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My Coast Guard
Commentary | Dec. 17, 2020

Vice Adm. Michael McAllister (DCMS): Mission Support Action Plan Update 

By Vice Adm. Michael McAllister

Well into his third year as the Deputy Commandant for Mission Support, Vice Adm. McAllister writes about Mission Support’s achievements thus far and objectives for the future. 

When the Commandant published the Coast Guard Strategic Plan (2018-2022) in the fall of 2018, it provided a vision for the future of our Service in which we invest in Service Readiness while improving upon mission execution and operational support. As deliverers of Service Readiness, the Mission Support organization worked hard over the last two years to translate that strategic vision into actionable tasks and quantifiable impacts. 

I recently released the Mission Support Action Plan (MSAP) Update, a mid-period summary of results from around the organization, tied to the three pillars of the Coast Guard Strategic Plan – Maximizing Readiness Today and Tomorrow, Addressing the Nation’s Complex Maritime Challenges, and Delivering Mission Excellence Anytime, Anywhere. 

I am very proud of the excellent work of the entire Mission Support workforce – active duty, reserve, civilian, and contractors alike. Throughout our ranks I’ve seen a shift in the way we approach support to be more customer focused and tailored to the needs of the operational community. I believe we’ve come a long way in terms of providing sustained and adaptable readiness for Coast Guard missions. 

The ongoing efforts of the last two years positioned the Mission Support organization – and the Coast Guard – on a course that enabled continued mission success through unexpected operations at the Southwest border, a lengthy government shutdown, a global pandemic, and a particularly active hurricane season.  In addition, the global reach of service provided by Coast Guard Mission Support expanded to meet the needs of an increasingly complex and competitive strategic and technological environment. In order to support a Mission Ready Total Workforce we implemented dozens of policy changes and implemented key initiatives to enhance recruiting, training, retention, personnel support and transitions out of or to other parts of the workforce.  

I expect the remaining two years under the Coast Guard Strategic Plan will bring its share of operational and support challenges, but I am confident in our ability to address them. Within Mission Support, we’re already working on additional initiatives described in the MSAP.  These will include modernized HR services and more new recruiting/retention mechanisms, actions resulting from the Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan and Underrepresented Minority Study, accelerated implementation of the electronic health record and telehealth, a Coast Guard Data Strategy, a review of and improvements in our contracting and procurement program, implementation of new cutter maintenance concepts, and further refinement of civil engineering and shore maintenance services…just to name a few. 

It continues to be my privilege to lead an organization that provides world-class support for the world’s best coast guard.  I am confident that continued focus on the Coast Guard Strategic Plan and supporting MSAP will ensure our Service remains Ready, Relevant and Responsive. 

To read more, I invite you to visit the Mission Support Year in Review website for an interactive experience highlighting Mission Support personnel.

VADM M.F. McAllister
Deputy Commandant for Mission Support