AP PHOTO/TASNIM NEWS
The U.S. Coast Guard had another record-setting 12 months in several mission areas, harnessing the collective capability of all 41,000 active, 6,500 reserve, 8,500 civilian, and nearly 30,000 auxiliary members. The past year was a busy one for the service and included drug interdiction and marine safety missions, migrant interdiction, response to Hurricane Matthew, dramatic search-and-rescue missions, and continued operations in the unforgiving waters around the globe.
The past year also was important in securing the service’s future, with selection of Eastern Shipbuilding Group for phase 2 of the offshore patrol cutter (OPC) acquisition, which includes detail design and options for construction of up to nine craft. These ships will feature state-of-the-market technology and will replace the service’s aging 270-foot and 210-foot medium endurance cutters, some of which are more than 50 years old. The first OPC is scheduled for delivery in fiscal year (FY) 2021