WASHINGTON --- The U.S. Coast Guard Navigation Center announced Tuesday a voluntary online service that enables mariners to verify compliance with automated identification system carriage requirements.

The Vessel Identification Verification Service (VIVS) is a new web-based, self-help service that allows ships agents, owners, and operators to search their respective vessel or fleets to determine if they are in compliance with static automated identification system data mandates.

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Coast Guard announced the selection of SN Gregory W. Jacquet of the Coast Guard cutter Valiant, homeported in Mayport, Florida, and GM1 Nicole K. Cimino of Port Security Unit 313 in Everett, Washington, as the 2016 Enlisted Persons of the Year.

NORFOLK, Va. — The Coast Guard announced Tuesday that it finalized its Major Incident Investigation (MII) Report into the July 2016 death of a Coast Guard recruit at Coast Guard Training Center (TRACEN) Cape May, N.J. Seaman Recruit Aaron Redd died July 7, 2016, after collapsing at the training center during an initial fitness assessment run with his recruit company.

WASHINGTON – U.S. Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Paul Zukunft and Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard Steven Cantrell testified Wednesday on the Coast Guard's Fiscal Year 2016 budget request before the House Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation.

Zukunft led his testimony by sharing his perspectives on the increasing demands the service is facing as four strategic trends converge on the Coast Guard in unprecedented ways. Those include combating transnational organized crime networks and securing our borders, safeguarding commerce, enhancing cybersecurity and adapting in the polar regions.

Zukunft stated that his highest investment priority is recapitalizing the aging Medium Endurance Cutter fleet with the Offshore Patrol Cutter. In 2014, four 210-foot cutters were sent to costly emergency dry dock where they lost 20 percent of their planned cutter underway days due to unscheduled maintenance.

"The Offshore Patrol Cutter will be the backbone of Coast Guard offshore presence and the manifestation of our at-sea authorities," said Zukunft. "The Offshore Patrol Cutter is essential to stopping smugglers at sea, interdicting undocumented migrants, rescuing people, enforcing fisheries laws, responding to disasters and protecting our ports."

Cantrell testified on the importance of recapitalization efforts to the 88,000 men and women of the Coast Guard's workforce of active duty servicemembers and reservists, civilian employees and volunteer auxiliarists.

"We are doing all we can do to be good stewards of our aging resources and limited funding while we tend to the needs of our servicemembers and their families, who make so many other sacrifices," said Cantrell. "We ask so much of our well-educated, innovative and professional workforce, some of which are serving on assets older than their parents...and supported by infrastructure that's older than their grandparents."

In addition to investments in the Offshore Patrol Cutter, the Fiscal Year 2016 budget preserves Coast Guard operations, invests in Coast Guard people and continues recapitalization efforts for cutters, boats, aircraft, systems and infrastructure.


WASHINGTON – U.S. Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Paul Zukunft delivered the 2015 State of the Coast Guard Address at U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington, D.C., Tuesday.

"Countries in our hemisphere are on the cusp of instability," said Zukunft. "The United States leads the world in oil and gas production. The cyber domain is transforming industries and governments at an astonishing rate. Arctic waters continue to open. There is no question: the United States Coast Guard is operating in a world unlike ever before."

The commandant outlined how America's Coast Guard will meet today's challenges while preparing for complexities that remain ahead. "I will take decisive action to alleviate the strain of an austere budget environment and will make tough decisions in the face of our increasing demands," said Zukunft. "Through investing in our people, the recapitalization of our aging cutter fleet, including acquisition of the Offshore Patrol Cutter and sustainment of front-line operations, the Coast Guard will return more operational value on every dollar."

The commandant stated that the service's increasing demands in the areas of drug interdiction, Arctic operations, cybersecurity in the maritime domain and transportation of energy resources are converging with its daily operations and limiting the Coast Guard's ability to respond to major contingencies. "I am committed to ensuring that our budget priorities are driven by a Coast Guard strategy aligned with national priorities to ensure our people have the platforms they need to serve the nation now and into the future," said Zukunft.

The commandant also spoke of the duty to the people of the Coast Guard and investing in the future of its workforce. Among the actions to be taken are reinforcing a culture of respect that is inhospitable to sexual assault and the behaviors that enable it; completing a human capital plan that will provide guiding principles to enable the human resources directorate to build an adaptive, specialized and 21st-century workforce; revision of the service's diversity and inclusion strategic plan; review of civilian career management processes to eliminate barriers and improve upward mobility; and build proficiency by continuing to specialize within the officer and enlisted communities and extend tour lengths where it makes sense.

You can find the commandant's complete speech and video of the 2015 State of the Coast Guard Address at http://www.uscg.mil/coastguard2015/. Photographs of the State of the Coast Guard Address are available for public use at https://www.dvidshub.net/image/1783509/2015-state-coast-guard-address.




WASHINGTON – The U.S. Coast Guard Friday announced the publication of the final rule on Vessel Requirements for Notices of Arrival and Departure and Automatic Identification Systems.

This final rule amends the applicability of notice of arrival requirements to include additional vessels, sets forth a mandatory method for electronic submission of NOAs and modifies related reporting content, timeframes and procedures.

Additionally, the final rule extends applicability of AIS requirements beyond Vessel Traffic Service areas to all U.S. navigable waters and requires that additional commercial vessels install and use AIS.

These changes will improve navigation safety, enhance the Coast Guard's ability to identify and track vessels, and heighten overall maritime domain awareness, thus helping the Coast Guard address threats to maritime transportation safety and security.

The final rule takes effect March 2, 2015. Exceptions to this are amendments to 33 CFR part 160, which become effective April 30, 2015, and sections 160.204(a)(5)(vii), 160.205, 160.208 and 164.46(b) and (c), which contain collection-of-information requirements that have not yet been approved by the Office of Management and Budget. The Coast Guard will publish a document in the Federal Register announcing the effective date of these four collection-of-information-related sections.

To read the final rule, go to http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2015-01-30/pdf/2015-01331.pdf.


WASHINGTON – The Federal Register Monday published a notice of proposed rulemaking by the U.S. Coast Guard to implement section 811 of the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2010 (Pub. L. 111-281).

This proposed rule would provide clear regulatory requirements for each facility owner or operator to provide seafarers associated with a vessel moored at the facility, and other individuals, access between the vessel and facility gate without unreasonable delay, and at no cost to the seafarer or other individual.

Generally, transiting through a facility is the only way that a seafarer or other individual can egress to shore beyond the facility to access basic shoreside businesses and services, and meet with family members and other personnel who do not hold a Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC).

Also, this proposed rule would provide facility owners and operators flexibility to implement a system to provide seafarers' access that is tailored to each facility. Facility owners and operators also would be required to amend and document their access procedures in their Coast Guard-approved facility security plans within one year of the publication of the final rule.

In particular, the Coast Guard seeks comment on:

  • Whether one year is an appropriate timeframe to implement the system.
  • Whether this proposal provides an appropriately-inclusive list of individuals who should be allowed access to a vessel.
  • Whether the approach provides the necessary flexibility for a diverse regulated population to ensure that timely access is reasonable in each case.
  • Whether the proposal provides an appropriately-inclusive list of methods for providing seafarers' access.
  • The Coast Guard's estimated non-compliance rate of MTSA-regulated facilities with respect to providing seafarers' access.
  • Whether the cost estimates for Facility Security Plan amendments and changes to facility operations to implement the proposed rule's provisions.
  • Other regulatory alternatives to this proposed rule.

You can read the NPRM at this link: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2014-12-29/pdf/2014-30013.pdf.