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Highlights

As part of its more than $24 billion Deepwater program to replace aging vessels and aircraft with new or upgraded assets, the Coast Guard is preparing the National Security Cutter (NSC) for service. GAO previously reported on Deepwater assets' deployment delays and the Coast Guard's management of the Deepwater program. GAO was legislatively directed to continue its oversight of the Deepwater program. As a result, this report addresses: (1) the operational effects, if any, of delays in the delivery of the NSC and its support assets of unmanned aircraft and small boats; (2) Coast Guard plans for mitigating any operational effects and any associated costs of these plans; and (3) the extent to which the Coast Guard has plans, to include cost estimates, for phasing in logistics support of the NSC while phasing out support for the High Endurance Cutter (HEC) it is replacing. GAO's work is based on analyses of the (1) operational capabilities and maintenance plans of the NSC and its support assets and (2) data on the HECs' condition; comparison of an NSC and HEC; and, interviews with Coast Guard officials.

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Recommendations

Recommendations for Executive Action

Agency Affected Recommendation Status
United States Coast Guard To meet Major Systems Acquisition Manual (MSAM) requirements and aid the Coast Guard in making operational decisions, the Commandant of the Coast Guard should ensure that as the Coast Guard finalizes the Integrated Logistics Support Plan for the NSC, that the plan includes the required logistics support documents to be used and the time frames for completing them.
Closed - Implemented
We found that while the Coast Guard had developed an interim National Security Cutter (NSC) logistics support plan, it did not commit to including required logistics support documents to be used or time frames for completing them in the Integrated Logistics Support Plan (ILSP) required by Coast Guard acquisition guidance. As a result, we recommended that as the Coast Guard finalized the ILSP, it should ensure that the plan includes the necessary documents and associated completion timeframes. The Coast Guard sent the NSC-ILSP to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for approval in December 2011. Then, according to documentation provided by the Coast Guard liaison, DHS approved the NSC ILSP in August 2013. Our review of the ILSP found that it generally identified completed logistics documents for each of the ten logistics areas required by Coast Guard acquisition guidance. As a result, we believe the Coast Guard has met the intent of our recommendation and consider this recommendation to be closed as implemented.

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