American Admiralty Books
Tuesday, October 7, 2014
U.S.Coast Guardsmen to Serve on British Ships
7/13/2015 We Still Aren't Sold On This Idea.
Photo: LA(Phot) AJ MacLeod/MOD,
Royal Navy Type 23 frigate HMS Northumberland
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ompletion of a number of less labor intensive U.S. Coast Guard Cutters has left the U.S. Coast Guard with some surplus well trained marine engineering rates. Budget cuts have left the British Royal Navy short handed of marine engineering rates. The War of 1812 notwithstanding, American mariners are about to sign aboard and serve on British war ships. U.S. Coast Guard engineering petty officers will start serving aboard Type 23 British frigates later this month (October 2014) . If this experiment in allied interoperability is successful a team of 36 USCG enlisted engineering personnel will be working in the naval dockyard in Portsmouth by the end of 2016. The Full story is in the
You can read the entire story in the
and it all seems logical and very "joint" and "Allied" and "Interoperable" all good military readiness buzzwords. Unfortunately we don't see it that way.
We think this a highly embarrassing incident directly caused by reckless military budget cutting on both sides of the Atlantic.
The challenges facing the U.S. Coast Guard are growing constantly, especially in the High Arctic. It's great that the new labor saving cutters freed up some engineering rates but obviously these are not people the USCG wants to let go of. Perhaps the real question we should be asking is why new cutters weren't waiting for them after a short schoolhouse period after the decommissioning of their older cutters. We are speaking here of new purpose built cutters focused on the expanding missions of the U.S. Coast Guard. However, years of sequestration due to Congressional and administration misrule leaves the Coast Guard with a small surplus of one type of highly trained human asset and no vessels for them to man. Meanwhile over in jolly old England budget cuts have reduced naval personnel to the point where they can't even man their greatly reduced fleet. The money has been going into social programs of the Labor Party that mostly benefit Britain's immigrant Muslim population now gleefully cutting British heads off, enforcing "Jew Free Zones", enforcing Sharia Law in their majority enclaves, and demanding that Jews be expunged from England from the floor of the Parliament.
With China attempting to wrest territory from U.S. allies Japan and the Philippines, Somali Pirates still keeping shop, Russia's navy building up, and now the Islamic State knocking on Europe's door there has never been a time where more English speaking naval power was needed and both nations are shoveling naval capacities out of the doors as fast as humanly possible. This whole sorry exchange is symptomatic of big naval troubles in the English speaking world.
There may be a cultural element not considered in this plan. It seems 200 years after the War of 1812 American Seamen are to involuntarily serve the Royal Navy? Well "American's"don't know history (but Southerners do)
Worse this seems a project invented by minds that have little appreciation for the enlisted culture of either the Royal Navy or the U.S. Coast Guard. These aren't temporary short term exchange assignments manned by volunteers. This is long term service under British Naval command. While there is little language barrier and U.S. naval customs are an adaptation of Royal Naval practices, there is in fact a big cultural difference between the Royal naval and U.S. Coast Guard cultures. Seventy five percent of the Coast Guard officer corps comes up through the ranks. Much of the Coast Guard officer corps is made up of Chief warrant officers. The Coast Guard is very disciplined but far from class conscious. One of the attractions for the British is that the Coast Guard personnel pound for pound are cheaper to employ that Royal Navy engineering rates. How well do Americans tolerate unequal pay for equal or better work? History suggest that this is not a wise idea. But due to the lack of adult leadership on both sides of the Atlantic in terms of civilian naval control, budgeting, and planning it may the best that can be done? Now you know why the real motto of the Coast Guard enlisted corps is not "Semper Paratus" but:
WE THE WILLING , LED BY THE INEPT, SERVE THE UNGRATEFUL. WE HAVE BEEN DOING SO MUCH FOR SO LONG WITH SO LITTLE THAT WE ARE NOW VIRTUALLY QUALIFIED TO DO ANYTHING WITH NOTHING."
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