Sept. 12, 2019 —
Rear Adm. Douglas Schofield, (center), program executive officer and director of acquisition programs, presided over a ceremony on Sept. 11 celebrating the opening of the Coast Guard’s polar security cutter (PSC) project resident office (PRO) at VT Halter Marine, Inc. in Pascagoula, Mississippi. The PRO manages PSC production on site for the Coast Guard. Photo courtesy of Samantha Crane.
The Coast Guard on Sept. 11 celebrated the opening of the polar security cutter (PSC) project resident office (PRO) at VT Halter Marine, Inc. in Pascagoula, Mississippi.
The PRO’s establishment at the contractor’s shipyard marks another major milestone for the PSC Integrated Program Office (IPO), which is staffed by both Coast Guard and Navy personnel.
The Coast Guard established the PSC PRO in April 2019 at the service’s headquarters in Washington, D.C., prior to the contract award, to lay the ground work for a new unit and ensure an efficient transition of acquisition personnel to the shipyard facilities.
The PRO manages PSC production on site for the Coast Guard and is staffed by Coast Guard personnel. The PRO monitors budget, schedule and contract performance to ensure successful program execution. Having Coast Guard personnel work alongside shipyard personnel during production facilitates communication and allows for more effective program management. A recognized best acquisition practice, the Coast Guard has established an on-site PRO for each major cutter acquisition program.
Commanding Officer of the PSC PRO Capt. Tim Newton said that the PRO combines “the expertise of the Coast Guard, Navy and industry to deliver a heavy icebreaking capability in direct support to our national priorities.”
PSCs enable the U.S. to maintain defense readiness in the Arctic and Antarctic regions; enforce treaties and other laws needed to safeguard both industry and the environment; provide ports, waterways and coastal security; and provide logistical support – including vessel escort – to facilitate the movement of goods and personnel necessary to support scientific research, commerce, national security activities and maritime safety.
“The United States is an Arctic nation, and the Coast Guard’s responsibilities are increasing at both poles as a result of environmental and economic trends - as well as competition from other countries,” Newton said. “The U.S. must be present to compete, and the polar security cutter is that presence.”
The Coast Guard needs six new PSCs to ensure national year-round access to the polar regions and to provide self-rescue capability. Construction on the first PSC is planned to begin in 2021 with delivery planned for 2024. The contract includes financial incentives for earlier delivery
The PSC IPO was recognized in July 2019 by the Department of Homeland Security as the Major Acquisition Program of the Year for fiscal year 2018.
For more information: Polar Security Cutter Program page