Page 32: of Maritime Reporter Magazine (March 2013)

U.S. Coast Guard Annual

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32 Maritime Reporter & Engineering News ? MARCH 2013 U.S. Coast Guard Comman-dant Adm. Bob Papp deliv- ered the 2013 State of the Coast Guard (SOCG) Ad- dress at the National Defense Univer- sity at Fort Lesley J. McNair in Wash- ington, D.C. on February 27. When Adm. Papp assumed command of the Coast Guard in May of 2010, he had the unenviable task of following perhaps the most charismatic leader the Coast Guard has ever had. The high pro Þ le Thad Al- len, dubbed by the mainstream media as ?the rock star? Commandant, also more earned his reputation by Þ rm leadership over the course of more than one highly visible crisis after another. Papp, like Tom Collins who had to follow another popular commandant (Jim Loy), has had to carve out his own niche in different ways. And, whereas Collins had his own cross to bear as he navigated the inauspicious beginning of the Deepwater recapitalization plan with a Coast Guard that was at that time ill-prepared to undertake that task, Papp has been faced with tackling some of the ambitious projects started by his prede-cessors, but never Þ nished. That work continues today. Those looking to Papp for Þ reworks and ß ash as he goes about his daily business will be sorely disap-pointed. On the other hand, if it is quiet, Þ rm and consistent leadership that to- day?s Coast Guard is thirsting for, then Papp has been the RX that is slowly, but surely righting a dangerously overloaded ship, while stowing all of the important gear in the right places.Papp?s latest SOCG speech was Þ lled with nautical metaphors, but also much in the way of substance. And, re ß ecting the use of another federal property to de-liver that message in these austere times, he also addressed the key challenges ahead for the nation?s Þ fth, uniformed, armed service. As the Coast Guard Þ nally nears its departure from the tired old headquar- ters at the end of 2nd Street and prepares to move into its state-of-the-art, brand new digs, there are still many challenges ahead. As he promised more than two years ago, Papp has concentrated on Þ nishing what others have started, and during his speech, he pointed to the Þ eld level reorganization efforts started by ADM Tom Collins many years ago. Papp said, ?This year we completed the Þ eld level reorganization to Sectors. The wis- dom of those efforts was demonstrated during this storm (Sandy) by watching all elements of Response and Preven-tion and Logistics work together during our operations.? Other unÞ nished tasks include the continued recapitalization of the Coast guard?s aging assets, the up- per leadership reorganization started by Allen but never authorized by Congress and the critical need to address the grow-ing requirement for Coast Guard pres-ence in the Arctic. Also, Papp outlined just a few of the many heroic and successful rescue op-erations undertaken by the Coast Guard during the busy previous 12 months. That said, he then cautioned his audi-ence that good prevention is preferable to even the best response. Unspoken in all of that might just be the ongoing regulatory changes just around the cor- ner for the industry that Papp regulates. These include the Þ nalization of ballast water technology approvals and enforce-ment, the coming subchapter ?M? rules for previously uninspected inland ves-sels and the Maritime Labor Convention (2006), which provides comprehensive rights and protection at work for the world?s more than 1.2 million seafarers. Arguably, all of these are aimed at pre- vention, as opposed to response. Right up Papp?s alley, so it would seem. Sequestration predictably came up during Papp?s remarks. And although the Commandant expressed optimism that the Coast Guard would be able to continue meeting its missions because of the service?s greatest asset, its people, he also provided a small window into what could come as the shadow of sequestra-tion looms over the entire federal budget. He said, in part, ?? I am concerned that shrinking budgets have impacted our ability to hold courses, pay for travel to training and provide the necessary extra boat and aircraft hours. We must con- tinually seek smarter, more innovative and more economical ways to provide these experiences. Our people deserve it and our service to the public demands it.? But, like his predecessor, ADM Thad Allen, who once said, ?We?re done doing more with less,? Papp took it a step fur- ther by declaring, ?? we may be asked to do less with less.?Papp concluded his remarks, as any ca-reer cutterman should, with a few more nautical metaphors. He said, with veiled reference to his efforts to complete the unÞ nished work left by previous leader- ship, ?Our job ? our mission ? is to set a course for the Service. We must put our efforts into moving forward, prudently navigating towards the horizon.? Argu- ably, he and his subordinates are already doing just that, within the constraints of a multi-missioned, inadequately funded mandate that seems to grow with each passing day. Three for the Money (Your money, that is) The U.S. Coast Guard is currently ban-dying about three different regulatory is- sues, in various drafts and forms. These include the certiÞ cation of ballast water treatment technologies, the Þ nal wording of the so-called ?subchapter M? rules for inland vessels and now a draft NVIC circular regarding the MLC 2006 Code (which is covered in detail by Dennis Bryant this month, please see page 14). Chances are at least two out of three will cost you (a lot of) money. Ballast Water Treatment Technology Ballast Water Treatment and Technol- ogy in a nutshell: the IMO has enough countries but not the required percentage of the world?s ß eet for ultimate rati Þ ca-tion of their rule. The USCG rules are Þ nal and in place, the discharge stan- dards are essentially identical to IMO. The process for USCG certiÞ cation of BWMS is in place but no one has yet gone through it.When the Coast Guard?s Þ nal rule on ballast water management became effec- tive this past June, this momentous event perhaps signaled the end of one arduous journey for regulators, but the begin-ning of another for shipowners. The U.S. rule establishes discharge standards for living organisms which ballast water management systems (BWMS) must be able to satisfy. This so-called phase one standard closely conforms to the IMO?s version, bringing the dream of global standardization one step closer. Despite delays by various governments, the IMO standard is widely expected to enter into force within the next two years. USCGUSCGADM Bob Papp?s Coast Guard tenure continues to be one of low pro le victories, calm leadership and an emphasis on doing what is right for the Coast Guard. By Joseph KeefeMR #3 (26-33).indd 32MR #3 (26-33).indd 323/4/2013 10:13:50 AM3/4/2013 10:13:50 AM

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