Talk:United States Coast Guard
When should there be a separate page to discuss the Coast Guard's vessels and aircraft?
My personal interpretation of the Deepwater Program is that the whole thing may have been a disaster -- that carpet baggers cashed in on the loosened purse strings following 9-11 to tout programs of limited value, and push them into cost-overruns. The modernization of the Island Class cutters was unquestionably a disaster.
So, how much mention does deepwater merit?
Cheers! George Swan 17:51, 11 August 2008 (CDT)
Vessels and aircraft
Well, I did a cut-and-paste from the Air Force article to get aircraft lists for the Army and Navy. The category of "historic" turned out to have some opportunities as well. For Coast Guard, you might want to start with the list in the articles, making the designations as links. I've done a number of individual aircraft, and then some groupings like C3I-ISR and fighter aircraft. Haven't gone into some unwise programs, although I may yet put in a section on the cancelled Crusader in with M109 howitzer. Also, I suppose, I could elaborate on the fits and starts in air defense artillery, although they seem to be redefining their role very usefully (C-RAM and ADAM).
As far as fiascoes, for want of a better term, look at cruiser, specifically the USN's episode of psychosis between 1950 and 1975, including the "cruiser gap", then applying the term "frigate" to what didn't make a lot more sense as a "destroyer leader". Every navy that put a bigger-gunned ship in the midst of a destroyer unit attack called that...exotic term...a "light cruiser".
You raise a good point about problem programs. I am not especially familiar with the USCG vessel programs, although I do have some dealings with their electronics. They have a program called "Rescue 21", which does some really good things for SAR, although they are putting out a very confused message.
Every marine radio made since 1991 can have the equivalent of a telephone number (Digital Selective Calling, or DSC) permanently programmed into it. Hit the distress button, and that will at least give a mayday in situations when the EPIRB won't deploy (e.g., medical emergency, boarding). What the Coast Guard really wants everyone to do is run a cable between their radio and GPS, which will put the GPS position into the distress message.
The problem is that they've been saying that the shore SAR centers are behind schedule in getting their new VHF antennas, so they can hear the DSC. It's mostly a local zoning problem over tall antennas. Meanwhile, though, seamen are asking "why bother to connect?"
Why? Because every Coast Guard vessel and aircraft has the appropriate receiver to see the MAYDAY GPS and call it in. Every registered passenger vessel and every vessel > 300 tons, in international commerce, has it, and is required to relay the message. In talking to the SAR people, they are incredibly frustrated, because DSC-GPS will work right now, and not having the antennas at the SAR centers really is not an operational problem.
End rant. I wasn't able to say things like this at The Other Place, but, in this case, I got the detailed information through my editor (I'm an unpaid columnist) at Commercial Fisheries News. Other than the article I've written on the subject...and much as I like CFN, it's not a mass circulation paper...there's no "verifiable secondary citation."
Howard C. Berkowitz 19:26, 11 August 2008 (CDT)