Commentary | Sept. 13, 2021

New division strengthens operational partnership with U.S. Navy 

By Janki Patel, MyCG Writer

 

When the Coast Guard deploys cutters and aircraft alongside Navy battle groups, the two components operate together in support of their mutual homeland security and national defense missions. The new Navy Type Navy Owned Combat Systems Management Division (CG-453) has been established to serve as the principal point of coordination between the Coast Guard and Navy System Commands.  

In fiscal year 2021 (FY21), the Coast Guard provided nearly 2,900 cutter patrol days to support Department of Defense priorities including: 

  • 2,000 major cutter days to Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) for drug interdiction operations. 

  • National Security Cutter deployments to support Indonesia Pacific Operations. 

  • National Security Cutter escort of two new Fast Response Cutters (FRC) to Navy’s Fifth Fleet. 

  • Heavy Icebreaker support for Operation Deep Freeze. 

  • Six Fast Response Cutters in Patrol Forces Southwest Asia to support Central Command (CENTCOM) and Fifth Fleet. 

All of these joint missions were possible through shared common systems that provide the Coast Guard with the capability to act as a force multiplier for the Navy fleet. 

The Navy will spend $164 million in FY21 on the acquisition and sustainment of surface, aviation, and command, control, communications, computers, combat systems and interoperability (C5I) equipment installed on our cutters, aircraft, and training centers.  

Both Navy and Coast Guard platforms use the Navy Systems Commands, which offers interoperability between services and vessels. They are also being used to increase the Navy’s combatant picture. Because of the increased integration of our newest assets, it is vital to communicate across the: 

  • Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) engineers, builds, buys, and maintains the U.S. Navy's fleet of ships and its combat systems. 

  • Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) supports naval aviation aircraft and airborne weapon systems. 

  • Naval Information Warfare Systems Command (NAVWAR) is the communication center for information technology, sensors, and systems connecting air, surface, subsurface, space and cyberspace that are vital to the mission and to national security. 

  • Office of the Chief of Naval Operations (OPNAV) is responsible for developing policy, procedures, and requirements and other logistics/warfare centers. 

“Collectively, we work together with the Navy to make sure that requirements for the acquisitions program offices are met as well as any requirements for logistics/service centers,” said Capt. Patrick M. Lineberry, Chief of the NTNO Combat Systems Management Division. “On a daily basis, CG-453 works with Navy partners to ensure that the Navy is providing the common equipment that aligns joint resources and supports the acquisition of interoperable systems installed on Coast Guard surface, air, and land-based assets.” 

Some of the types of equipment the office oversees are: 

  • Fire control and multi-mode RADARs 

  • Military satellite communication equipment 

  • Electronic warfare systems 

  • Large and medium caliber gun weapon systems  

“The better stewards we can be of this equipment, the more capable we will be as a joint force in the maritime domain,” said Lineberry. “We will not only offset the Coast Guard budget, but also become more efficient for the taxpayer through common training, maintenance, and logistics systems.” 

CG-453 also provides training on interoperable electronics and gun weapon systems to cutter technicians show them how to operate Navy guns and electronics that are also on Navy ships. 

The new division was developed in partnership with the National Fleet Board and Permanent Joint Working Group. 

“It took over 18 months to solidify culmination of efforts across multiple directorates, but the topic was discussed in some circles for several years before finally taking shape, under the direction of the Executive Steering Committee, led by Rear Adm. Douglas M. Schofield,” said Neal Pratt, Deputy of the NTNO Combat Systems Management Division. 

Pratt has been working for 10 years to get the NTNO Program office from development to formal office status and is elated to see both the Coast Guard and the Navy realize the true potential of the NTNO Program, and how each service can mutually benefit from common electronics and weapons systems.   

“NT/NO systems are evolving from the stand-alone systems, currently installed on legacy platforms, to complex electronics and gun weapon systems that integrate with command and control capabilities that may be owned by the Coast Guard or another Navy System Command,” added Pratt. 

The CG-453 division aligns with “Advantage at Sea” a tri-service (Marine Corps, Navy, and Coast Guard) Joint Maritime Strategy.  

Early stage efforts of CG-453 will focus on relationships, communications, and documenting Navy requirements and maintaining Navy systems throughout their entire lifecycle. 

Please visit CG Portal site for more information.