Like that of the Navy, Coast Guard C4ISR systems
enable effective and efficient joint-service mission
execution by improving maritime domain awareness
— the effective understanding of anything associated
with the global maritime domain that could impact
the security, safety, economy or environment of the
The NSC, for example, has networked communications, radio direction finding and other capabilities to
integrate with Navy battle groups and the broader government intelligence community.
The Coast Guard is implementing a new information
assurance process that will strengthen cyber security for
the C4ISR equipment on the service’s newest cutters.
The Coast Guard is using the Risk Management
Framework (RMF), which is the Department of Defense’s
approach to protecting computer networks.
“The threats to systems and data come from malware
infecting a system, theft or loss of computers and storage disks, unauthorized access by internal users and
outside cyber attacks,” Cmdr. Warren Judge, the Coast
Guard’s C4ISR technical director and core technologies
manager, said in a February 2015 release.
The C4ISR program is working with the Coast
Guard Command, Control, Communications, Computers and Information Technology Directorate to
develop secure and reliable computer systems for the
NSC and the planned Offshore Patrol Cutter (OPC)
Myers added that the Navy also provides a lot of
C4ISR infrastructure and guidance to the service for its
“We are not leaving our legacy class behind. We are
maintaining them and upgrading them to give them
that same type of capability with our newer cutters,”
The service realized it needed to begin upgrading its
C4ISR systems across the fleet in the late 1990s or
early 2000s, Myers said.
“I don’t know if there was one specific tipping point,”
Along with the nine NSCs, the service plans to build
The future, though, resides in the OPC and polar
icebreaker programs. The former will be a 25-ship, $12
billion program that is going to be the most expensive
in Coast Guard history. Coast
Guard Commandant Adm. Paul F.
Zukunft has called it the most
important program of all time for
the service. The polar icebreaker
program could include building
multiple heavy icebreakers over
the next decade-plus in an effort to
recapitalize the fleet.
Myers said the C4ISR equipment for the OPC and polar icebreakers will be complex, but similar to what the service currently is
putting on newer cutters.
“We are not going to try and
reinvent the wheel. We want to use
what’s proven, through developmental testing, operational testing
and something that will work efficiently to do Coast Guard missions,” he said.
The icebreaker, though, will be
unique due to the harsher environment, the mission area and
“I don’t have all the answers of
how we can meet those. It’s going
to be a challenge for us, but we are
doing a lot of research with our
Research and Development Center
on them,” Myers said. ;
U.S. Coast Guardsmen assigned to Maritime Security Response Team, Direct
Action Section, and a Sailor assigned to the guided-missile destroyer USS
McFaul prepare for visit, board, search and seizure drills during exercise
Falcon Warrior 2015 in the Arabian Gulf June 7. Modernizing the Coast
Guard’s command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance equipment enables it to integrate with the Navy
and government intelligence community.
WWW.SEAPOWERMAGAZINE.ORG 30 SEAPOWER / FEBRUARY/MARCH 2016
SPECIAL REPORT / NETWORK-CENTRIC WARFARE & COMMUNICATIONS