The Coast Guard's Deepwater program is a 25-year, $24 billion plan to replace or modernize its fleet of vessels and aircraft. While there is widespread acknowledgment that many of the Coast Guard's aging assets need replacement or renovation, concerns exist about the acquisition approach the Coast Guard adopted in launching the Deepwater program. From the outset, GAO has expressed concern about the risks involved with the Coast Guard's acquisition strategy, and continues to review Deepwater program management. This statement discusses (1) the Coast Guard's acquisition approach for the Deepwater program; (2) previous GAO recommendations to the Coast Guard on Deepwater, highlighting the importance of Integrated Product Teams; and (3) operational challenges the Coast Guard is facing because of performance and design problems with Deepwater patrol boats.
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