Handling the Arleigh Burkes
By Commander James Stavridis, U.S. Navy
The USS Arleigh Burke (DDG-51), lead ship of her class, has completed her maiden deployment, and the USS Barry (DDG-52), second of the class, is now in the Mediterranean. The John Paul Jones (DDG-53) and the Curtis Wilbur (DDG-54), both recently commissioned, are close behind. Nearly 60 of this class are planned, and they will make up a sizable percentage of the Navy's surface combatant force well into the next century.
It seems an appropriate time to review what has been learned so far about handling the new destroyers. Let's look at a few statistics:
- 504.5 feet long and 66 feet wide—a very wide beam that contributes to excellent sea-keeping and stability in an open seaway
- Large underwater hull and reduced sail area topside—current affects her far more than wind
- Two shafts and four LM2500 gas-turbine engines generating 100,000 shaft horsepower for a top end in excess of 30 knots—fast and responsive with direct pilot-house engine controls
- Controllable, reversible-pitch, five-bladed, 17-foot propellers—with 12 knots the break over between pitch-controlled speed changes (0-12 knots) and RPM-controlled changes (13-30+ knots)
- Draft of 31 feet at 75% fuel and 75% weapons load (around 8,800 tons); at 50% fuel and 100% weapons load (about 9,000 tons), draft of 32 feet
- Highest point, 142 feet above the water—the bridge is a relatively low 50 feet, which provides an 8.2 nautical-mile horizon
The first ship-handling consideration with the class is the size and shape of the hull form, which is quite different from that of the Spruance (DD-963) and Ticonderoga (CG-47)-class hulls. The Arleigh Burkes are shorter (504 versus 567 feet) and much beamier (66 versus 55 feet), with a more pronounced underwater hull and far less topside sail area.
As a result, the Arleigh Burkes are far more affected by current than by wind. The traditional rule of thumb—that a knot of current is equal to 30 knots of wind—is well worth bearing in mind with the new destroyers, which are buffeted by current far more than earlier destroyer variants. It is helpful to think of the ships as having an underwater sail area, and knowledge of current—especially around the piers—is vital. The good news is that the DDG-5Is are far less affected by wind than the Spruances or, particularly, the Ticonderogas.
Another difference worth noting: the new destroyers have outboard-turning propellers—a result of reversing the layout of the Spruance-Ticonderoga propulsion plants—which gives the Arleigh Burkes different characteristics when moving around the pier. The rule still applies that the stern will walk in the direction of propeller movement if the propeller were on the ground—but the ship handler used to inboard-turning shafts must take the difference into account.
Finally, the pivot point is farther aft than in more traditionally constructed destroyers. Rather than just aft of the pilot house, it appears to be located between the stacks. This is a critical point, because it affects every maneuver. It is particularly important at slow speeds, as when mentally calculating turns around the pier. In addition, it makes the ship very difficult to twist when backing down. The Arleigh Burkes will twist reasonably well—although not so smartly as a Spruance or a Ticonderoga when going ahead—but any stem way will virtually kill a twist as the pivot point moves aft and the engines lose leverage over the hull.
The ships are wonderful at sea, where their low, beamy form gives them superb sea-keeping ability. Very stable in rough seas, they are generally affected only by quartering seas that work their way under the pivot point and give the ship a pitching motion. The best illustration of their sea-keeping abilities is that at full speed, with full rudder, the ships heel only 8°-10°.
During underway replenishment, the large, full-bodied characteristics of the hull intensify suction effects when coming alongside another wide-body oiler. It is prudent to come in a bit wider than was done with older destroyers or cruisers, perhaps 140 feet, and then work in to 120 feet while putting over rigs. The good news is that the heavy hull makes for a fairly smooth ride alongside, with less effect from the oiler.
Underway replenishment gear includes a retractable forward kingpost with a sliding pad eye, as well as two sliding pad eyes located port and starboard between the stacks amidships. There are four fueling-at-sea stations, two port and two starboard. The forward stations are located on a small platform just below the bridge wings and are clearly visible for the conning officer—a real benefit. The after stations, where JP-5 aviation fuel comes aboard, are also easily visible.
Visibility for the ship handler is excellent, with a clear view of the stern, including an athwartship view almost to the opposite corner of the fantail. It also is easy to see the entire strake of the ship for approaches on the pier or the oiler. The only visibility drawback is the large Phalanx close-in weapon system mount directly in front of the center of the bridge; although there is ample visibility around the mount, it can be somewhat distracting.
The ships draw slightly less than the Spruance or the Ticonderoga class—32 feet is the maximum and charts are generally laid out with anything less than 36 feet as potential shoal water. Layout of the bridge is excellent, with the navigation and chart table on the same side of the bridge as the captain's chair, reducing the cross-bridge noise and confusion. A WRN-6 Global Positioning System and dual WSN-5 inertial navigation systems, with all normal backup systems, provide accurate plot information to the officer of the deck and the conning officer.
The ships have a main, centerline stockless anchor weighing 9,000 pounds with 12 shots of chain (180 fathoms or 1,080 feet); arid a lighter, port side anchor weighing 4,000 pounds with 9 shots of chain (120 fathoms or 720 feet). Anchoring is fairly straightforward, although the ships lack a second wildcat-windlass on the forecastle, and employ a system that cross connects the second, lighter port anchor to the windlass. This makes Mediterranean mooring a particular challenge.
The ship rides comfortably on the main, centerline anchor, which—in 40 fathoms—is rated to hold in up to 70 knots of wind and four knots of current. Maneuvering for an anchorage is easy. Reduce speed to five knots about 500 yards from the drop point, and come to all stop with 275 yards to go. Hit a back one-third bell as the ship comes to a stop and drop the anchor as soon as stern way is apparent. Veer three-fourths of the chain with 25% astern pitch, and then set the anchor with a good one-third backing bell. Conclude by veering the remaining chain.
From an engineering perspective, the destroyers are quick and responsive, much like the DD-963 and CG-47. With 100,000 shaft horsepower, the Arleigh Burkes need their extra power (20,000 more than the DD-963 or CG-47) to overcome increased underwater hull drag, and end up with roughly the same maximum speed—more than 30 knots. The ships' three gas turbine generators produce 2,500 kilowatts each.
The destroyers have dual rudders and excellent acceleration and deceleration. They will accelerate from all stop to ahead flank in less than 90 seconds. Using a back-full bell, they can stop from ahead full to dead in the water, in about a minute while covering less than 600 yards.
The steering system has several levels of control, with information generally running from the helm to the steering units on a data bus. The modes include computer-assisted auto pilot; computer-assisted manual, which is the normal mode of operation; and a backup manual path that bypasses the data bus for complete safety.
When performing divisional tactics, the ships do very well in column and line abreast formations with larger U.S. Navy cruiser- and destroyer-size ships because they have roughly the same acceleration and deceleration as other gas turbine ships. They are less nimble than small allied frigates, and greater care must be taken when maneuvering with them in closely spaced (500 yards) formations.
The ships use six standard mooring lines, and the new Kevlar lines seem to have sufficient holding power. Around the pier, the ships are somewhat heavy and harder to maneuver than the Spruances and the Ticonderogas; it is preferable to have two tugs for mooring—one is a bare minimum—given the large and sensitive SQS-53C sonar dome located forward under the center of the forecastle. Tugs should be made up opposite the gun mount on the bow and along the after missile deck (rather than the fantail) astern.
When making an approach to a pier, it is best to move the ship toward the pier at a steady five knots, unless a heavy current is running, in which case higher speed may be necessary to maintain heading. In close, slow by reducing pitch to about 25%t until the bow is close enough to get lines over. Use the forward tug to control the bow, and twist the stern in using opposed engines and a full rudder.
Getting underway from the pier is done essentially in reverse: pull the bow off with a tug while twisting the stern. This will walk the ship sideways nicely until there is sufficient room to back out using about 25% pitch, increasing to a back one-third bell. Naturally, be careful when using a one-third bell while tugs are attached, especially given the heavy hull.
In general, the ships turn well except when backing. To change direction going astern, it is far more effective to cast the ship than to twist her.
Following are a few good points to bear in mind concerning turn diameters:
Fuel economy is fairly standard for the four-engine LM2500 plant. Trail shaft operations—one engine on one shaft—are by far the most economical way to run the plant. The most economical combination, i.e., gallons per mile, is trail shaft at around 14 knots; the most economical split-plant configuration—one engine on each of two shafts—is at 15 knots. At full plant—two engines on each of two shafts—17 knots is the most economical speed.
For man-overboard situations, the best approach is a simple Anderson turn, using full or hard rudder first and then tightening the turn by stopping the inboard shaft about two-thirds of the way around the circle. Alternately, a Williamson turn can be used at night, shifting the rudder at about 60° beyond the steered course. Naturally when the tail is out, a racetrack turn should be used for tail safety.
Overall, the Arleigh Burkes are superb sea-keepers, very stable and safe with an excellent engineering plant and highly accurate navigation suite. They are well powered in the open sea and for underway replenishments and division tactics. While challenging to handle around the pier and in constrained waters, the class is maneuverable enough to keep the sensitive sonar dome off the pier and overcome the dramatic effect of current on the hull. They are solid, well built destroyers—and a pleasure to drive.
Commander Stavridis commands the USS Barry (DDG-52), second of the Arleigh Burke-classdestroyers, currently deployed with the Sixth Fleet in the Mediterranean. He has served at sea in the Ticonderoga-class cruisers Valley Forge (CG-50) and Antietam (CG-54), as well as the Spruance-class destroyer Hewitt (DD-966). A former Pacific Fleet Ship Handler of the Year, he was sea and anchor detail officer of the deck in both the Valley Forge and the Hewitt.
Frigate Antiair Warfare—Are You Kidding?
By Blade Chapman and Lieutenant Commander Gregory R. Pozinsky, U.S. Navy (Retired)
In the wake of the Stark (FFG-31) incident, frigate supporters have emphasized the ships' versatility and low cost—but said little about their anti air warfare (AAW) capabilities, particularly their defenses against sea-skimming antiship missiles. Fortunately, a very significant upgrade to their air-defense system is well under way. [See "Needed: A Flexible Frigate," by James L. George in Proceedings May 1994, page 95.]
Replacing the crossed-field-amplifier-based receiver-transmitters with coherent receiver-transmitters upgrades the Mk-92 fire control system from Mod 2 to Mod 6. The ordnance alteration is commonly known as CORT-Coherent Receiver-Transmitter.
A more accurate term for the upgrade, however, would be CORT-IADT (integrated detection and tracking) system, because the SYS-2(V)2 IADT is installed at the same time. But that is not all. The alteration also:
- Installs a dual-processor UYK-43 computer in the combat direction system in place of the two UYK-7s
- Upgrades the SPS-49(V)4 long-range air-search radar to the (V)5 variant, which adds automatic target detection capability and side lobe suppression
- To date, nine ships have been fitted with the upgrade, which improves target-detection capabilities and decreases system reaction time. The USS Ingraham (FFG-61), the 51st and last U.S. Navy ship of the Oliver Hazard Perry (FFG-7) class, was built with it as a part of new construction, and eight have been upgraded. Three more ships will receive the backfit, for a total of 12.
- The coherent receiver-transmitter enables the operator to see small targets at very low elevations—where they were once indiscernible. The integrated detection-and-tracking system takes digitized inputs from the frigate's search radars, correlates the returns into one clear position report per target, automatically tracks them, and feeds them to the new fire-control system. The search radars are:
- The Combined Antenna System (CAS) search radar, which is integral to the Mk-92
- The SPS-55 surface-search radar
- The SPS-49(V)5 long-range air-search radar
Tracking targets with the older Mod 2 version as an operator-initiated, manual process; the Mod 6 makes tracking automatic and faster.
Frigates with the Mod 6 will be armed with the Standard Missile (SM)-1 Block VIE, which can detect and destroy small, fast, low-flying antiship missiles that would have eluded earlier versions. This was verified during tests in September 1992 when a Block VIE missile fired from the Ingraham destroyed a supersonic, low-flying target drone.
The downsizing of the Navy has had a devastating effect on the frigate force. The only frigates remaining in the active fleet are Oliver Hazard Perry-class guided-missile frigates, and at least one-third of these will probably be gone by the end of the century. What will surely survive will be the 12 frigates with the CORT/IADT upgrade, which will have a growth margin for additional improvements to counter tomorrow's threat.
There is, however, a low-cost upgrade alternative under development for the remaining Mod 2 ships that will automate and increase their ability to detect, track, and destroy small, sea-skimming antiship missiles. Referred to as CANDO (Can Do)-for Commercial-off-the-shelf, Affordable, Near-term, Deficiency-correcting Ordnance alterations—the program has progressed through at-sea testing of the engineering development model.
During tracking and firing exercises conducted at the Pacific Missile Range Facility in August 1994, the CANDO model in the USS Copeland (FFG-25) met all test and performance objectives. The Copeland's crew detected and engaged low-flying, reduced-cross section BQM-74 target drones while two other frigates without the CANDO model were unsuccessful.
The model uses commercial off-the-shelf technology to increase the capability of the Mk-92's radars to distinguish small radar cross-section targets amid clutter. State-of-the-art microprocessors provide this sensitivity; efforts to implement them in existing systems are ongoing.
Detection of small sea-skimmers will be meaningless, however, if the ship does not have a weapon capable of destroying them. The frigates that are fitted with the CANDO upgrade also should be fit ted with SM-1 Block VIE missiles.
The primary antiship missile threat has changed from pop-up missiles fired from submerged submarines at sea to much smaller, sea-skimming missiles fired from on, over, or near land, and the frigate's AAW system is changing to meet the new threat. The upgrades will make the ships more effective as they sail into an uncertain future.
Mr. Chapman works for Vitro Corporation in support of the FFG-7 program office. While on active duty as a naval flight officer, he served with VAW-116 on the USS Coral Sea (CV A-43) and on the staff of Commander Task Force 77. Commander Pozinsky, a Surface Warfare Officer, was the Surface AAW Tactics Officer at the Surface Warfare Development Group and managed the FFG-7 program office for four years prior to his retirement in 1993.
The KA-6E Is the Answer
By Lieutenant J. Kelly Otto, U.S. Navy
Many planners believe that the U.S. Air Force with its KC-135s and KC-10s will provide the tanking required to get Navy strike aircraft to the target. These large aircraft have more giveaway fuel than any carrier-based tanker could ever dream of—but becoming dependent on them may deprive the nation of one of its prime fast-reaction forces: carrier battle groups that can put ordnance on targets worldwide within 72 hours.
Operation Desert Storm was probably an anomaly with respect to bases and warning time, and we may not be as fortunate next time. The Navy should not permit its carrier air wings to get into a position where they are unable to go to war without Air Force support.
Our newest F/A-18 is an outstanding fighter and attack aircraft with equal payload but less range than the older A-7 Corsair II—which means that Hornets rely more on tankers to get bombs on target. An F/A-18 flying with a single external drop tank has about a 250-nautical mile combat radius flying a high-low-high profile; this increases to about 325 nautical miles on a high-high-high profile.
Adding a second drop tank increases these ranges by about 75 nautical miles. How will the Navy support the Hornets of the future with no KA-6s and fewer, less-capable KS-3s? Many ideas have been proposed, but there is only one clear tactical and fiscal solution: We must maintain the capability to get strikers on target 700 nautical miles or more from the carrier.
Carriers need on-board tankers to support the F/A-18—and new designs are not the answer. We must make do with the airframes we currently have in the inventory.
It is clear that proposed KF/A-18Es will have no more giveaway fuel than current KS-3A/Bs-far less than that provided by the KA-6D, carrier aviation's tanking mainstay over the last 20 years. This does not mean that we can do without the gap-filling KS-3. On the contrary, Air Wing Nine, with just two Hornet squadrons, required four KA-6Ds, three A-6Es with buddy stores, and all six S-3s with buddy stores for launch-and-recovery tankers.
Some propose to use EA-6Bs as tankers; after all, configured with four external tanks and a buddy store, Prowlers can carry almost as much gas as Intruders—2,000 pounds less because of catapult gross weight limitations—and they are scheduled to remain the inventory. This option falls apart, however, when seriously examined.
EA-6Bs burn, on average, 1,000 pounds per hour more than A-6Es because they weigh more and have larger engines, Since they use more fuel in the landing pattern, they must also retain more fuel for recovery. This accounts for the large difference in fuel to give between the two airframes.
The Navy wants to keep approximately 100 Prowlers flying into the next century and it takes just about that number to fill Navy and Marine Corps electronic warfare requirements. Saddling our seagoing EA-6B squadrons with the tanking mission would severely handicap the fleets' electronic warfare capability. If three of a squadron's four EA-6Bs were available, using even two of them as tankers—not really enough to do the job—would leave a battle group commander with one tactical jamming platform.
Most strike plans call for at least two EA-6Bs plus a spare. A heavy threat would require three—without even mentioning possible Air Force or allied requests. To use such a valuable asset as a tanker would be foolhardy.
The obvious answer is the KA-6, which carries two hoses with baskets, one internally and one on a buddy store, greatly improving the odds that receivers will get a good hose. During joint operations, long-range, high-speed KA-6s can be used as supplements along Air Force tanker tracks, enabling strike aircraft to top off expeditiously rather than waste fuel flying formation in the tanker line.
The Navy’s KA-6D fleet is headed for the bone yard, but the service does have an ample number of A-6Es, many less than ten years old with plenty of wing life remaining. Grumman turned A-6As into KA-6Ds and it is time to modify A-6Es into KA-6Es.
But how will we maintain and fly the KA-6E of the future? The obvious answer is to add them to the EA-6B squadrons. While few parts are similar on the two airframes, Prowler maintenance departments could maintain 5 KA-6Es with an additional 80 to 100 maintenance personnel from the decommissioned A-6E squadrons. Each squadron would need an additional five or six pilots and an equal number of electronic countermeasures officers; most of them, at least ini tiall y, could come from the A-6E community. They would nave to be dual-qualified, but this should require a minimal amount of extra training at the Fleet Readiness Squadron. Getting VAQ-129 to train air crews in the KA-6E would be simplified because of the A-6E and EA-6B communities are collocated at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, Washington.
It will cost money to convert aircraft and to keep parts in the supply system, but the alternative is increasing dependence on assets that may not always be immediately available.
Lieutenant Otto is serving on an exchange tour as an EA-6B instructor at Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron (MA WTS)-One at MCAS Yuma. He deployed to Southwest Asia with VAQ-138 on board the USS Nimitz (CVN-68).
By Lieutenant Commander James C. Howe, U.S. Coast Guard
Not so long ago, a newly commissioned 110-foot Coast Guard cutter rescued the crew of a fishing boat sinking 140 miles off the South Carolina coast. Battling storm winds and 25-foot seas, the patrol boat sped to the scene. Despite green water breaking continuously over the bow of the small cutter, the crew plucked four fishermen from their life raft and safely whisked them to port.
This dramatic rescue barely made the news. Neither the cutter's crew nor the C-130 circling overhead shot video of the incident, and the media gave the rescue scant attention.
The same cutter later happened upon a Haitian freighter sinking off Miami in calm weather, and took four mariners on board in a seemingly routine recovery. In this case, however, the crew had a video camera on board—and used it. A timely call made the rescue the lead story on all four Miami television news stations and triggered a worldwide broadcast when the Cable News Network aired a portion of the cutter's video. Tens of millions of viewers saw the rescue story, which portrayed the Coast Guard in a very positive light.
The lesson is clear—the electronic media, which thirsts for exciting news, is infinitely more likely to showcase Coast Guard efforts when video of the incident is available. Simply put, video sells.
While the Coast Guard has long recognized the importance of videography, fleet use is inconsistent. Some units videotape all of their operations, while a few never make the effort. Among those who do shoot video, a variety of video formats are used, from the outdated VHS to state-of-the-art High Band 8-mm (Hi-8).
These inconsistencies in video practices parallel the Coast Guard's media relations effort—while some commands aggressively interact with the news media, often generating outstanding media coverage, others avoid the press. In an uneasy middle ground, units try to deal with the media but lack the skills to develop productive relations. The sad result is that across the country, each day, much news coverage is missed, depriving the Coast Guard of visibility and recognition.
Does the Coast Guard need a strong media relations posture? Absolutely. Here are just a few reasons:
- Although one of the most cost-efficient and productive agencies in the federal government, the Coast Guard remains relatively unknown among much of the American public. Visibility translates directly to political clout when competing for scarce resources in Congress.
- The media can be enlisted to help send strong safety and law enforcement messages to the public. News reports about life jacket and emergency position indicating radio beacon (EPIRB) use, oil pollution regulations, and the enforcement of boating-while-intoxicated laws can help save lives and deter potential violators.
- Press coverage of Coast Guard actions can help cement a command's relationship with its local community, and intensify family support for the unit's missions.
- Press coverage can pump up morale. Coast Guard men and women work very hard, often under adverse conditions, and media exposure is an important payback for their dedication and sacrifice. For this reason alone, every commanding officer and officer-in-charge should make the effort required to gamer media attention for his or her crew.
Today's media offer huge opportunities for wide exposure, including many that did not exist only a few years ago. The growing number of "Reality TV" shows, a proliferation of newscasts (some running 24-hours per day), and cable channels dedicated exclusively to military matters are all credible carriers for Coast Guard stories. The impact of the television media is enormous: Cable News Network (CNN), to cite just one system, is broadcast in more than 140 countries, while shows such as "Rescue 911" are seen by large audiences and air multiple times as re-runs.
Linking the media's enormous need for newsworthy stories with the drama of daily Coast Guard operations is a low-cost path to success. The key to obtaining media coverage is to let reporters see what the Coast Guard does: rescue, law enforcement, and environmental protection—for starters—sell themselves.
The media can use their own reporters and camera crews to cover many Coast Guard operations: medical evacuations, searches, fisheries seizures, and pollution responses come to mind. A sound Coast Guard-media relationship involves calling the press early when something happens and providing access to allow the media to witness and videotape Coast Guardsmen at work. Survivors coming ashore, prisoners being led off a cutter, or search-and-rescue planning in a Group Operations Center are vivid images that help tell the Coast Guard story.
Admittedly, much important Coast Guard activity takes place offshore and can seldom be covered directly by the media. If Coast Guard crew members fail to capture these cases oh videotape, the public will never see what happened. Operations and safety permitting, every newsworthy incident should be captured on video. While cutters usually have sufficient personnel to tape their operations, aircraft and small-boat crews face more of a challenge. Even so, they can often obtain the few minutes of dramatic footage needed to make the news.
Strong leadership is required to overcome an understandable distaste for the media found among many Coast Guard men and women. The media scare the hen out of some people, while others loath the tactics used by tabloid journalists. Regardless, Coast Guardsmen must become aware of the positive aspects of media relations, and be shown that antipathy toward the media hurts the Coast Guard.
After working with the press, many former media bashers realize that the advantages of active media relations far outweigh the disadvantages. The best and brightest leaders in the Coast Guard often run the most progressive media programs, taking hold of the benefits gained through sound press relations. They understand that both the media and the Coast Guard win when the service’s operations are seen on television or in print.
The future of enhanced press coverage will hinge on the Coast Guard's ability to make media relations a more widely accepted and user-friendly activity. Here are some suggestions:
- Make media relations high priority for all commanding officers and officers-in-charge. Written guidance from the Commandant to each unit commander stating the essential need for an active media program at his or her unit would help sell this important point.
- Include a sharper focus on media relations in periodic officer and enlisted evaluations, especially for those in positions of authority.
- Include basic Coast Guard media relations policies as standard materials for enlisted practical factors, service-wide examinations, and officer-in-charge review boards.
- Expand recognition of top-quality media programs. The recently instituted Commander Jim Simpson Award for Media Excellence is a refreshing step in the right direction. Districts should be encouraged to create their own recognition programs.
- Upgrade outdated written guidance in the Coast Guard Public Affairs Manual to include better detail on press relations, command responsibility, and videography.
- Add Hi-8 cameras to the allowance list of every Coast Guard operational unit. Since units routinely use their video cameras for training, law enforcement documentation, morale, and other purposes, the upgrade to a higher quality video format would benefit these programs as well.
- Authorize commanding officers to release copies of videos to their local media. No other single step would cement Coast Guard-media relations and improve public understanding of Coast Guard operations better than a service-wide effort to distribute more video.
- Exploit the capabilities of the service's limited numbers of public affairs specialists (PAs). Today, the average PA spends a great deal of time on community relations, internal information, and administrative tasks. Shift the emphasis to media relations to get the best bang for the buck.
A perfect example of the way public affairs efforts can succeed occurred this past winter, when vicious weather created extreme ice conditions throughout the eastern part of the nation. Public affairs personnel in Boston, New York, Portsmouth, and Cleveland encouraged the media to cover Coast Guard icebreaking operations and facilitated numerous media visits to cutters involved in this important mission. The resulting coverage—carried by four major television networks, The Washington Post, and dozens of other news organizations—was seen around the globe, and helped highlight one of the service's little known activities.
The Coast Guard has a positive story to tell, be it search-and-rescue, law enforcement, maritime safety, or the other missions carried out each day. Coast Guard personnel are outstanding role models, whose professionalism, enthusiasm, and dedication to duty are readily apparent.
Together with active congressional relations, sound fiscal management, and firm leadership, an aggressive media relations program can help gain the Coast Guard added support, which will be indispensable as the federal government continues to struggle through a long period of limited financial resources.
Lieutenant Commander Howe is the Public Affairs Officer for the Seventh Coast Guard District, Miami, Florida. He has previously served on board three cutters, most recently as Commanding Officer in USCGC Metropolis (WPB-1325).