Proceedings magazine is a communication tool for the Coast Guard's Marine Safety & Security Council. Each quarterly magazine focuses on a specific theme of interest to the marine industry.
Issue link: http://uscgproceedings.epubxp.com/i/617100
6 Proceedings Winter 2015–2016 www.uscg.mil/proceedings leaders subsequently formed the Investigations National Center of Expertise (INV-NCOE) in New Orleans, Louisiana. These two units were stood up along with four other NCOEs in an effort to foster superb service delivery within the broader U.S. Coast Guard marine safety regime. In their initial years of operation, these two units functioned under the direction of the U.S. Coast Guard Force Readiness Com- mand and the U.S. Coast Guard Traveling Inspection staff. However, given their technical skills and high demand in feld operations, both units were subsequently placed under the direction of the Offce of Coast Guard Investigations and Casualty Analysis in 2013. This change allowed for optimal alignment from the top of the organization down to feld- level investigators. The S&R NCOE focuses primarily upon improving the sus- pension and revocation process, ensuring that investigators have access to legal support and that U.S. Coast Guard reme- dial actions are frmly established in legal prec- edent while also supporting the organiza- tion's overall goal of promoting safety. The INV-NCOE maintains technical systems support and lends vessel-specifc opera- tional expertise to marine casualty inves- tigators, providing critical support during major investigations. Both units play a support/ advisory role with local unit investigators, but they also execute mission functions independently. The personnel assigned to these units possess a wealth of expertise ranging from extensive Coast Guard inspections/investigations and marine industry experience to broad legal training. The units' initial years of operation have demonstrated benefts such as: • operational excellence, • improved investigator skills, • enhanced working relationships with external partners. In early 1994, the U.S. Coast Guard formed a marine safety investigation quality action team to analyze marine casu- alty investigation and enforcement program effciency and explore improvement methods. In 1995, the team fnished its report, which contained 57 improvement recommendations. While many of these changes were immediately instituted, others were longer-term goals. One such recommendation was to create a "center of excellence" to provide investigation expertise and create a valuable force-multiplying resource for investigators. National Centers of Expertise (NCOEs) had long been a goal of the USCG prevention program, and that goal was fnally realized in 2009 as part of the comprehensive Marine Safety Enhancement Plan. The Suspension and Revocation National Center of Expertise (S&R NCOE) in Martinsburg, West Virginia, was one of the frst six NCOEs established (and the frst investigation-related NCOE), and Coast Guard National Centers of Expertise Critical force multipliers. by LCDR RanDy WaDDington Chief, Investigations Division U.S. Coast Guard Offce of Investigations and Casualty Analysis Overview The national centers of expertise: the Cruise Ship NCOE, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida; the Towing Vessel NCOE, Paducah, Kentucky; the Outer Continental Shelf NCOE, Houma, Louisiana; the Investigations NCOE, New Orleans, Louisiana; the Liquefed Gas Carrier NCOE, Port Arthur, Texas; and the Suspension and Revocation NCOE, Martinsburg, West Virginia. Rufus Young / iStock / Thinkstock