103 -- Los Angeles/Long Beach (Established 2002)
MSST 91104 -- Houston/Galveston (Established 2002)
MSST 91105 -- San Francisco (Established 2003)
MSST 91106 -- Ft. Wadsworth, NY (Established 2003)
MSST 91107 -- Honolulu, HI (Established 2005)
MSST 91108 -- St. Marys, Ga. (Established 2003)
MSST 91109 -- San Diego, CA (Established 2005)
MSST 91110 -- Boston, MA (Established 2003)
MSST 91111 -- Anchorage (Established 2004)
MSST 91112 -- New Orleans (Established 2004)
MSST 91114 -- Miami, FL (Established 2005)
Personnel & Equipment
Each MSST has 75 active duty personnel. Each team has six SAFE boats, three physical security teams, and two canine teams.
National Strike Force
The National Strike Force’s (NSF) mission is to provide highly trained, experienced personnel and specialized equipment to Coast Guard and other federal agencies to facilitate preparedness and response to oil and hazardous substance pollution incidents in order to protect public health and the environment. The NSF’s area of responsibility covers all Coast Guard Districts and Federal Response Regions.
The National Strike Force totals over 200 active duty, civilian, reserve, and auxiliary personnel and includes the National Strike Force Coordination Center (NSFCC); the Atlantic Strike Team; the Gulf Strike Team; the Pacific Strike Team; and the Public Information Assist Team (PIAT) located at the NSFCC.
The Transportable Communications Center (TCC) is a deployable communications command center. The TCC supports a wide scope of missions including law enforcement, search and rescue, and contingency communications to those area affected by natural disaster or other phenomena.
The TCC is equipped with: Three HF transceivers capable of 125-400 watts; Two VHF-FM Marine transceivers; Two UHF transceivers and five programmable police band transceivers in the 400-800 MHz range. The TCC is equipped with a LST-5D providing a dual port dama circuit over which one sat voice and one sat data circuit operate.
The TCC is equipped with a KWR-46 and a EPSBRT receiver/demultiplexer enabling operators to monitor the HMCG broadcast and receive Over The Air Receipts of keymat when deployed. The TCC is also equipped with phone patch capability in both clear and encrypted modes.
Lastly, operators may monitor the marine weather fax via the TCC's weather fax receiver.
There are 3 free standing HF antennas and 2 police and fire band antennas. The crew consists of a TCC Leading Petty Officer and 3-5 crew members. The TCC is deployable by ground or HC-130.
When the TCC is jointly deployed with the National Strike Force Mobile Incident CP the combined unit is known as the Mobile Incident Command Center.
Telecommunications & Information Systems Command (TISCOM)
Coast Guard Telecommunication and Information Systems Command (TISCOM) located in Alexandria, Virginia, provides telecommunications, electronics, and information systems support to the Coast Guard. The Command is the Coast Guard's lead developer of voice and data communications systems. Building modern digital communication networks, integrating computer technology into the Coast Guard's daily routine is our primary responsibility. The focus of the TISCOM team of engineers, technicians, and support staff is to solve today's information technology problems through timely, quality service to the field.
TISCOM is organized into ten divisions: Administration, Ceremonial Honor Guard, Facilities Engineering, Workstation Engineering, INFOSYS Operations, Information Assurance, Telecommunication Operations, Network Engineering, Radio Systems and DMS (Defense Message System).
The Telecomm Operations Division has three Branches. This division manages the Coast Guard's voice, data and message telecommunication systems and services (FTS2000, Coast Guard Data Network, etc.) This Division also serves as the facility manager and maintains configuration control for Communication Stations, Communication Centers and coordination centers.
The Systems Support Branch maintains a Coast Guard wide HOTLINE desk for telecomm systems.
The Telecomm Systems Management Branch provides life cycle management and electronics equipment support for assigned telecommunication equipment. In addition, this Branch is responsible for telecommunication configuration management.
The Communications Services Branch supports the operation and management of voice and message telecommunication systems throughout the Coast Guard. It is the facility manager for fixed and mobile communications facilities. This Branch also serves as the account manager for all national level voice and data telecommunication services.
The Network Engineering Division is responsible for executing telecommunication engineering projects and related electronics and computer systems projects. Executing includes design, test/evaluations, procurement, delivery and installation.
The Radio Systems Division designs, develops, procures, tests, and installs all short and long range radio systems to meet established requirements
The DMS Division is responsible for overall development and implementation of a Multi-Year initiative to automate and streamline the Coast Guard Communication System. The Defense Message System is scheduled to replace the Automated Digital Network (AUTODIN) in December 1999. View the DMS Primer as a MS Word document -- download DMSPrimer.zip (228k), or view the document through your web browser as an HTML file.
The Information Systems Directorate (ISD) is responsible for handling contractual and technical issues associated with the Standard Workstation under the direction of the Information Systems Director.
This Directorate is organized into three areas: Workstation Engineering, INFOSYS Operations and Information Assurance.
The Workstation Engineering Division is responsible for Standard Workstation Three (SWIII) Configuration Management, Standard Workstation Image, SWIII server architecture/ implementation, SWIII architecture documentation, SWIII Contract hardware/software evaluation, New Technology, and SWIII Software Certification.
The INFOSYS Operations Division is responsible for the SWIII Help Desk, Exchange, and E-Mail help.
The Information Assurance Division provides secure telecommunication support for the Coast Guard coordinating cryptographic keying material and equipment needs for the Coast Guard. It also serves as the NATO sub-registry for the Coast Guard.
Operations Systems Center
The Operations Systems Center (OSC) is a government-owned, contractor-operated unit with the primary function of providing full life-cycle support for operationally-focused Coast Guard Automated Information Systems. These systems support the Coast Guard’s five strategic missions: Protection of Natural Resources, National Defense, Maritime Safety, Mobility, and Security.
At the OSC’s establishment in 1991, 45 full-time staff members supported five mission-critical information systems. Today, there are over 340 full-time staff members operating, maintaining, developing, and/or providing user support for over 35 enterprise-wide information systems. Team OSC, comprised of Active Duty Military, Federal Civilian, Contractors, and Reservists, provides technical support to Coast Guard Program Managers concerning these systems, to ensure proper system operation, analyze needs, and recommend configuration changes.
Links of Interest
Remote Pacific coast VHF radio: www.shiptoshoreradio.com/
Coast Guard news: www.piersystem.com/external/index.cfm?cid=786
Track ship movements on your computer: shipplotter.com/
ShipCom LLC: www.shipcom.com
RESCUE 21 Program: www.uscg.mil/rescue21/home/index.htm
USCG Amateur Radio Net: www.uscgradio.net/
Sources: Various USCG fact sheets, hazegray.org, US Navy League Seapower 2006 Almanac, ACP-113(AF)