Call it a victory of the Old Schoolers, but the US Coast Guard has pulled the plug on a program that pulls some shit hot Coasties from their service and gives ‘em a shot at becoming a frogman.

In a story to run tomorrow morning on Military.com, the service says Commandant ADM Robert Papp reversed the policy of his predecessor Thad Allen and ordered a “study” of whether the prorgram was “worth the investment”…

“With budgets being strained, we were getting a lot of questions about why we’re doing this program … [and] why we’re investing our funds in this,” said Coast Guard spokesman, Lt. Patrick Montgomery.

Montgomery said the review is intended to “provide a business case” for whether the program is worth the investment to the Coast Guard overall.

But officials were unable to provide cost figures for the program, which is only two years old and has funneled a grand total of six Coasties into BUDS (three have made the cut and two are still in the pipeline). Doesn’t seem like a huge unvestment to me, even in a service with a 50,000 end strength and a budget of around $10 billion. A total of 35 Coastguardmen tried out for the SEAL slots over two years.

Though officials only hinted at it, the scuttling of the Coastie-to-SEAL program likely has more to do with tradition-bound old-schoolers who see the post-9/11 AT/CT mission of the Coast Guard as an intrusion on its raison d’etre: coastal law enforcement, rescue and waterway security.

Occording to senior dudes who were there during the debates, the Coastie/SEAL exchange program took a lot of arm twisting to put into place and its demise is not surprising. Officials reiterate the program is suspended pending the results of the study to be completed in October. But I have my doubts.

I know it’s not a typical Kit Up! piece, but I surely thought the operators among you might want to know what’s up.

{ 60 comments… read them below or add one }

FormerSFMedic May 19, 2011 at 2:43 pm

Wow! I'm surprised and not surprised. When I heard about this program last year, I was all for it. I still am. To hear that some are trying to shut it down is a travesty. Just getting to selection for any special ops program is tough. This program allowed Coasties to follow their dream of becoming a SEAL. Think about a recruit that decides to join the Coast Guard because he didn't feel he wanted to travel all over the world. While he is in he becomes motivated to do something more. With this program the recruit can be a SEAL if he makes it, and if he doesn't, he can go back to the coast guard where he wants to be. What about all the Coasties that were looking forward to becoming a SEAL, or even worse all the civilians that were going to join to do so.
I'm sure there aren't many, but damn this is a good program. I don't really know what to say. It sounds like politics is playing a huge role in this, and that is BS! I mean 6 have made it, come on! How much did that cost in the grand scheme of things. Iam disappointed!!!

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USCG Capt. May 19, 2011 at 4:48 pm

Wow, how about Coasties that dream of playing with unicorns and swimming with mermaids? How about their dreams and aspirations?

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Guest May 19, 2011 at 2:57 pm

Typical inter service territorial pissing. What bothers me the most is this effort to tear away the new CT capabilities gained by the Coast Guard post-9/11, in favor of "traditional" roles of law enforcement and rescue. While the latter two are certainly a core role of the USCG, I see absolutely no reason why they shouldn't have a decent warfighting ability. Before the end of the Vietnam war the USCG was equipped with heavily armed ships that could easily back up a Navy force in a shooting war.
Before the 1990s the USCG has anit-sub and anti-ship missiles mounted on their ships. If anything, the rearming of the Coast Guard in the last decade was just a minor regaining of lost teeth.

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Guest May 19, 2011 at 2:57 pm

PT2
I hate the new commandant. First he tried to tear the heart out of the CG's brand new MSST counter terror force by disbanding more than half of the units, now he wants to revert us back to the mediocre, "policeman on water" role we had in the 90s. We ARE a branch of the military. We are, or at least were, "big boys". We can handle a minor counter terror role.
If anything the Navy is intruding on Coast Guard duties with the LCS, but I'm not going to point fingers at our friends in the blue-water service.

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Do it Yourself May 19, 2011 at 4:07 pm

When LAPD SWAT first stood up in the 60s, a bunch of guys just went to the desert and built shoot houses and kept on practicing, trial and error. On their own dime at first.

They couldn't go to any special schools, there was no funding. In 1984, Delta/ST6 requested to learn from them.

Just do it yourself, fellas.

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Deacon May 19, 2011 at 4:16 pm

Wow. Because who would want a force of competent warriors protecting the shore of our homeland?

How much could it really cost? They should take those six guys and have them start their own program within the Coast Guard with some senior NCOs.

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CTI May 19, 2011 at 4:20 pm

6 guys is enough to start their own program.

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master chief May 19, 2011 at 4:30 pm

there's a problem when people get all too special-forcey, that they miss the point of their jobs. many local cops are gobbling up all sorts of special gear and weapons, when most of their work involves dealing w/ societal problems, not really requiring swat tactics. i think the same is happening here. stay in your sea lane, train for boarding or breaching, but don't get too special-forcey on us. you got helos, small planes and awacs for drug/human traffickers, radar etc etc. there's really not a whole lot of reason to get all special-forcey for homeland security type scenarios, it's border security on water for chrissakes, you don't hear Border Patrol asking for SF training.

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FormerSFMedic May 19, 2011 at 5:15 pm

Border Patrol has been training with Special Operations units for years now. The role of LEOs is changing drastically in the post 9-11 US. You are entitled to your opinion, but no matter what you think, military Special Operations units are training local,state,and federal LEOs all over the country. Police need the advanced tactical training for the operations they may be called upon to do. If anything, a more highly trained officer or soldier will be better at his normal duties than he would without SF type training. The Coast Guard/SEAL program is an outstanding idea, and only makes the USCG more capable.
Just as a side note, I think there is some confusion on the role of the 6 that made it. Once they finish SEAL training, they will not go back to their units. They will be integrated into a SEAL team. I think some people thought that they would go back to the USCG. These sailors will only go back if they decide to resign from the SEALs or fail SEAL training. Oh and by the way, no one wants to be "Special-Force". That might be the worst term I have ever heard! :$

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FormerSFMedic May 19, 2011 at 5:18 pm
PO2 June 11, 2013 at 12:42 pm

too special-forcey. ???? Have you ever been to Columbia? You ever boarded a ship in the Bering staffed by a crew of ex spetznaz? You ever get a distress call from a ship boarded by pirates in south east asia? These are situations that even the best SF out there would be hard pressed to come out of unharmed. We should get the proper training period

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Whocares September 12, 2013 at 7:16 am

BP trains extensively with SF from many branches. SOG is mostly run by SF guys. Mcgregor range!

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TSA Scrnr(SoGhtto) May 19, 2011 at 4:43 pm

THAT'S AN IDEA, BORDER PATROL AND TSA SHOULD TRAIN WITH SF.

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master chief May 19, 2011 at 5:20 pm

@SF Medic,

i can understand cross training, but border patrol or tsa don't go thru robin sage or attach w/ them. they train tactics and other lessons learned, not become them. i can also understand being more tactical in mind and body, but what i'm talking about are jokers getting all special-forcey, that they become the butt of the joke by their colleagues and the public they serve. those people are multiplying like rabbits. and the death of ubl and the media blitz ain't helping either.

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Deacon May 19, 2011 at 7:06 pm

Chief: I fail to see what you are getting at. Police forces jump at any chance they get to train/get insight from any kind of outside agency that they can, especially when it is coming fro a federal organization or funded by the government. A vast majority of new recruits in larger LE agencies are veterans; the military attitude and training has already been put into their minds. Border Patrol has a very interesting AO and it is HIGHLY unlikely you will get hired on to them if you don't have military experience. And they do have air capability, including drones.

As for the "gobbling" of resources… no.

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Johnny Quest May 19, 2011 at 7:26 pm

It is difficult for me to give any cred to a guy that uses a term like "special-forcey". Sounds kinda………..gay?

Sending a few guys to BUDS and beyond is a good thing for the USCG. Times have changed, and there should be an element like that within the Guard.

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Stoopyd Ideya May 19, 2011 at 7:29 pm

Yeah, we should all play Live Action Role playing games where we all pretend we're SF and SEALs.

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CO2 Dovey May 19, 2011 at 7:56 pm

It was a waste of money. Breaching, boarding, assaulting, any USCG unit can interface with its local PD or Harbor colleagues and play SWAT, gives them an excuse to work together. Or interface with DEA, HRT, OGA, etc. using the fusion channels. There's no need for fancy SEAL training. Waste of money and resources.

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Admiral Stinky May 19, 2011 at 8:53 pm

Good riddance! this program was generating too many wanna-bes who didn't want to do their jobs because they wanted to "work out". The 10 yrs i've been in the CG I never had to board an oil tanker like the SEALs. Yes, we do have SWAT trained shipmates, but they never had SEAL missions in the CG.

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TSI Rick May 19, 2011 at 9:09 pm

EOD school/training would actually make more sense than SEAL. IMHO.

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Tyler M Farley May 20, 2011 at 4:28 am

While I am disappointed that the program is being shut down for those hopeful Coasties and future USCG, it makes sense the way the program is currently structure that it is not beneficial to the entirety of the Coast Guard, but rather the individuals. From what I have read and researched those who made it through stay with Seal units and just get paid on the USCG Budget without actually directly serving them. If the program was, as many think, that they train and come back to teach and develop that would be fine and dandy. However, as is the program merely pumps money into something that does not actively or even indirectly help the USCG.

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Riceball May 20, 2011 at 7:20 am

First off, it's SEALs with all caps since it's an acronym standing for Sea Air & Land. A Seal is a marine mammal that is one of the favorite foods of large great white sharks.

Aside from that, I agree with you. As it was the program made little sense and was of little to no benefit for the Coast Guard. If the program had continued, how many of these Coastie SEALs would have returned to the CG after their 7 years instead of staying on becoming a NAVY SEAL? My guess would be that unless there was some kind or prejudice in the promotion boards that would discriminate against a Coastie turned Navy SEAL I doubt that many would go back to the CG.

The way the program should work is that once the Coastie succesfully completes BUDs and subsequent follow on training they spend only a couple of years or so with an active SEAL team for some real world hands on experience before returning to the Coast Guard to pass on what they've learned. Something more along the lines of a Joint assignment than some kind of lateral move into the Navy.

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clowe May 20, 2011 at 6:36 am

Hey folks…

One thing that I left out of the post above is the timeline for a coastie who becomes a SEAL. The way the program is set up, the coastie will serve in the Navy as a SEAL for seven years…then have the option of returning to the USCG or staying in the USN. I THINK that if he opts for the latter, he has to become a sailor and won't be on the USCG's dime any longer. The INTENT was for him to do the former and bring some of that NSW experience back into the Deployable Operations Group units.

Be sure to read the entire story at Military.com and also be sure to look at the link in the post above that refers back to the story I wrote about this in 2009 — it provides a lot of logistical background…

Thanks for the discussion, though, guys — it's interesting to see the pros on cons here, whereas the commenters on Milcom are by far and away in favor of disbanding it…

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special-forcey guy May 20, 2011 at 10:04 pm

Master Chief,

You're an idiot. PLUS, it is that $*** stain ADM Papp and YOUR "that's-not-the-Coast-Guard-way" rigidity that makes our CG the laughing stock of other services, NOT the forward thinking visionaries like Adm. Allen, and those like him (and there is A LOT). You have NO IDEA the amount of support and praise that our sister services and Fed LE agencies have offered us. You have been in more than long enough to know how often other agencies JUMP at the chance to conduct a joint-op with us because of our broad 14 USC 1 AND 14 USC 2 authorities grant us, and can bring to their mission. There are COUNTLESS open source stories of joint ops with DEA or Customs or FBI, sending us on a vessel first to ISI and…low and behold…there's drugs on board this boat!…or the FBI has a warrant for your arrest!…I just happen to have an entire team of those agents on my boat, come on over guys!

Now imagine Tier 1 and Tier 2 JSOC units jumping to work with us because we now have the skill sets to work with them, and bring our abilities to THEIR operations. To quote you, "the point of their job" is to what? Protect our shores "from all threats foreign and domestic"…I believe I read that somewhere. Honestly, do you think these programs detract from our ability to do that…or ENHANCE our ability.

You're a dinosaur…and we all know what happened to them.

Semper P

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master chief May 20, 2011 at 10:11 pm

uscg is for domestic waters only. we are not part of dod, we were dot, now homeland. like i said we can definitely use your swat type training, but we don't need to become seals to do our jobs. we can continue doing what we are doing as stated w/out going the special forcey route. that's my point, shipmate. everyone wants to go on the tier 1 bandwagon, we have a job to do and we are good at it, w/out going the special forcey route.

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special-forcey guy May 20, 2011 at 10:36 pm

Really? I thought 14 USC 2 states "to enforce or assist in the enforcement of all federal laws on, over and under all waters subject to the jurisdiction of the United States for the detection, prevention and suppression of violations of US law."

So, if a HVT goes past the sea buoy, I guess my responsibility is to smile and wave?

Then there is SMTJ and a plethora of other jurisdictions granted to us, but you know what? You're right. I'll make sure to inform CONGRESS that the law is miswritten…it should read, "Coasties should stay in the shallow end."

Cmon, shipmate.

I remember when we were part of DoT. And I remember our gas station attendant uniforms, and having to fight tooth and nail with UNION PACIFIC to get our funding…how is that for being a laughing stock?

And that's what you want us to return to??

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Coastie w/theMostie May 20, 2011 at 10:27 pm

I agree w/ master chief.

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CT1 Jones May 20, 2011 at 10:33 pm

Sorry but until CT and COIN becomes part of USCG missions, I just don't buy the SEAL training. USCG can train SWAT and other LE tactics w/ their LE counterparts, but to train w/ SEALs, now Tier 1, you gotta be kidding me. Grow up. Stop dreaming and stick to what you signed up for, otherwise leave and join the Navy or Army.

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CT1 Jones May 20, 2011 at 10:39 pm

When JSOC goes on a mission they don't really play with others, special-forcey guy. They just don't, that's why they are Tier 1. They might ask for advise pre-mission or for training, but they aren't gonna go on missions with you just because you passed BUDS. SOCOM is independent and doesn't need to jointly do anything with the Coast Guard.

So if this is the sole reason you want SEAL training, so you can play with them in real world missions, not likely.

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master chief May 20, 2011 at 10:44 pm

1. it doesn't mean "shallow" end. 2. i know the coast guard has come a long way, but again, my point is we are not socom, we are uscg, with a clear mandate. don't worry about being a laughing stock or not, just do your job, the uscg missions are clearly mandated.

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Frank C.(USCG-ret) May 20, 2011 at 10:56 pm

Looks to me like the only arguments for the USCG/SEAL training is so some Coast Guards can live out their dreams of becoming SEALs and then to return to their USCG units, after a long absence and work side by side with SOCOM–and maybe eventually have a USCG-SOC unit, like the Marines MARSOC? Too far fetch for this taxpayer. I like my Coast Guards, like my Border Patrol, ICE and TSA, not too special.

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special-forcey guy May 20, 2011 at 11:06 pm

First, I could give two squirts about the SEAL program. I am talking bigger picture.

Uhhhh, CT is a CG mission, CT1. AND of the 7 mission profiles inherent to DoD SOF, guess what? 5 of them are inherent to the USCG and Coasties straight out of Cape May are and have been conducting them for YEARS. The USCG has been conducting FID missions since the 60's! Does DIAT and IMLET and IMLETT ring any bells? Do you think we DON'T train with SEALS and Tier 1 units? Think again.

WAKE UP. The CG has had its core missions re-prioritized. Of course we are still doing ALL of our mission profiles, but the CG has been tapped to refocus our abilities to LE and Homeland Defense, with SAR taking second stage. We were tapped to do this while being WAY behind the curve when it comes to training and current skills for a LOOOONG time. Before 9/11 our LE doctrine had not been revised since the 1970's.

There is no other organization in the ENTIRE FED GOV, with the USCG's mil and LE capabilities, and it SICKENS me that its COASTIES that are afraid to open those throttles.

And that is what I signed up for…after leaving the Marine Corps. I spent my entire CG career with the likes of "TACLET Tom," and Joe Rodriguez (RIP)….people with the constitution to roger up to that call.

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special-forcey guy May 20, 2011 at 11:19 pm

Frank,

The USCG has the Deployable Operations Group (DOG), which is the parent command of the CG's Deployable Specialized Forces (MSRT, MSST's, PSU's, Strike Teams, etc). This is the equivalent of the DOD's COCOM-SOC's, such as CENTSOC, SOUTHSOC, NORTHSOC and JSOC.

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Jonesy May 20, 2011 at 11:26 pm

Look I know everyone jumped on the Terrorism bandwagon because that's where the funding was or still is. FBI diverted (re-focused) to CT, and look how many Fed and local gov't corruption cases flared. CT is the flavor of the month, doesn't mean everyone should be doing it.

Where exactly is the USCG doing FID (by FID you mean Foreign Internal Defense right?) since the 60s? I understand the USCG has and will continue to work with other Fed agencies, but what we are discussing here is whether or not its wise for the USCG to take on an already pretty covered CT turf in a Special Ops capacity.

We don't have to jump in that bandwagon. Let's continue what we're doing, interdiction, investigation, prevention in our coasts. We can do all this without the SEAL training.

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special-forcey guy May 20, 2011 at 11:48 pm

Jonesy,

Completely valid, and I appreciate your position. But respectfully, terrorism isn't a "flavor of the month". It is here to stay, and their TTP's are HIGHLY adaptive.

Yes, FID does mean Foreign Internal Defense. Our actions on the littorals of Viet Nam in the 60's -70's was classified as FID. IMLET in the jungles of Colombia and Bolivia was classified as FID, because we weren't conducting our own operations in those countries…we were technically ASSISTING those nations with their own problems. Not to sound sarcastic, but genuinely, if you would like more examples, I can give more.

OR…just Google "JSOU BOWEN"

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special-forcey guy May 20, 2011 at 11:57 pm

or read "Not Your Fathers Coast Guard"

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Jonesy May 20, 2011 at 11:41 pm

* I think I know what you're talking about now, special-forcey. re: FID, training other countries' Coast Guards wasn't really what I imagined FID to be. But I get you, USCG goes abroad not just local. Still I don't see the need for a USCG-SOC, remember how much of fuss it was to stand-up a MARSOC? What happened, a MARSOC was finally stood up because they wanted a share of the multi-billion funding after 9/11.

If USCG is just doing it for the funding and glory, with UBL dead I really think the GWOT party or at least the unlimited sky is the limit funding is over, those days are coming to an end. I am not saying Terrorism is coming to an end, but the justification for overspending is finished. And I think USCG command see the writing on the wall.

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special-forcey guy May 21, 2011 at 12:29 am

Spot on about MARSOC! But we aren't MARSOC. We have a whole lot more abilities and capabilities that we bring to the table. MARSOC was purely a project to divert some of that GWOT money to the MC, but again, we can do things that no other mil service can do, AND we can also do things that no other LE group can do…especially at the level we can do it.

Sure one mil/le group might be able to to XXX that no other mil or le group can do, and another mil/le group might be able to do YYY, and another mil/le group might be able to do ZZZ But WE can do XXX, YYY, AND ZZZ…and do it damn good, because we are used to switching roles and putting on different hats, and determining whether to respond under Rules of Engagement, or CMDT's Use of Force Policy on the drop of a dime is our culture as Coasties! THAT is what sets us apart.

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SOF Junkie May 21, 2011 at 12:05 am

Read: "Shadows in the Jungle"

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special-forcey guy May 21, 2011 at 12:16 am

Sure. These times are tough, and $$ will get cut. Like I said, I have my own opinions on why the SEAL program is being cut, and I don't have an issue with that. My issue is, again, bigger picture. ADM Papp wants to shut down the MSRT and 5 of the 12 MSST's, and I think strategically, that is a BAD call. Also, I know first hand his motive for doing so, and its not about money. He is the person who coined the phrase, "not-the-Coast-Guard-way". Remember hearing all the different names the MSRT had in its infancy? "SRT-1(Special Response Team-1)", "E-MSST (Enhanced-MSST)", and finally settleing on "MSRT (Maritime Security Response Team)"? That all took place because Papp yelled and hollered that, "they WILL NOT be called SPECIAL!!" He told us that…to our faces.

If they need to make more cuts, I think that there are programs that can be cut that will not have such a negative effect on our long term capability to prevent and respond to terrorist activities. What is being said about CT (others that can do that mission) can be said about other missions, as well. ATON, for example. Why can't NOAA or MARAD, be given that mission…or better yet, privatize it?

And, true about training other nations countries, but we have done A LOT more than train other nations…A LOT more. We have been doing what you considered FID to be for just as long. There wasn't a lot of training going on in Viet Nam, and for a long time, there was a very operational aspect to ITD's missions. Read about the units that were the precursors to ITD….you'll see what I mean.

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Guest from page 1 May 21, 2011 at 12:17 pm

I totally agree. It's not so much the ending of this particular program that worries me. It's all this talk coming from Papp and others about "returning" the Coast Guard to it's "traditional" missions.

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special-forcey guy May 22, 2011 at 6:14 am

Absolutely.

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Grant Combs June 3, 2013 at 4:20 pm

YOU ARE ABSOLUTELY CORRECT!!! And very well said. In my opinion you've put MChief and some of the nay-sayers in their place. Papp is a buffoon and so are all the other "that's not our job" ilk. Like it or don't our mission profile is changing, or better yet if it hasn't changed IT SHOULD! To all you calling specialized training "wanna be's" STFU. There's nothing wrong with progressing and accepting the homeland security role. All it's going to take is one crazy Haji driving a nuke ladened ship into NY harbor and pushing the button. THEN I'll bet some funding will be broken loose for additional/specialized special response training. Semper P.

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non-SEAL May 21, 2011 at 9:30 pm

http://www.extremesealexperience.com/

USCG should just do this instead, it'd be more cost effective. Make all the wanna-be's happy and save the command staff some money. It's a win-win.

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Mac May 24, 2011 at 5:59 am

Seems to me MST Chief that the real problem is that the GWOT has forced ALL of us in ALL services to cross pollinate. The snide references to "special forcey" aside you are missing the point ,that in order to breach/ interdict/ intelligence gather/ enforcement there are ever evolving TTPs and approaches that other branches/agencies/NGOs have encountered and developed. I have had the privaledge of training with Operators from 3 seperate branches and numerous LEOs in both foreign direct action and Homeland defense scenarios. Interagency and interbranch training is the wave of the future. If nothing else it gives the unit and option to expand its knowledge of others' TTPs and evolve its approach to enforecement, intelligence and prevention operations. At the end of the day if we have learned nothing else there is an interconnectivity of funding and operations in the war on terror and armaments and criminal activity home AND abroad. BLUF evolve or retire!

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BM3 June 4, 2011 at 12:37 pm

I hate to see the SEAL program go. It is very likely that the next major terrorist attack in the US mainland will arrive by sea. We already have numerous drug submarines sneaking in from South America. USCG Deployable Operations (specifically TACLETs, LEDETs and PSUs) has been handling counter terrorism and counter piracy missions in and out of war zones across the globe during the last decade. Some specialized training would really benefit us in this aspect. There is a reason our teams are imbedded on Navy ships overseas, because we can conduct boardings and enforce the law. The Coast Guard has a lot of potential to be used in this dawning era of terrorism and it is no place or time for old salts to clamor about the good old days of SAR and ATON.

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BM3 June 4, 2011 at 12:39 pm

Also, it seems that the creation of the Navy Riverine Squadron kind of over stepped some boundaries that could have been more efficiently handled by Coast Guard DOG's. Time for our leader's to step up and volunteer our services before we are pushed aside by the "Big Four".

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Been there August 14, 2011 at 3:53 pm

Wow, look at you non-sensible desk jockies. Some of you obviously have never done an ounce of tactical boardings and, again its obvious that some of you have. Clearly the ones who havent are scared to let our service flourish and while your sitting with your coffee and doughnuts on your fat ass taking about your BS sea stories take a back seat to the service members who want to deliver for their country. WTF is your problem, ONE COUNTRY! It is you people that are holding our service back and the skills of our members. Thank you Papppppp for not knowing your head from your ***.

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Been there August 14, 2011 at 3:55 pm

Ohh and look at the latest move by smap I mean pappp

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Logan February 21, 2012 at 6:18 pm

Whiskey-Tango-Foxtrot Over!

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Dee August 10, 2012 at 4:51 pm

I would first like to see how much we are paying for this program 1st, before I start jumping on anyone's side. I am disgusted in the way the country has thrown the Coast Guard to the side and has labeled the branch as water police. 1st the Commandant refuses to upgrade the shooting range at Cape May and now this. Whatever happened to Semper Paratus. It disgusts me how some people are trying to turn USCG into a little league softball team. I believe every Coast Guardsmen should know how to use a gun and a knife. I was angry when an SKC told us how she and a few others were escorted during Hurricane Katrina by a few armed Marines. Is this not the same branch that has fought in every war, and at a drop of a hat can easily fight under the Navy? Similar situation happened to the USAF and Navy. They were use to being escorted into battle areas until they were forced to protect themselves and now their basic training has changed to accommodate those changes, but why do we have to wait until something drastic happens. These are men and women who are protecting our seas, shouldn't they be well equipped and well prepared? Do you think the other branches will be there all the time to provide a hand? It's ridiculous.

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rd October 29, 2012 at 6:35 pm

So shouldn't it be S.E.A.L.?

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lobbie fiore November 3, 2012 at 9:50 pm

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lobbie fiore November 3, 2012 at 9:51 pm

xxxx seal contact **********@*****.*** rd1 conerers 1980 boot cape may post 035321290
post just need to know if you still live

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Grant Combs November 13, 2012 at 2:38 pm

Well smart ***, being a former Coastie (E-5) even back when I served '76-'80 we recognized the need for either a joint Coast Guard/Navy special response team or an individual Coast Guard unit. After the Carter Admin's bungled "operation eagle claw" debacle we instantly recognized the maritime component of an "asymmetric" adversary. It made complete sense to train with the SEALs both for our law enforcement capability and their maritime assault capabilities. Only short sighted fools would not be able to recognize this. Guess that's what we have here… USCG Capt. my butt.

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Grant Combs November 14, 2012 at 9:32 am

Oh yeah… It's "Coasties WHO dream of, not 'that' (add the rest of your BS here) If you're going to be a smart *** at least use proper grammar.

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Glenno November 14, 2012 at 1:06 pm

Oh come now! You must have heard worse that that if you spent any time in the military;). But seriously, there is an economic aspect to this argument that seems to have been forgotten. If you train to be a SEAL, then you need to continue that training – use it or lose it. We all know about the need to maintain proficiency and the costs associated with that need. The more people you have at the higher level of proficiency, the higher your ongoing costs are going to be.

The other downside is that of time. In order for these people to maintain their proficiency, they need to do so in work time and that has an additional cost to it because you lose those people from regular duties. Yes, LAPD SWAT used to train in their own time. We did too. But that was back in the good old days before 9/11. Terrorists have been training in camps in places like Libya, the Horn of Africa, Syria, Afghanistan and Pakistan for decades. They even used to train at the Patrice Lamumba University in Moscow! Nation states like the old USSR, Syria, Libya and certain oil rich countries have been funding terrorism since before the 60s. Those who fight terror, if only on an occasional basis, can no longer do it on the cheap.

But the USCG Commandant has bosses to please all the way up to the White House. That means budgets to cut. Everyone is doing it. Hadn't you noticed? So the USCG gets in a bean counter who scours the accounts for line items that look like non-core business. SEAL training gets identified as non-essential and the rationalization starts (in more than one sense). "Do we need a few SEALS, or can we call on the Navy when we need that kind of help?". I leave you to join the dots from here!

My message is about a bigger picture. Whether we like it or not, we may need to get used to seeing these kinds of economically driven decisions from here on in. I predict that we will see reduced federal support for training local LEOs too as each area of government is required to make cuts to claw back the deficit.

And don't blame it on Obama. It would probably have been worse under Romney as his conservative inclination was towards even smaller government so the cuts would probably have been deeper and the USCG counter terrorism function would probably have been outsourced to the private sector!

Again, whether we like it or not, we may well have been training and equipping ourselves with Chinese money for years now and it might be time to give it back! Have we been fighting a war on global terrorism on China's behalf using Chinese money and American lives? Probably, but that is a controversial discussion for another time!

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Glenno November 14, 2012 at 1:18 pm

A word of caught Johnny. If you seek cred, then you might want to think about changing your log in name. Cred comes, at least in part, from the logic of what one writes and from the experience one has. Try to look beyond whether something sounds "gay". After all, there are gays out there putting their lives on the line for you and me! They have always been there. It is just that the rest of us didn't notice them!

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Grant Combs November 15, 2012 at 7:30 am

PRECISELY!!! It seems the only folks who have a problem with cross training USCG/NAVY are the 'old school' Navy types who want to maintain their own little combat club and fat old Coastie schlubs who don't want any extra work (New CG Commandant). Well let me tell you old fat Coasties who disagree, MAN UP! Special-forcey guy is 100% correct. The CG primary mission has been reprioritized, like it or don't. Why wouldn't you want your Homeland Security operators training with the best in the world? Frankly I would want them to BE the best in the world. We're talking about protecting our major port cities. If you think Ahmed or Abdul isn't dreaming of rolling a large container vessel full of big bang into NY/SF/Miami/Long Beach/Seattle/San Diego you're delusional, or just very short sighted…

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