Chaff Launch

Monday, September 22, 2008

Monday Reading

Begin with Fred Frys's Maritime Monday 128 @ gCaptain.com to get up to speed on things that go on the sea. Fred features some photos from the Canadian ship that's pulling food ship escort duty off lovely Somalia. And 1.5 tons more.

Galrahn posts about his interview with General Conway, Commandant of the Marine Corps and hits on a disturbing 25 nautical mile limiting line here.

I went on line with Admiral Allen, Commandant of the Coast Guard, (audio here) for a discussion about "the Coast Guard's new social media engagement initiative" - which is both an internal and external program to use modern internet communication tools, ranging from Facebook to blogs to private chat rooms, to get important word out - and overcoming the inherent stove pipes of the old system. One of Admiral Allen's most interesting points concerned the fact that new recruits and officers are usedto (and expect to have) new media on arrival and this seems to me to represent an initiative to catch legacy personnel up. UPDATE: Transcript here:
LT. CRAGG: Okay. Eagle One, please.
Q Yes, Admiral, good morning. I have a couple of questions which
follow along that line. One is that the -- (inaudible) -- structure for
communications seems to me to be perfectly suitable for dissemination of
information to merchant ships and other users of your services. Is that part of
the plan here, too, is to expand the use of getting rampant information out to
your endusers?
ADM. ALLEN: I believe I understood the question, but a couple of your
words were blocked out at the beginning. Could you restate it, please?
Q Yeah. It had to do with the use of the systems we've been talking about, the infrastructure we've been talking about to get the word out to merchant ships who are endusers of your services. Is part of the plan tomake sure that there's a rapid capability or a rapid dissemination of information to your ship owner and merchant users? ADM. ALLEN: I think it is, and there are a lot of issues associated with that, as you probably are well aware. Making information available online and actually pushing that information out is what we want to do. You know, we
have a very successful Homeport system which is a portal we use for dealing with
industry. As we look at the challenges coming ahead regarding the type of
information that has to move in the maritime transportation system, including
issues like automated identification systems and long-range tracking,
environmental issues that come from NOAA systems just like ports give you
environmental conditions as you're transiting in and out of port is something we
need to look at. We need to work with the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric
Administration in moving this forward. Sooner or later, this information ought
to become as ubiquitous as weather broadcasts, ought to be able to be pushed
out so everybody has the same view of the maritime domain. I agree completely.
***
(Amy McCullough at Navy Times)Q Sir, one follow-up question. So a lot of this will be targeting Reservists and auxilarists as well. Is this going to be used as a recruiting tool, too, for the Coast Guard?
ADM. ALLEN: Well, I think our ability to use the social media and interact as a community is indispensable in recruiting. But I would tell you that just by providing better access in computing platforms is not a recruiting tool in and of itself. I think it's a demand on anybody you're hiring. Young kids coming into the Coast Guard today demand parity with what they've been using all their lives and growing up with. And to the extent they enter an organization that's not evolving and upgrading the technology and the access and the social networks that they're used, there's no incentive for them to join.

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