The Automatic Identification System (AIS) is a ship-to-ship collision avoidance system that allows for communication of position, speed, and other ship data via a Very High Frequency (VHF) data link network. The volume of marine vessels using AIS has been steadily increasing and is resulting in overload of the two channels that carry the AIS transmissions. The next generation AIS called the VHF Data Exchange System (VDES) is under development. VDES preserves the original function of AIS and provides four additional channels for communication. The primary benefits of transitioning from AIS to VDES are: - Increased capacity for data communications with VDE-Terrestrial (up to 32 times the capacity of AIS). - Increased coverage area provided by VDE-Satellite, including the Arctic. - Ability to layer in cyber-security.- Provides a backup Positioning Navigation and Timing or Global Navigation Satellite System-denied environments and the ability to de-spoof AIS. This report summarizes the VDES technology, standards, timeline for completion, and provides example use cases of how VDES will benefit and improve safety of navigation for the United States Coast Guard and other mariners. It also describes the state of equipment development, field-testing (both previous and that planned by the USCG), and challenges to implementation.