Real Change is Underway
The Coast Guard Modernization forms the framework for a natural progression of change for our Service’s command and control structure, support systems and business practices, from an antiquated state to a modern, forward-thinking and more responsive organization that is best prepared to manage the broad scope of operations we face today. Building on prior studies and analysis, lessons learned from 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina, and the Coast Guard’s Evergreen planning process, the Coast Guard Modernization is a holistic look at our Service focused on mission execution, and on positioning the Coast Guard to meet the challenges of the 21st century.
Change is a natural part of our Service’s history. The Coast Guard has systemic problems that we have tried to fix in the past based on external drivers or as the result of special studies. However, we did not always follow through on the proposed concepts with full implementation. For example, a study in 1999 concluded we would be optimally structured if we consolidated all field units into single commands, combining operations and marine safety existing in single ports. This same study showed we should engage in Maritime Domain Awareness; ironically, this was 2 years before 9/11.
In the summer of 2006, the Commandant, Admiral Thad Allen issued ten Commandant’s Intent Action Orders (CIAOs) directing Service-wide policy, process, and organizational analysis and alignment. These ten strategic priorities evolved into five synchronized planning efforts, which now make up Coast Guard Modernization. The five efforts are interrelated and inextricably linked as the Service moves forward to ultimately improve Coast Guard mission execution and mission support. The five efforts are:
The changes proposed by the Coast Guard Modernization represent a necessary and sensible approach to enhancing Coast Guard business practices, and will better prepare our Service for managing the broad scope of mission sets we face today. As we confront significant growth in commercial shipping, an expansion in coastal development, new energy exploration, and increasing activity in the Arctic associated with climate change, we must continue to adapt to ensure we are employing best practices to meet the needs of our Nation.