Alexander Hamilton founded the Revenue Cutter Service, which later became the U.S. Coast Guard, on the concept that well-planned and strategically deployed force packages would provide an outstanding return on investment. Hamilton envisioned that several strategically placed assets monitoring vessel traffic and enforcing tariff collection would provide funds for the growth of the fledgling nation. While the Coast Guard no longer collects tariffs, its cutters still serve a critical economic role by facilitating commerce, protecting mariners, and enforcing laws within the nation’s waters. However, as technology continues to advance, fully staffed vessels no longer are the most effective “sentinels of the laws.” Instead, fixed, passive acoustic monitoring using strategic underwater microphones and autonomous vessels must be used to make intelligence-driven decisions and effectively complete Coast Guard missions.
The Coast Guard Needs to Listen—Acoustically
By Lieutenant (junior grade) Thomas V. Caero, U.S. Coast Guard