Coast Guard Deepwater Program: Background, Oversight Issues, and Options for Congress
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS WASHINGTON DC CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE
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The Integrated Deepwater Systems IDS program, or Deepwater program for short, is a 24-billion, 25-year project to replace and modernize the Coast Guards aging fleet of deepwater-capable ships and aircraft. It is the largest and most complex acquisition effort in Coast Guard history, encompassing 91 new cutters, 124 new small surface craft, and 244 new or converted airplanes, helicopters, and unmanned aerial vehicles UAVs. The Deepwater program has received a total of about 4.4 billion through FY2OO7, including about 1.14 billion in FY2OO7. The Coast Guards proposed FY2008 budget requests 836.9 million for the program. The Coast Guard is pursuing the Deepwater program as a system-of-systems acquisition project, under which a combination of cutters, patrol boats, aircraft, supporting communications equipment, and logistic support is to be procured as a single, integrated package. To execute this system-of-systems acquisition approach, the Coast Guard is using a lead system integrator LSI a private-sector entity responsible for designing, building, and integrating the various elements of the package. The management and execution of the Deepwater program has been strongly criticized in recent weeks by the Department of Homeland Security Inspector General DHS IG, the Defense Acquisition University DAU, the Government Accountability Office GAO, several Members of Congress from committees and subcommittees that oversee the Coast Guard, and other observers. Between late-January and mid-February 2007, House and Senate committees and subcommittees conducted several oversight hearings devoted partly or entirely to problems and concerns regarding the management and execution of the program.
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