2020 State of the US Coast Guard Address

The Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard outlined the vision for the service and highlighted the accomplishments of its people during the 2020 State of the Coast Guard Address in Charleston, South Carolina, in February.

During his annual address, Adm. Karl Schultz reflected on the organization’s successes over the past year and the fiscal year 2021 president’s budget request. He also outlined plans to expand the Coast Guard’s footprint in the Charleston area by homeporting five National Security Cutters and potentially becoming a future home of the service’s Offshore Patrol Cutter, currently under construction.

Adm. Schultz shared his vision for talent management in the service. Specifically, he outlined several personnel initiatives to recruit and retain a highly skilled workforce. This includes a Coast Guard under-represented minority study to better understand recruiting and retention dynamics and a Coast Guard Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan to foster a more inclusive culture. He announced a workforce readiness website, called “My Coast Guard,” delegated meritorious advancement authority to field commanders, and expanded the enlisted Marine Inspector Training Program.

The Coast Guard’s enduring and specialized role in the Indo-Pacific was also highlighted. The service will expand its permanent presence in the region through expeditionary capability, work with its partner nations to address the security challenges in the region, and build capacity and capability.

The Commandant rolled out the service’s “Tech Revolution” road map, a detailed plan to update the Coast Guard’s 1990s-era hardware, software and analytics. He also described the need to strengthen service innovation initiatives and accelerate implementation of the best ideas service wide to field commanders. These include the marine inspector mobility application INSPECT, partnering with Global Fish Watch to combat illegal fishing, linking to the DoD’s Defense Innovation Unit in Silicon Valley, and the establishment of the Blue Technology Center of Expertise at the University of California San Diego.

Other initiatives discussed were the Coast Guard’s Cyber Strategy, improving cutter connectivity, and modernizing the Coast Guard Auxiliary’s information technology capabilities.

To read the entire speech go to www.uscg.mil/AlwaysReady.

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