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Coast Guard NAIS transitions to sustainment


The Nationwide Automatic Identification System (NAIS) transitioned to sustainment on Aug. 26, 2018. NAIS provides the Coast Guard with a comprehensive view of AIS-carrying maritime traffic in U.S. waters. U.S. Coast Guard graphic.

The Nationwide Automatic Identification System (NAIS) transitioned to sustainment Aug. 26 2018, completing a 14-year process that enhances the Coast Guard’s maritime domain awareness (MDA) of vessels operating in or approaching the nation’s waterways, ports, and infrastructure.

NAIS reached full operational capability on May 24, 2018, at a total acquisition cost of $110 million. Despite the complexity of this major acquisition, the NAIS program diligently deployed equipment on time and under budget to 134 sites across 37 sectors.

The NAIS program was chartered in December 2004 to meet requirements under the Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002 to collect, integrate and analyze information regarding vessels operating in or bound for U.S. waters. The acquisition consisted of three increments. Increment one established the shore-based capability to receive AIS messages at 58 critical ports and 11 waterways using existing government infrastructure in coordination with the roll-out of Rescue 21. Increment two implemented transceiver capability to transmit and receive data up to 24 nautical miles and receive data up to 50 nautical miles. Increment three combined permanent transceivers with satellite coverage to observe maritime traffic up to 2,000 nautical miles from the coast.

NAIS is a critical capability, enabling the Coast Guard to develop and maintain MDA in U.S. waterways through the use of land, sea, and space based AIS radio frequency infrastructure that has the capacity to receive and transmit information to and from AIS equipped vessels in U.S. coastal waters and ports.

On average, NAIS receives approximately 120 million messages per day and provides data feeds to over 80 Coast Guard and other government agency systems. Additionally, NAIS enables Coast Guard to track vessel names, positions, courses and speeds in real time; track federal, state and local government responder vessels using sensitive but unclassified tactical information exchange and display system messages and encrypted Blue Force Tracking data; issue commands to vessels; and provide historical information for use to augment incident investigations.

Additional government agencies utilizing NAIS data include Immigration and Customs Enforcement, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Customs and Border Protection, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Defense, Internal Revenue Service, and the Department of Transportation. NAIS positions decision makers in each agency to respond to safety and security risks and strengthen national security through the detection, identification and classification of potential threats from offshore.

Moving forward, the Office of C5I Program Management (CG-68) will act as the sustainment manager and will be responsible for overall system operations and maintenance of NAIS. The NAIS support agent – the Command, Control, and Communications Engineering Center (C3CEN) – will be the owner of the NAIS Sustainment Product Line. Hardware and software will be supported and maintained by the Operations Systems Center (OSC), which is also where the NAIS enterprise environments are hosted.

Additionally, two contracts are in place to provide corrective maintenance as well as engineering support services for information assurance, system administration, groom processes and detailed troubleshooting requirements.

For More Information: Nationwide Automatic Identification System program page