S&T helps assess USCG National Security Cutters

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) has participated with the US Navy and the US Coast Guard (USCG) in several tests and evaluations of two National Security Cutters (NSC) to assess their operational capability.

USCGC Hamilton; Photo: US Coast Guard

The cutters in question are USCGC Hamilton (WMSL 753) and USCGC James (WMSL 754).

“In a collaborative effort, S&T partnered with testers from the Coast Guard and the Navy to evaluate the cutters’ varied mission capabilities,” Greg Simmons, S&T Office of Test and Evaluation Deputy Director for National Preparedness Programs, said.

In this case, S&T worked with the US Navy, Commander Operational Test and Evaluation Forces, which supplied subject matter experts and operational research analysts aboard each cutter to collect and record data required to assess the mission impacts of any discovered deficiencies. As explained, this process is key to determining if the cutter is operationally mission effective, suitable, and resilient in a cyber contested environment.

Events consisted of more than two weeks of at-sea testing with the Coast Guard and US Navy fleets off the coasts of Virginia and North Carolina.

The team evaluated a host of cutter systems to include the newly integrated command and control systems, two cutter boats, 57-mm deck gun, and the Close-In Weapons System.

S&T and Navy testers, with augmentation from Department of Energy Sandia National Laboratories, also conducted an in-depth cybersecurity assessment of the cutter Hamilton.

NSC capabilities were on display over the past year as cutters Hamilton and James supported critical relief efforts in Puerto Rico during Hurricane Maria in 2017, providing port security, search and rescue, and damage assessments.

“S&T provided critical, unbiased assessment of mission capabilities, in collaboration with the USCG and the Department of Defense, in a great example of S&T’s commitment to ensure homeland security end users receive the equipment needed to carry out their missions,” S&T said in a statement.