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183USCG Cutter Bertholf news

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  • Pacific Merchant Marine Council, NLUS
    May 12, 2008
    • 0 Attachment
       
      Simply passing the word.

      Jeanne Sharkey at the PCR meeting May 10th shared with us that the USCG Cutter Bertholf was received by the USCG. Below is one article and citations for a half dozen others.
       
      Seems a few councils have yet to make a contribution; she and Don are seeking 100% PCR council participation. The Pacific Merchant Marine Council has contributed - we signed over the NLUS dues rebate check we received in March.
       
      The committee welcomes all donations - councils, Navy Leaguers, as well as simply interested folks and companies. Jeanne will provide the USCG the names and addresses of all contributors. The USCG will decide who is invited to the commissioning not the Navy League.
       
      Remember there are links at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/PMMC-NLUS/links for the ship, ship photos, and the commissioning.
       
      Just announced, for purchase Julio Blea, JulioB@..., has wonderful prints of the ship helping a distressed commercial vessel in rough seas with a gray sky background - $20 each plus shipping and handling; more if you want one signed by the skipper. Look for the print at http://www.bertholfcommissioning.com.
       
      Phelps
       
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      ----- Original Message -----
      From: Don Hale
      To: Phelps Hobart
      Sent: Sunday, May 11, 2008 10:19 PM
      Subject: Fwd: FYI Bertholf
       
      FYI

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      Associated Press

      Coast Guard takes delivery of first National Security Cutter

      By DAN CATERINICCHIA 05.08.08, 4:49 PM ET
       

      WASHINGTON - After repeated delays and cost overruns, the Coast Guard on Thursday accepted the first in a series of massive ships built by Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman that are the cornerstone of a multibillion-dollar fleet modernization.

      But at least one lawmaker immediately expressed concern about the decision, citing a U.S. Navy inspection last month that found numerous problems with the vessel. The Coast Guard itself acknowledged that some issues with secure communications and other systems still need to be resolved on the Bertholf cutter.

      In March, Coast Guard officials said tests of the ship's systems identified problems with safety, launch and recovery applications and communications. Until some of those glitches could be fixed, the agency had delayed acceptance of the 418-foot, 4,300-ton National Security Cutter currently stationed in Pascagoula, Miss.

      Now that the Bertholf has been accepted, the agency will run operational trials for up to 24 months.

      "I am greatly concerned that the (material inspection and receiving report) would be signed in spite of ... several deficiencies that have been 'starred' by U.S. Navy ship inspectors due to their potential to significantly impair the ship's operation," said Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., chairman of the House subcommittee on Coast Guard and maritime transportation.

      Navy inspectors identified eight issues to be specifically addressed, including those with the computer system that enables automated operation of the ship's main propulsion and electrical systems, maintenance and realignment of the bearings that support the ship's propellor shafts, and assorted flight deck deficiencies.

      Jan van Tol, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments and a retired Navy captain, said none of the issues appeared to be major, although the hardware and software modifications needed for automated operations could be tricky. "It's when fixing one component reveals trouble in another serially that timelines start to extend," he said.

      The Coast Guard faces ample challenges either way - by its own assessment, but said the remaining six significant issues identified by the Navy inspectors would be fixed by the end of the month.

      Elsewhere, some classified communications systems may not be certified before the cutter leaves the shipyard in mid-June, so temporary systems will be used, Rear Adm. Gary Blore said Thursday.

      It will be "several months" before all of the communications, surveillance and reconnaissance systems are certified and no systems will be operated with classified information until that happens, said Blore, assistant commandant for acquisition.

      In about a year, following resolution of all identified deficiencies and contract liens, final acceptance of the Bertholf will occur, he said.

      The agency last summer acknowledged that the combined cost of the first two cutters more than doubled to roughly $1.14 billion. The first of the eight planned ships cost over $640 million. The second cutter, which is expected to cost $495.7 million, had been slated for acceptance in October, but also is being pushed back as lessons learned from the first ship are applied, agency officials said in March.

      "Given the millions of taxpayer dollars that have already been wasted on the Deepwater project, I will be closely watching to ensure that the Coast Guard addresses these serious deficiencies while also encouraging (the Coast Guard Commandant) not to move to final acceptance of this vessel before all outstanding deficiencies are resolved," Cummings said Thursday.

      Integrated Coast Guard Systems, a joint venture between Lockheed Martin Corp. and Northrop Grumman Corp. , was awarded the original Deepwater contract in 2002, but has been criticized for its role in the delays.

      ICGS spokeswoman Megan Mitchell on Thursday said it was an "exciting day" for the companies and the agency, and "we look forward to seeing Bertholf in the service of the U.S. Coast Guard and our nation for many years to come."

      While ICGS in January said it was open to negotiating a refund for faulty ships they provided the Coast Guard, it did not agree with the $96.1 million the agency has requested. The Coast Guard last May revoked its acceptance of eight 123-foot patrol boats due to hull buckling. A month later, problems also were identified with other equipment and systems.

      The Coast Guard does not yet have a refund but said Thursday that negotiations continue.

      Northrop Grumman builds the ships while Lockheed Martin provides communications equipment and other technology.

      The eight ships were removed from the waters off Florida in late 2006 and permanently decommissioned in April 2007. Some electronics issues on them were first identified in 2003 by Michael DeKort, a former Lockheed Martin employee, who later chronicled his complaints in a YouTube video.

      DeKort, who testified before Congress about Deepwater issues last April, on Thursday said that more testing of Bertholf's classified systems for another two years is just a convenient way to appease critics and defuse scrutiny. "Things are going to get worse," he said.

      The Justice Department, which is investigating the Deepwater contract, has told the contractors not to destroy certain documents, and the companies have said they are cooperating.

      The 25-year, $24 billion Deepwater program will modernize 91 cutters, 195 aircraft, computer and communication equipment, and integrated logistics capabilities.

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      Coast Guard takes delivery of first National Security Cutter
      Forbes, NY - May 8, 2008
      By DAN CATERINICCHIA 05.08.08, 4:49 PM ET After repeated delays and cost overruns, the Coast Guard on Thursday accepted the first in a series of massive ...
      Northrop Grumman Transfers First Cutter To Coast Guard
      WLOX, MS - May 8, 2008
      PASCAGOULA (WLOX) -- The military's newest security vessel was transferred from Northrop Grumman to the US Coast Guard Thursday. Hundreds of people climbed ...
      Photo Release -- First Northrop Grumman-Built National Security ...
      Primenewswire (press release), CA - May 8, 2008
      PASCAGOULA, Miss., May 8, 2008 (PRIME NEWSWIRE) -- Today the US Coast Guard accepted delivery of the first Northrop Grumman Corporation-built (NYSE:NOC) ...
      Deepwater cutter gets training assignment
      Washington Technology, DC - May 8, 2008
      By Alice Lipowicz The Coast Guard is expected to accept delivery today of the Bertholf, the first National Security Cutter produced under the $24 billion ...
      Coast Guard accepts first-in-class National Security cutter
      Biloxi Sun Herald,  USA - May 8, 2008
      The US Coast Guard signed documents today signaling the preliminary acceptance of its first National Security cutter, the Bertholf. ...
      Guard welcomes Bertholf
      Biloxi Sun Herald,  USA - May 8, 2008
      By LEIGH COLEMAN The US Coast Guard accepted delivery of the first Northrop Grumman Corp. National Security Cutter, Bertholf (WMSL 750), at a ceremony ...
      US Coast Guard Accepts Delivery of First National Security Cutter ...
      CNNMoney.com (press release) - May 8, 2008
      MOORESTOWN, NJ, May 8 /PRNewswire/ -- The US Coast Guard today accepted delivery of the first National Security Cutter, USCGC Bertholf (WMSL 750), ...