Thursday, May 24, 2007

Coast Guard to be split in two?

Originally uploaded by Bast Productions.
An interesting article came across my news reader this evening:
US Coast Guard to be split in two. The original piece comes from TradeWinds, a Norwegian newspaper covering the international maritime industry.

Bob Rust of TradeWind reports that Congress will soon be considering a proposal calling for the USCG to be more of a pure security organization:
The US Coast Guard (USCG) may soon be split into two US maritime bodies under legislation to be introduced by next week.

Legislative and lobbying sources tell TradeWinds that a brand-new smaller federal agency is likely to be formed to take over most of the parts of the USCG that international and domestic shipowners meet in the course of their business.

Port-state control (PSC), ship documentation and registration, seafarer licensing and other functions that have a direct impact on the operation and ownership of merchant ships are all thought likely to leave the USCG.

That will leave the USCG more nearly a pure security organisation, in line with the many new domestic security mandates it has been handed since the terrorist attacks of 2001 and with its move shortly thereafter out of the US Department of Transportation and into the new Department of Homeland Security.

Lobbyists give the soon-to-be-unveiled proposals a good chance of passing during the present session of congress.
Where would the stripped away functions go? Mr. Rust reports,
The hived-off regulatory areas are thought unlikely to be passed to the US Maritime Administration (MarAd). It is said that this is because MarAd's duty of promoting the US maritime industry accords poorly with the regulatory and policing functions that are now handled by the USCG.

MarAd spokesman Shannon Russell tells TradeWinds she is not aware of any such proposals but points out that one USCG function having to do with the alteration of bridges is set to be moved into MarAd.
This would be a huge change, particularly when coupled with the Coast Guard's current strategic transformation initiatives.

Hit tip to Norm Paulhus who sends out Coast Guard news clippings to his CGForward listserv. Mr. Paulhus notes with this posting from TradeWinds, "I can't tell you how much credibility to give the item, since most of its sources are unidentified, but just be aware that this 'deep, dark secret' may be out there."

I can't get to the original article, but I'm sure we'll hear more about this next week.


  1. I'm patiently waiting for any other credible reports about this "legislation" that is to be introduced "next week."