Coast Guard Modernizes Acquisition System
By Coast Guard Lt. Tony Migliorini
Special to American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Nov. 7, 2008 A newly transformed Coast Guard directorate has reached its full operating capability in recent weeks, working to modernize the service’s acquisition system and build its operational assets for the 21st century, a senior officer said today.
Coast Guard Rear Adm. Gary Blore, assistant commandant for acquisition and chief acquisitions officer, participated in a roundtable discussion with online journalists concerning the Coast Guard’s modernized acquisition program.
The Acquisition Directorate manages all major Coast Guard acquisition projects. Among the 22 major projects now under way are the HC-144A “Ocean Sentry,” a medium range surveillance aircraft, the Response Boat-Medium and the flagship of the Coast Guard’s new fleet, the National Security Cutter.
The first National Security Cutter, Bertholf, is operating off the West Coast, Blore said. Waesche, the second such cutter, has been christened, and fabrication work has started on a third, named Stratton. The National Security Cutter is the largest and most technically advanced cutter to be built for the Coast Guard, he said.
Blore said four boats in the Response Boat-Medium program have been delivered, and that a new facility that officially opened yesterday in Green Bay, Wis., “will allow us to go to a full operating capability on that project of about 30 boats per year until we get to 180 boats.”
The modernized acquisition program will allow the Coast Guard to mitigate many of the potential problems that can occur during a major acquisition project, Blore said. The Fast Response Cutter project will be a fixed-priced contract to control costs, and the Coast Guard will have personnel on site to be directly involved with the manufacturer throughout the project, he said.
Blore credited Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Thad W. Allen with being a driving force behind modernizing the acquisition process.
“Coincidentally with my arrival, Admiral Allen became the commandant and started us on a path of acquisition reform,” he said.
(Coast Guard Lt. Tony Migliorini serves at the Coast Guard Headquarters Office of Public Affairs.)