This year’s State of Capabilities Report have been released. These reports highlight what capabilities are working across the Coast Guard and which could be improved. The reports are instrumental in guiding budgetary decisions about where to invest in C5I technology.
There are 396 C5I capabilities in the Coast Guard—from closed circuit television to cutter systems like Sea Commander—that must undergo a yearly operational analysis (OA). Each analysis feeds into the annual State of the Capability Report (SoCR). The process of reviewing all 396 C5I capabilities is vital to ensuring that the Coast Guard remains Semper Paratus and that funding be allocated to where it is most needed.
“[Through the operational analysis process] we are answering the question—are users happy with the C5I capabilities they use daily?” explained Lt. Benjamin Milne, the C5I surveillance sponsor representative in the office of C5I capabilities (CG-761).
Milne and his peers in CG-761 assess capabilities, such as radars to long-range communications, to see if they are working as expected. Sponsor representatives like Milne perform site visits and interview the deck plate operators who use these systems to make sure all capabilities are meeting operators’ needs.
“Through the OA or operational analysis process, we resolve the gap between what we thought a capability would provide and what is actually provided to the field,” said Milne. “When something isn’t working as it should, we can go back to the other stakeholders across the service and say ‘hey, this is what’s being reported out in the field; how can we get this need met?’”
Individuals at units and sectors across the enterprise can interact with the OA process in two ways. They can submit any concerns they have about the C5I technology through the C5I requirements intake process (CAC required) or they can work with the sponsor’s representative to conduct an OA on a specific C5I capability.
“We want people to be the squeaky wheel on the issues they see in the field,” said Milne. “If the sponsor’s representatives are unable to visit your unit in person, we can always send you a survey where your concerns can be flagged and brought to the attention of leadership.”
The OA process is unique in the fact that it provides a way for anyone of any rank at the Coast Guard to get their concerns to the offices that can help them. While changes may not always be possible, this is where innovation within the C5I community begins.
“We talk to everyone—from seamen to captains,” said Milne. “It doesn’t matter who the person is, they can elevate gap that they experience in the field through either the C5I requirements intake process or the OA process to get the ear of those at headquarters to help real change happen.”
The 2021 SoCR can be found on the portal (CAC required) now. Individual OA reports for 2021, as well as previous years’ reports, are available to anyone in the workforce to view here (CAC required). To learn more about the operational analysis process generally, please visit CG-761’s portal page (CAC required) for more information.