Page 25: of Maritime Logistics Professional Magazine (Q3 2014)

Power & Fuel Management

Read this page in Pdf, Flash or Html5 edition of Q3 2014 Maritime Logistics Professional Magazine | Maritime Professional | 25He says that this is a ?continuity theme? from his predecessor, explaining, ?Admiral Papp?s legacy will clearly be the national security cutter. But as you look at where our next largest gap is going to be in terms of our capability and capacity, it?s in the offshore domain right now, and that will be the offshore patrol cutter (OPC).? He added for emphasis, ?The National Security Cutter and our polar ice breakers are actually our largest hulls, as well as the Healy. The Arctic is a whole other challenge for us. We need to look at the Arctic separately, which would re- quire a top-end adjustment to our budget right now to be able to bring on a heavy ice breaker into our shipbuilding process.? Zukunft admits that the money simply isn?t there. The Arctic remains a serious problem for the Coast Guard. Absent another modern icebreaker, the Coast Guard says Zu- kunft,  nds itself once again ?doing more with less.? ?The national security cutter was never designed to operate in the Arctic domain. Conditions are such that there is a relatively ice-free season which coincides with the peak in human ac-tivity in the Arctic. And, so we are able to deploy national security cutters during that narrow ice-free season which still hasn?t even commenced yet. It provides some modicum of presence ? but not persistent presence ? in the Arctic domain.? Where the National Security Cutter has proven their value, he insists, is in the fact that the Coast Guard no longer does 75-day patrols with national security cutters. Instead, these now deploy. He adds, ?The fact that we can have that degree of presence and then work across the full scope of our offshore mission threats is really a testimony to the capability, not just of these platforms, but it really comes down to the people that man them.? Alluding to the Coast Guard?s all-important mission of drug interdiction, Zukunft told MarPro, ?It really does come down to capacity. There?s a lot of ocean out there and just not enough resources. And the Navy is challenged, as well. They?re bringing the Perry-class frigates out of service, and those are the exact same hulls that we put our law enforcement teams to expand our capacity in the transit zone.? Coming back full circle to the Arctic, however, Zukunft says the Coast Guard needs an icebreaker. Pointing to what he characterizes as ?the value proposition in the Arctic,? he says, ?There are other countries that are making tremendous invest- ments in the Arctic where the United States is not, Russia in particular. We have not rati ed the Law of the Sea Conven- tion, yet we have an extended continental shelf that?s roughly twice the size of California, in addition to our EEZ. Eventu- ally, there may be offshore oil in production in the Arctic do- main, 24/7, not seasonal. So this becomes an issue of national sovereignty, and if there is a threat in those sovereign waters, other than the ice-free season, what are you going to do about it? And it takes years to be able to design and build a heavy ice-breaker, and right now time is not in our favor.? By some estimates, a new icebreaker could cost $1 billion, and if built, would almost certainly entail a top line adjust- ment to the Coast Guard budget. But, says Zukunft, this is- sue isn?t necessarily just a Coast Guard problem. ?There are a number of stakeholders that have equity in the Arctic, and this really is a policy issue  rst of how do we invest in the Arctic going forward.? Marine SafetyZukunft wants a more inclusive relationship with the indus- try that the Coast Guard regulates ? with caveats. ?That?s a re- lationship. It?s not a partnership, but it?s a relationship. There?s a nuance between the two but I don?t think any of us would consider our relationship a partnership, for example, with the Internal Revenue Service. We have an inherent relationship, but if you?re a regulator, you can?t be a partner at the same time. But you need to listen to the industry that you regulate.? Zukunft worked in the marine safety department during one phase of his 37-year career. At the time, he felt that the Coast Guard provided a very good one-stop shop for maritime governance. At the same time, he recognizes gaps in service that require attention. ?Industry is changing at a much more rapid rate than our marine inspectors that go out and ensure that these vessels come into compliance. We get very good at the way we operate aircraft, because those aviators they go to  ight school and then they stay in that program right up through the time that they?re an instructor pilot and maybe beyond. But we haven?t done the same thing with our marine safety program, so I?m committed to making a similar invest- ment in our human resource capital that we grow marine in- spectors that understand and are the subject matter experts in the industry that we regulate, as well.? Indeed, a May 2013 report issued by the Of ce of the In- spector General, Department of Homeland Security took the service to task, saying, in part, ?The USCG does not have ad- equate processes to investigate, take corrective actions, and enforce Federal regulations related to the reporting of marine accidents. These conditions exist because the USCG has not developed and retained suf cient personnel, established a complete process with dedicated resources to address correc-tive actions, and provided adequate training to personnel on enforcement of marine accident reporting.? Zukunft brings with him to the Commandant?s of ce a plan to  x all of that. Diverging from former Commandant ADM Papp just a little bit, he sees little if any value to ensuring that everyone goes to sea at one point or another in their Coast Guard career. He explains, ?Fundamentally, we try to get ev- ery junior of cer, every ensign coming out of the Coast Guard Academy, into a seagoing billet. But, there are not enough ships and as a result, there?s very little value in sending 15 en- signs to a national security cutter when there are not 15 mean-ingful jobs for them to do.? With that in mind, the Commandant also insists that coast- 18-33 Q3 MP2014.indd 2518-33 Q3 MP2014.indd 258/13/2014 3:35:17 PM8/13/2014 3:35:17 PM

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