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Coast Guard: Observations on the Genesis and Progress of the Service’s Modernization Program
Stephen L. Caldwell (au)
The U.S. Coast Guard is currently undertaking a major effort to update its command structure, support systems, and business practices. This effort, referred to as the modernization program, is intended to better position the service to fulfill not only traditional missions -- such as ensuring the safety and security of commercial shipping, safeguarding U.S. fisheries, interdicting the smuggling of illicit drugs, and conducting search and rescue operations -- but also homeland security responsibilities that expanded after September 11, 2001 (9/11). The modernization program is specifically focused on modifying the Coast Guard's command and control structure -- including the establishment of four new organizational entities -- as well as updating mission support systems, such as maintenance, logistics, financial management, human resources, acquisitions, and information technology. The proposed changes will have a major impact on a variety of functions servicewide, including management of Deepwater -- the long-term, multibillion-dollar program to upgrade the Coast Guard's aging fleet of water vessels and aircraft. This GAO report assesses the Coast Guard's modernization program by answering the following primary research questions: (1) What is the genesis for the Coast Guard's modernization program? (2) To what extent has the Coast Guard conducted efforts to monitor the progress of its modernization program and evaluate the results? Tables and figures.
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