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Coast Guard defends Deepwater procurement

My comments last week about the Deepwater acquisition and the filing of a False Claims Act lawsuit struck a nerve over at the Coast Guard.

In comments posted to the blog, spokeswoman Laura Williams points out that the Coast Guard has embraced the role of lead systems integrator that it took away from the Lockheed Martin Corp.-Northrop Grumman Corp. joint venture, Integrated Coast Guard Systems.

She quotes the commandant, Adm. Thad Allen, who said in March: "Any discussion of our acquisition organization and its effectiveness needs to begin with where we are today and what has been accomplished in the last two and a half years. We must always learn from the past and make corrections where needed, but today we are in a new place and it needs to be recognized."

Williams goes on to describe how the change applies to more than just the Deepwater program, but nearly every acquisition program, including Rescue 21, the HC-144 and the Bertholf becoming a fully operational vessel.

The changes implemented by Allen have the Coast Guard’s various directorates – capabilities, human resources, engineering and logistics, and command, control, communications and information systems – working together.

“Everyone has a role, and with early input on every project and Coast Guard personnel working together on acquisition in concert, the Coast Guard will be better served for years to come,” Williams wrote.

With the lawsuit going forward and at least Lockheed Martin vowing to defend itself, the Deepwater story isn't going away anytime soon. But I am wondering if the lessons the Coast Guard has learned through the program have turned the service into a role model instead of a whipping boy.

Posted by Nick Wakeman on Jun 08, 2009 at 7:22 PM


Reader Comments

Tue, Jun 9, 2009 Carl Dittrich Lithia, FL 33547

The USCG is often melined by those who do not understand responsibilities of this smallest military service. It encompases aid to civilians in the time of need, assisting the Army, Navy & Marines in times of hostile conflict. They were invaluable to the US and England during those early and darkest days of WWII.The USCG is operating with the oldest Capital Equipment of any of the Services. I have often heard the USCG makes a recommendation as to their needs and it is changed or cut from the Capital Budget. If the USCG is maintain its 24/7/365 capabilities the Deep Water Program is vital to their success. As is often the case their request are delayed because others think they can get by with what they have and sill produce an exampliary service.

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