"Blue technology" is a term that describes a wide swath of technologies and systems that support, sustain, and integrate the U.S. and global ocean economy. Accordingly, systems and technologies such as autonomous vehicles, sensors (both remote and in situ), ocean observation platforms, and hydrographic services, among many others fall under the term. More
This report has been professionally converted for accurate flowing-text e-book format reproduction. "Blue technology" is a term that describes a wide swath of technologies and systems that support, sustain, and integrate the U.S. and global ocean economy. Accordingly, systems and technologies such as autonomous vehicles, sensors (both remote and in situ), ocean observation platforms, and hydrographic services, among many others fall under the term. The integration of advanced blue technologies could improve operational efficiencies and the Coast Guard's mission performance, as well as MDA. Emerging maritime technologies may contribute to enhanced operational flexibility, improved understanding of the maritime environment, and optimal deployment and use of conventional Coast Guard assets (e.g., cutters, aircraft, small boats, etc.).
The Coast Guard performs 11 official statutory missions including search and rescue, aids to navigation, law enforcement, and interdiction of illegal drugs. These missions have direct and significant impacts on commerce, property, and life in the United States. In 2017, the Coast Guard rescued or assisted nearly 12,000 people in response to the aftermath of hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria. The Coast Guard's missions not only support disaster relief, but are also essential to supporting the U.S. economy through its regulation, oversight, and enforcement of the U.S. Maritime Transportation System (MTS). The MTS remains is integral to the country's commerce, carrying 73.5 percent by weight and 46.6 percent by value of U.S. international merchandise. In 2017 as a specific example, the Coast Guard's domestic icebreakers conducted more than 5,300 hours of icebreaking to facilitate the movement of $1.5 billion of cargoes through ice-impeded waters of the Great Lakes and Eastern Seaboard. Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA), which is the effective understanding of the global maritime domain that could impact the security, safety, economy, or environment of the United States, is an important component critical to the Coast Guard's mission performance. As one of the military sea services, the Coast Guard gathers and distributes MDA information to other governmental and non-governmental partner agencies as it conducts each of the 11 official missions within a multi-layered security framework.
Congress continues to be interested in the Coast Guard's successful adoption and integration of new and emerging technologies. In the 115TH Congress, versions of the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2017 introduced in the House (H.R. 2518) and in the Senate (S. 1129) included a section requiring the Coast Guard to enter into an arrangement with the National Academy of Sciences (Academy). This arrangement would allow the Academy to prepare an assessment of existing and emerging unmanned technologies that could be used by the Coast Guard. The assessment will analyze how the use of new and emerging MDA technologies can assist the Coast Guard to carry out its missions at lower costs, expand the scope and range of the Coast Guard's MDA, use its personnel and assets more efficiently, and identify adjustments in any Coast Guard policies, procedures, and protocols to incorporate these new systems and technologies.
This compilation includes a reproduction of the 2019 Worldwide Threat Assessment of the U.S. Intelligence Community.