Commentary | April 12, 2021

Sea Commander: The tech tool that National Security Cutters rely on for interdictions

By Shana Brouder, MyCG Writer

Record-breaking drug interdictions don’t happen by accident. The stacks of narcotics that National Security Cutters offload are the result of training, teamwork, and technology. Sea Commander is the system that is at the center of NSC defense readiness, drug interdiction and several other Coast Guard missions. 

The mission essential tool integrates information from dozens of sensors to provide a comprehensive tactical picture of the ongoing situation, critical in circumstances where our NSCs interact with bad actors out on the open sea.  

The crew of Coast Guard Cutter Hamilton, a National Security Cutter, knows firsthand the value of the information Sea Commander provides. During their operations, the Hamilton’s crew offloaded more than $320 million worth of cocaine and marijuana after seizing three drug-laden vessels and apprehending eight suspected narco-traffickers.  

“Sea Commander enables the crew to have the best tactical picture possible,” explained Cmdr. AndrĂ© Murphy, detachment supervisor, C4ISR acquisition program.  

This is because Sea Commander provides operators aboard the cutter a complete tactical picture in one view. This common integrated picture is the key behind the success of Sea Commander. 

Development, testing, and cybersecurity maintenance of Sea Commander are coordinated by the Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Program (C4ISR) Acquisition Program’s Moorestown Detachment.  

“It is our job to deliver a C4ISR product that ensures the members aboard our NSCs are as efficient and effective as possible,” said Murphy. “We collaborate with the sponsors and crews on what they indicate are needs for the system and work to get the updates to Sea Commander delivered in a timely fashion.”  

Getting these updates developed and pushed out to the workforces is an important aspect of ensuring the enterprise is “Semper Paratus,” even when out to sea. 

“As I tell the engineers and support staff I work with, by keeping Sea Commander up to date we are helping keep America safer,” Murphy said. “What we do enables the individuals aboard our NSCs to work more efficiently, especially when time is of the essence. We want to help those that keep the waters safe, do it even better.”  

To learn more about Sea Commander, or SeaWatch, visit the Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Program (C4ISR)'s page.