leverages Department of Defense assets transiting the
Central and South Pacific Ocean to increase the Coast
Guard’s maritime domain awareness. This joint-Navy/Coast Guard operation supports maritime law
enforcement operations in Oceania.
OMSI pairs Navy mobility with Coast Guard authorities to promote collective security and regional stability throughout the Pacific Island nations.
The Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Seapower
is truly global for the Coast Guard. The service’s partnerships and capabilities make it a valued instrument for
national security. From icebreaking in the Arctic and
Antarctic to relationships with nations grounded in their
law enforcement and humanitarian missions, the service
brings distinctive capabilities to any mission.
“This is what makes us uniquely equipped to deal
with nations that normally would not work with the
U.S. on military issues. Additionally, most of the
world’s navies match the Coast Guard in terms of size
and mission sets, making us an ideal role model and
partner,” Everingham said.
Changes to the strategy were informed by the 2012
Defense Strategic Guidance and the 2014 Quadrennial
Defense and Homeland Security Reviews, which mandate an update to ensure the United States continues to
advance national interests in an increasingly complex
and interdependent world.
The Coast Guard, Maine Corps and Navy all helped
develop the strategy. This was important because all
three form the nation’s first line of defense and provide
U.S. presence around the world, said LCDR Timothy
Hawkins, a Navy spokesman.
“We build on relationships with partners and allies
together, and together we provide our nation’s leaders
a full spectrum of options in times of crisis. We have to
be on the same page when it comes to our strategic
approach for supporting our people, building the right
platforms, achieving efficient global capability and
developing critical partnerships. The 2015 maritime
strategy is visible proof that we are,” Hawkins said.
The revised strategy’s early efforts are still unfolding.
Since June 21, around 4,500 Sailors and Marines
stationed on the amphibious assault ship USS Essex
have been assisting the Fifth Fleet with operations in
the Middle East as part of Operation Freedom Sentinel.
U.S. Fourth Fleet and the Coast Guard continue to battle illicit drug trafficking in South America. In August, the
defense and homeland security agencies worked together
during an Eastern Pacific deployment that saw eight busts,
with more than $1 billion worth of drugs being seized.
In September, the guided-missile destroyer USS
Carney began its forward deployment to Rota, Spain,
where it will take part in exercises, operations and
Hawkins said all of these are examples of the strategy working and shows how the services can work
together or independently to carry out operations.
Another key component of the strategy is protecting
the flow of commerce. Ninety percent of trade by volume travels across the oceans. Approximately 70 percent of the world’s population lives within 100 miles of
the coastline Likewise, most maritime activity — commercial shipping, fishing, and oil and gas exploration
and extraction — takes place within 200 miles of the
shore, according to the strategy.
“As global maritime commerce expands, populations
increase, competition for energy and natural resources
grows, and advanced military technologies proliferate
across the oceans and through the littoral, so too will
challenges arise for anyone operating in those regions,”
said the updated strategy, which was co-signed by ADM
Paul Zukunft, the Coast Guard commandant, along
with then-Marine Corps Commandant Gen Joseph F.
Dunford Jr. and then-Chief of Naval Operations ADM
Jonathan W. Greenert.
CDR Dana Reid, chief of the joint actions branch at
the Coast Guard Office of Defense Operations and
Terrorism, manages and processes all of the daily joint
actions that come into the Coast Guard from the Department of Defense.
She said the partnership among the Navy, Marine
Corps and Coast Guard has never been stronger, and
working together on this document is another step
that proves that.
“The Coast Guard role in this strategy is to represent our maritime and homeland defense responsibilities,” Reid said.
The service will be able to accomplish this by using
its broad authorities, capabilities and global partner-
ships to add to the presence that the Navy and Marine
Corps provide, she said, noting, “The Coast Guard role
in that is pretty significant.”
That will continue to evolve, she said, especially in
response to changes in the fiscal environment, emerg-
ing threats and geopolitical trends.
“We are more relevant now than ever in a cooperative strategy like this one,” Reid said.
She said part of measuring the success of the strategy
will be acquisition habits of the three services. With steep
cuts from the Budget Control Act of 2011 and sequestration slated to kick back in without congressional
intervention in fiscal 2016, working together will better allow the sea services to maximize their efforts
rather than going it alone.
“This strategy is important for the future and will be
used to make budget decisions, so if we look back and
realize that we based decisions on this that were helpful, then this was a success,” Reid said. ■