During the Coast Guard’s November 2018 virtual town hall, the Commandant, Admiral Karl Schultz, fielded a question regarding the recapitalization of the Marine Protector-class patrol boat fleet, colloquially known as “87s.” The Commandant stated there were no plans to recapitalize the fleet, as the Recurring Depot Availability Program (RDAP) is anticipated to extend the service life of the 87s well into 2030. While RDAP will extend the service life of the fleet, a way forward must be decided. The Coast Guard must assess the 87’s role as a leadership development platform for the organization’s most promising junior officers and senior enlisted members, and consider replacing it with a highly capable Navy platform of similar size and with similar missions—Mark VIs.
Considerations for a Future Patrol Boat
By Lieutenants James Martin and Jasper Campbell, U.S. Coast Guard