Thad Allen, Commandant USCG - A Conversation On The Digital Age Of Shipping

<p>The Digital Age - A conversation with Admiral Thad Allen,</p>
<p>Last week I had the opportunity to sit down with Admiral Thad Allen, Commandant of the United States Coast Guard, and we discussed a wide range of topics from the state of the US Fl… Click HERE to read the full blog article.

Overall I like where the Admiral is going with the following exceptions (correct me if I’m wrong about my interpretations):

what I try to do is compare and contrast the aviation community with the sea-going community.

Means he wants to take power away from pilots and give it to vts.

The days of wipers, oilers and engineering officers making rounds is rapidly disappearing. For example, I’ve made the comment that our new national security cutter, the Bertholf, is really a computer with a ship attached.

Means he values computing more than the mariner.

The Homeport website has served us very well but it needs to continue evolving as we move data off the firewall and make it accessible to everybody.

If he thinks homeport is good, I’m scared to see what’s next!

Admiral Allen totally missed where the questions were coming from. gCaptain was asking questions from the mariners’ standpoint, and the Admiral answered them from the internal Coast Guard perspective.
gCaptain asked several questions that should have led to a discussion of the future role of technology in eNavigation (e.g., automatic vessel interaction with VTS, providing services to the mariner electronically and voicelessly) but the Admiral’s answers discussed intra-Coast Guard command, control and communications and used “security concerns” as an excuse for lack of progress.
Until Admiral Allen understands the difference between internal coordination and external provision of services, there will continue to be a disconnect between the mariners who are supposed to be served and the Coast Guard. Homeport is a perfect example of this, as is the continuing belief inside the Coast Guard that AIS is a security system for vessel tracking, rather than a safety system that should be used to help mariners.

I just don’t see where aviation is aligned well with maritime operations. What works well for one is not usually appropriate for the other.