Sea Technology

JAN 2019

The industry's recognized authority for design, engineering and application of equipment and services in the global ocean community

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www.sea-technology.com January 2019 | ST 21 vironment through regional associations, multi- and bi- lateral agreements, training, and capacity building. As the 26th Commandant of the Coast Guard, service readiness is my top priority. Fundamentally, the key to Coast Guard success has always been our people—the cornerstone of readiness—that make up our diverse workforce of active duty, reserve, civilian and auxiliary. Today, the demand for Coast Guard services has never been higher amid the backdrop of relatively flat-lined, or constrained, operating budget. We face significant read- iness challenges, including lost purchasing power, de- ferred maintenance on our capital assets, and a strained and undersized workforce. If your Coast Guard is to continue answering the call while excelling in expanding theaters, we cannot use past thinking to resolve current challenges. We should not default to doing something because it has always been done a certain way. We must be smart, innovative and accept prudent risk. We must empower and reward our workforce, especially our youngest members who of- ten bring forward the best ideas, to develop novel ways to increase the efficiency of operations and mission sup- port. Accelerating 'Flash-to-Bang' To that end, innovation is a key component of the Coast Guard's Strategic Plan 2018 to 2022. We must al- low our mission-support enterprise to explore service de- livery alternatives that obtain the most for our purchasing power and accept that alternatives may require changes to both operations and support from how "it has always been done." We will strive to lower the barriers to innovation and recognize that "smart failures" in low-risk venues in the short term yield lessons learned that lead to long-term organizational success. To deliver innovation at the speed of need, we must shorten the "flash-to-bang"—the time between idea and test, as well as the time between a successful test and po- tential implementation. We must strengthen our expedit- ed acquisition process to adopt new technologies faster and capitalize on relationships with the Department of Defense (DOD) and DHS to identify shared solutions. The 2017 and 2018 Atlantic Basin hurricane seasons were historic in ferocity and scope. When Hurricane Harvey inundated the greater Houston area in 2017 with 52 in. of rain and flooded neighborhoods, we realized that technological advances could enhance our tradi- tional response operations. To improve our search-and- rescue efficiency and effectiveness when lives hang in the balance, we are leveraging DHS mobile communica- tions tracking technologies to locate signals being emit- ted from distressed mariner cell phones. We are installing "blue force trackers" to ensure comprehensive, real-time Coast Guard aircraft and vessel monitoring for enhanced tasking in steady-state and emergency response situa- tions. We are also experimenting with advances in soft- ware algorithms to utilize social media feeds to "heat map" concentrated areas of distress. Leveraging these faster "flash-to-bang," low-cost technologies serves as a

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