Proceedings Of The Marine

FALL 2014

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.

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52 Proceedings Fall 2014 www.uscg.mil/proceedings provide the most cost-effective service to the American pub- lic. For example: ■ The Coast Guard's SAR planning tool, the Search and Rescue Optimization Planning System (SAROPS), will soon be able to create patterns that account for robust sensor and detection capabilities on response assets, to help crews fnd victims more effectively and effciently. ■ The Rescue 21 system, a VHF radio distress safety net for mariners, will be expanded and recapitalized to main- tain maritime domain awareness, distress monitoring, and communications at least 20 miles off the coast. ■ Faster and more capable SAR response assets will create fexibility for the Coast Guard to re-evaluate its station infrastructure footprint, while providing SAR coverage more effciently. ■ Unmanned aerial systems are already being incorpo- rated into offshore law enforcement operations, and this type of asset may end up being a game-changer for SAR concepts of operation as well. Even with these improvements, some challenges will remain. For example, larger conveyances are moving more people on the sea, more underwater commercial drilling activities are expected in the offshore energy sector, and new commercial and recreation sub-sur- face activities may gain popularity. In the Arctic, new opportunities are opening and have already increased commercial and recreational maritime transits. Populations are shifting toward the water too. As more people gather near coastal regions, rivers, lakes, and popular bay/port cities, maritime traffc increases the potential for SAR cases. Similarly, the consequences imposed by natural disasters, such as hurricanes or fooding, tend to be exacerbated in these more densely populated areas.. The Coast Guard is responsible for organizing search and rescue (SAR) facilities and operations across all navigable waters subject to U.S. jurisdiction and international waters stretching far into the Atlantic and Pacifc Oceans and the Gulf of Mexico. Coordinating SAR operations across such a vast area of responsibility is an enormous task and, when coupled with an inherently dynamic maritime environment, the Coast Guard is constantly challenged to sustain mission excel- lence. Looking forward, the public will expect the Coast Guard to not merely maintain current levels of service, but also to improve SAR effectiveness. On the Horizon During the next 10 to 20 years, we will see exciting oppor- tunities to refine existing capabilities and leverage new technologies to improve SAR operational effectiveness and Future SAR Evolving search and rescue improvements. by LCDR JaMes o'Mara U.S. Coast Guard Offce of Performance Management and Assessment Ensuring Long-Term Success A Sector New York command center watch stander answers calls during Hurricane Sandy to coordinate search and rescue cases. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Offcer Erik Swanson.

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