Simply passing the
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
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.
From: Don Hale
To: Phelps Hobart
Sent: Sunday, May 11,
2008 10:19 PM
Subject: Fwd: FYI Bertholf
Coast Guard takes delivery of first National
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,
Now that the
Bertholf has been accepted, the agency will run operational trials for up to 24
"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
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
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.
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
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
"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
Northrop Grumman builds
the ships while Lockheed Martin provides communications equipment and other
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
The 25-year, $24
billion Deepwater program will modernize 91 cutters, 195 aircraft, computer and
communication equipment, and integrated logistics
Deepwater cutter gets training
Technology, DC - May 8, 2008
Alice Lipowicz The Coast Guard is expected to accept delivery today
of the Bertholf, the first National Security Cutter produced under
the $24 billion ...
Guard welcomes BertholfBiloxi 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