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Coast Guard celebrates NAIS full operational capability milestone



Rear Adm. Haycock presents Jewuan Davis, program manager for the Nationwide Automatic Identification System (NAIS) program (CG-9332), with a commemorative plaque during the July 26, 2018, NAIS full operational capability (FOC) ceremony. From left: Rear Adm. Michael Johnston, director of acquisition programs and program executive officer (CG-93); Davis; and Rear Adm. Michael Haycock, assistant commandant for acquisition and chief acquisition officer (CG-9). U.S. Coast Guard photo by Jessica Sweet.

The Coast Guard’s Nationwide Automatic Identification System (NAIS) achieved full operational capability (FOC) on May 24, 2018.

Jewuan Davis, program manager for the NAIS program (CG-9332), explained that FOC was achieved when the capability had been “deployed and accepted at the 58 critical ports and 11 waterways identified in the NAIS Operational Requirements document.” Currently, permanent transceiver systems are deployed and fully operational at 134 total regional sites, providing operational coverage of the 58 critical ports and 11 waterways. On a daily basis, NAIS receives an average of over 264 million vessel messages and provides data feeds to over 80 Coast Guard and other government agency systems worldwide.

The milestone was recognized during a ceremony at Coast Guard Headquarters on July 26, 2018. In attendance were Rear Adm. Michael Ryan (CG-7), Rear Adm. Michael Johnston (CG-93) and Rear Adm. Michael Haycock (CG-9). During the ceremony, the flag officers shared real stories of how NAIS was used to enhance maritime domain awareness (MDA) across the Coast Guard.

The NAIS acquisition stemmed from the Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002 which directed requirements to establish a system of effective maritime domain awareness and security for every port act of 2006. MDA is defined as the effective understanding of anything associated with the maritime domain that could impact the security, safety, economy or environment. “The Coast Guard is the lead federal agency for maritime security, maritime safety, maritime mobility, national defense in U.S. coastal waters and protection of natural resources in U.S. coastal waters,” said Davis, “NAIS is critical to the Coast Guard’s ability to fulfill its responsibilities in those areas.”

NAIS enables the Coast Guard to maintain MDA by providing a comprehensive view of the nation’s waters. As a result, decision makers are better positioned to respond to safety and security risks; improve the safety of vessels and ports through collision avoidance; and strengthen national security through the detection, identification, and classification of potential threats from offshore.

The NAIS program started in 2004. Reflecting on the process 14 years later, Davis said, “A lot of detailed planning, interagency coordination, and hard work was invested into the successful completion of this milestone and full delivery of this capability to the Coast Guard’s operational users.” There are many contributors to thank for the success including the entire NAIS Program Management Office team and previous program managers and team members who put hard work and diligence into the early stages of developing NAIS. Davis extends a special thanks to the Office of Command, Control, Communications, Computer and Sensors Capabilities (CG-761); Sustainment Manager (CG-681); NAIS product line team at Command, Control, and Communications Engineering Center and all operational users for “helping us continually improve and refine the tool into the critical asset it is today.”

The next major milestone for the NAIS acquisition program will be the completion of acquisition decision event 4, acquisition gate review and transition of management responsibility for NAIS from acquisitions to the sustainment community, scheduled to occur in the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2018. After that point, the sustainment community will assume responsibility for the continued maintenance of NAIS and managing technical refreshes of the capability to keep the system up to date.

For more information: Nationwide Automatic Identification System program page