Coast Guard Wants Precision Machine Guns

The Coast Guard wants to make its deck-mounted machine guns accurate enough for crowded American harbors.

To do that, Coast Guard gunners need a weapon mount that’s stable enough to turn an M240 machine gun – a weapon designed to kill area targets on the battlefield – into a precision tool capable of putting every round on target.

“We are trying to identify a system that will help our operators out there … do a better job,” said Chief Warrant Officer 4 Jeffery Lusk, a weapon specialist with the office of Specialized Capabilities. “We are trying to minimize the amount of collateral damage.”

Crew-served weapons fire 400-650 rounds per minute, Lusk said, explaining that “gunners are putting of out those rounds in a very constrained environment” such as New York Harbor or San Francisco Bay.

The Coast Guard hopes to find the solution in a commercially-available mount, Lusk said, who added that the service might be able to start testing by 2016.

Coast Guard officials are evaluating Navy, stabilized mount programs, but they are “designed for warfighter, not necessarily the law enforcement officer,” Lusk said.

“Everything that we shoot has to be on target,” Lusk said. “We need more precision.”

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Matt Cox
Matthew Cox is a reporter at He can be reached at
  • SFCPappy

    The system is already available and has been for several decades. Use the same system we use on the M1 Abrams tank. The system is designed for close quarters combat. Stabilized computer control. Laser range finder. 3x, 10x or 20x powered optics. Daytime and thermal or FLIR optics also. With A2 upgrade you have the option of second target designator. I can hit a single person at 800 meters with first round on a tank crossing rough terrain at 25mph then they can do the same in a harbor . Plus if they want they can either keep the 120mm smoothbore or adapt other main guns to go along with the coaxial mounted M240.

    • tiger

      Too tech, too much $$$$

      • Super Guest

        Pretty much any remote weapon system has some level of those technologies, and they have become widespread in recent years. It’s not “too tech” at all.

    • A 120mm smoothbore would be awesome. Not only would it pass through the bad guys, but probably several buildings, cars, homes and people behind them – accurately!

      • SFCPappy

        Let’s use COMMON SENSE. If you have ever employed the M1 in combat you would know that there is a wide assortment of rounds it can use. Plus only an idiot would fire a sabot or HEAT round into an area where fratricide is likely to happen. Plus, as I stated in earlier comments, they can modify the trunnions to mount different weapons. Also, if you ever spent time on an M1 or were a Range Officer you would know there is a cheap device, called a .50 caliber In-Bore Device that uses a barrel from an M2HB puts a bolt with an electric solenoid activated trigger. I used it to shoot bowling pins at 2000 meters. This fits into the chamber of the 120mm smoothbore, is boresighted just as easy and quick as if firing a full sized round. One shot One kill. Maybe two if you happen to be standing behind the target.

        • CG Doc

          SFC, if you bothered to read the article you’d see that they are not talking about something in the120mm range. It is referring more to the .50 cal and the M60’s that the CG uses more, or at least mans more often.

  • The co-ax MG mount for the M1 leverages the main gun’s sensors and FC components. That’s too large to be mounted on a pintle designed for supplemental SSDF (Ship’s Self Defense Force) weapons. Not to mention it would need to be removable or highly protected in order to deal with a corrosive seawater environment and rough handling from potential wave action.

    • SFCPappy

      You cannot use an electronic stabilization device on a pental mount. It is not designed for that weight. If they insist on one shot one kill with a M240 machine gun then they’ll have to use stabilization similar to our main battle tanks. Either that or design from the ground/deck up mount similar to the one man 40mm cannon that was used on a few patrol boats in the 80’s before they scrapped it. There is already off the shelf equipment that will work if only the services would suck up their pride and use another service’s equipment. The deck of many Coast Guard vessels could use a modified Bradley turret just committing the TOW launcher. Then they’ll have both a direct fire 25mm chain gun and a stabilized MM240-C 7.62 machine gun.

      • There are smaller stabilized systems (e.g. the .50 cal on the Stryker or the CROWs system on HMMWVs).

        It’s not an issue of using another branch’s equipment, at least not for the USCG. They aren’t so “brand” conscious.

        • MK3

          When I was in the CG we had plenty of Navy hand me downs. We do what we can with what we got.

          • SFCPappy

            While I was a Gunners Mate in the Navy the Coastie Gunners Mates would come by looking for parts or lubricants. We’d gladly help them out because they belonged to the Department of Transportation and the DOT treated like slave labor. Back then, advancing in rank meant a more senior person died.

  • Charlie

    How about the camera stabilizers Hollywood uses?

    • SFCPappy

      Those stabilizers are to sensitive to shock. They couldn’t take the hammering of a machine gun. Plus in order to stabilize a gun it has to be an electro-hydraulic system. So that adds the weight of hydraulic pump, tank, servos, gyro stabilizers plus all the electronics, hoses and controls. Then add in the computer, sights, etc.

    • larry

      Absolutely. The steady cam system has been made so small that a 120 pound woman can carry one. They could easily be integrated into machine gun technology.

      • SFCPappy

        Nope. To fragile. The technology has already existed for years yet DOD and Homeland Security want to spend millions to invent something that’s already on the shelf.

    • Doug

      Cameras don’t have recoil.

  • PolicyWonk

    The PC classes use a stabilized 20mm as part of its base armament. We ought to be able to leverage part of that capability, and its already navalized.

  • Frode

    They’re probably looking at something like the naval version of what’s already on the Strykers :

    • wcm

      Yes i agree a crows mount would do the job

  • Shea

    It’s called gunnery practice. Unless your engagement ranges are 1000+ meters at which point you should not be using an MG as a “precision weapon”. What kind of threats are you thinking you need to engage in an “enclosed harbor” with automatic weapons fire?

    • Super Guest

      That’s nice, feel good nonsense to say “just try harder” but it has no basis in reality. No amount of training or practice is going to give someone on a moving, rocking, unsteady ship or helicopter the amount of accuracy a stabilized, fire control system equipped RWS.

    • Thunderbirds

      Drug dealers, mafia, etc armed with explosives, perhaps LAWs or RPGs… Machine guns, automatic weapons, sniper rifles, hmm?

    • Ikonovich

      It’s the 21st century. You really think unaided humans can be more accurate than a gyroscopically stabilized platform with a fire control system? Granted there are a select few gifted shooters out there who could give it the old John Henry, but it’s just not realistic for the average G.I.

      Unless you’re one of those gifted people, you don’t want to engage a target that just so happens to be in the same general direction as a beach condo. Every missed shot is a potential ricochet into someone’s window or face.

      • CG Doc

        If you’ve ever seen the Top Sniper show on the Military channel you’d know that the CG has some of the best snipers in the world. Oh, these guys shoot the Barret .50 cal from a helicopter not a hard fixed platform.

    • 00 Del

      Agree, practice and maybe give the guys and optic. If your backstop is an office building, then Coastie you gotta maneuver until your backdrop isn’t an office building. Things are tough all over.

      Solving the problem by using a precision mount isn’t going to keep rounds from going through the target into the office building.

  • hibeam

    What a joke. They need an apology bull horn. Our immigration laws have been put on hold by the Commander in Golf.

    • Charles

      The Mexican’s were in California long before it became a US state. And BTW – 60 minutes did an entire episode in the year following the WTC attacks on the US Border Patrol.

      Apparently, the problem isn’t merely the mean old democrats: former POTUS George W Bush had ordered the US Border Patrol to not arrest illegals coming over the borders – even after 9/11/2001.

      • blight_

        The California border near San Diego is already the most secure one, with security expanding further out into the desert. The new point of entry is New Mexico, since Texas and AZ have already secured their borders.

    • Citizen of the World

      If they are voting, they probably are American.

      • mondawg

        What makes you say that. You don’t have to have citizenship papers to vote. Just a drivers license.

    • blight_

      politicobeam returns!

    • blight_

      Hispanics are only dem on immigration issues. They are generally Catholic and social conservative, just like a large cohort of older African Americans. If push comes to shove on a gay marriage vote the party fractures along those fissure lines.

  • Or we could just legalize drugs and let the Coast Guard go back to rescuing fishermen.

    • Dave Barnes


    • Super Guest

      Stupid red herring. This has nothing to do with drugs. The Coast Guard has always been armed to deal homeland security threats (smugglers, human trafficking, terrorists, etc.)

    • Anonymous

      And maybe actually guard our coasts instead of going overseas to fight drugs in other countries waters.

      • CG Doc

        Accept for the countries were we have been invited to perform those actions the Coast Guard doesn’t do drug interdiction in foreign countries. That said, as the Coast Guard is part of Homeland Security and not the formal military, we/they do have the ability to do safety and boating inspections and boardings with out violating rules of sovereignty or international law.

    • orly?

      “Free heroin for everyone!” – Good Idea Fairy

      • blight_

        DEA statistics suggest that most of the border seizures are marijuana. I don’t know if this means the cocaine smugglers are using different routes to get it into the country, or if they are more successful smuggling cocaine, since it can be crystallized to high purity and then be cut with flour at its final destination.


        DEA Domestic Drug Seizures (kgs)
        Calendar Year Cocaine Heroin Marijuana Meth
        2012 36,001 934 354,023 3,898
        2011 33,272 1,079 573,195 2,481

        • tiger

          Coke? Is that even still a menu choice for druggies in 2014? As for method? Tunnels are a new option. The drug subs too?

          • blight_

            Tunnels are used for marijuana as well. Drug subs are probably going to the Caribbean for eventual distribution to the US, though I suspect that one day they will start sending them to West Africa to Europe, a far more profitable market.

          • tiger

            One day Putin will wise up & sell some Surplus subs like they have dumped Mosin Nagants. Picture drug runners with real Diesel boats instead of back jungle Hunley type things?

  • Lance

    So this is about a mount not replacing men for another dumb computer right?

    If the USCG can afford it fine for a new mount. But I think many USCG and reserve still use M-60s and many have few funds to toy over this. I worked for the USCG and believe my they can be really under funded.

    • Super Guest

      Complete BS on all fronts. They can afford it, its not like its some radical new concept. They’re already using a similar remote weapon system for the 30mm cannons on the new Sentinel class ships. And while I am not a member of the Coast Guard, I haven’t seen an M60 on any of their ships for years, not even with the backwater units stationed in Lake Erie.

      • Unknown

        Although they show a picture of a gunner on “ship” it is only 87 feet long and not designed to carry larger armament. We are a multi mission agency. Most of what they are referring to in harbor is for use on our 45 foot and smaller boats that can barely handle an m240b on and yes we are under funded!

      • CharleyA

        Oh yea, they have them on RB-Ss (a nominally 25″ boat) if needed for the mission.

    • Jim

      Lance. I haven’t seen an M60 in the Coast Guard since 2003. I could be wrong but they were pulled from service a good while ago. I beleive that Most of our weapons stuff comes from the naval inventory ( don’t quote me I could be wrong) and for that reason we follow suit. And as for all of the electronic stuff. I think we are looking for something to give out gunners more accuracy. The presence of the 240 isn’t for the engagement of a hostile person but a vessel who presents a deadly force situation. And call me old school I would rather have a man behind the trigger than a robot any day. Something about being behind the sight to make the call.

  • Bernard

    Why not just use a Crows II?

    There shouldn’t be a man behind the machine gun, it’s 2014. We have robotics that can aim guns now.

  • Dfens

    Seems to me that Defense Tech has already done an article on the kind of technology that would keep these crappy little M240s from spraying bullets all over hell and back:

    Put one of these scopes on the damn gun and when the target is centered the gun will spray those pitiful little .22 cal bullets at it. When it’s not, it won’t. No robotics. No billion dollar development program. “Just” a $30,000 scope.

    • Dfens

      I guess I got the M240 confused with the M249. Ok, the M240 is a real gun.

    • You know how I know you are not a troop? Know how I know you have never fired, held or likely seen an M-240? Wanna know how I know you’re clueless? You refer to the “crappy little M240’s”. You also refer to pitiful little .22 ca. bullets.

      The M-240, an outgrowth of the FN MAG-58, is a .30 Caliber weapon. It fires standard NATO belted 7.62mm machine gun ammo in a disintegrating link, just as the M-60 GPMG before it did.

      The M-249 (Originally the SAW) is the .22 Cal. 5.56mm. Please try to keep up.

  • Tribulationtime

    More precision. Keeping in mind that a boat at 15knots is shaking platform. Holographic sight, a mechanical stabilized mount, higher rate of fire, 4 to 5 burst mode and thousands of rounds fire on training. Easy and cheap.

  • NV

    Just use a mini

  • puresaltA1A

    weight is an issue on these small boats… also as a former coastie… you know damn well if we get a toy like that, the funding would run out the next year…. I really dont see the point either… over militarization of the USCG….

    • Dfens

      Hell, even the cops get guns.

  • Mystick

    Maybe not having an organization acting as law enforcement using military equipment and tactics in a crowded environment would be the better option.

    • Always Ready

      Imagine a liquefied natural gas tanker blowing up in a major US port after being attached by a suicide boat packed with explosives or an oil tanker being sunk in the channel of a major US refinery port. Now maybe you’ll get the picture.

      • blight_

        I wonder if there are even enough CG cutters to properly secure every seaport and oil tanker in the United States. Machineguns or not, the biggest problem is manpower and ships.

    • CG Doc

      If you can tell me which one of our ports is NOT a crowded environment I’ll happily retract my statement and shut up. Also the Coast Guard isn’t “acting” as law enforcement, they ARE the world’s premier ocean going law enforcement organization.

  • Citizen of the World

    puresaltA1A: Does the Coast Guard really need a machine gun?

    • Super Guest

      The Coast Guard has had machine guns almost since its inception….I don’t understand why this is all the sudden a problem?

      • orly?

        Who’s to blame for irrational paranoia?

  • SFCPappy

    Here is the .50 caliber in-bore device I spoke of. It is used as a training tool but can be used accurately in a hostile situation.

  • Problem is that the bullets do not follow one another in a perfectly straight line. Even if you matched the cyclic rate to the jump-and-recover of the gun on the mount, the bullets will disperse.
    To solve this problem requires thinking about what kinds of targets require machine guns–which is to say, dozens of rounds in a few seconds. And which don’t. A powerful rifle–like the M14 with a scope–fired from a rest–like a sandbag–would allow the shooter to put one round on the target, and another and another, firing semi and aiming between each shot. If the target requires more than that, you have a problem that scattering itinerant bullets around the harbor isn’t going to solve.

  • Sword100

    Machine guns are not precision weapons!

  • voodkokk

    Crew-served weapons fire 400–650 rounds per minute, Lusk said, explaining that “gunners are putting of out those rounds in a very constrained environment” such as New York Harbor or San Francisco Bay.

    Is this all the Coast Guard has to worry about is putting 400-650 rounds a minute into a 50 gal drum?

  • William_C1

    The answer is a stabilized remote controlled weapon system, the US Navy uses some for their 25mm and 30mm chain guns, and there are systems on the market that go down to MMG size.

    Of course machine guns are designed for automatic fire and not the best choice for very accurate single shots. Most are full-auto only but there are some exceptions to the rule.

    You could probably design one to accept a semi-automatic rifle firing from the closed bolt, but if you ever do need a bullet hose then you’re out of luck.

    Maybe General Dynamics could actually find a market for their XM307 here? Although not very ideal in a hostage situation.

  • CaptainDoc

    The US is under lots of criticism over drones killing citizens but, the USCG can kill citizens at will. Having a weapon that fires that amount of rounds with that kind of power is ridiculous in a secure environment such as a US harbor. We are talking about potential criminals not combat armed intruders(yes the potential criminals are armed but a patrol boat does not need a heavy MG). A MG should not be installed on a patrol boat, ships should have some form of deck gun that is computer controlled or practiced with for accurate first round firing and immobilizing the vessel being pursued. The name of the first USCG vessel was the “revenue” if that gives you any indication what they are there for.

    • Dfens

      What do you think the police pulling you over for speeding is all about?

      • CaptainDoc

        At last someone recognizes the USCG is a police force, now we have a police force that has the right to shoot boats apart when suspected of crimes or simple speeding. Next that train of thought should be applied to police cruiser needing automatic weapons to stop cars that cannot get away. The police should continue checking holding tanks as that is a good job they are qualified for as my having life jackets, fire extinguishers, signaling devices is something the police should be checking my automobile for. They make you guilty of having a holding tank that is open as justification of charging one for actually discharging(without seeing anyone discharging into the water) into the water that is already dumped into with millions of gallons of untreated sewage by municipal agencies. I don’t deny safety equipment is needed but should not be an offense of the law for a discharged fire extinguisher or life jacket still in the protective bag as they are only a hazard to themselves. I do not have any problems as I keep my vessel current and there is no outlet for discharge other than pump out but I resent the fact that people are being picked apart by police mainly as a harassing action using this tactic to gain entry with out warrants or denying other rights of citizens just because they are on a boat.

        • valenburg

          Who said the coast guard isn’t a police force? Law Enforcement is part of their/our core missions but also are maritime safety and security. By you being in a national resource (ocean) you are putting yourself in a jurisdiction of the government (EEZ). All the safety gear checks? How would your family feel if the CG canceled all those requirements, you failed to keep them up to date personally and then you perished in an instant (god forbid) where that equipment would have been useful? When was the last time you’ve heard of the CG popping rounds at people? Our training is given to avoid this at all costs. I do recap that there were MANY USCG assets that responded after 9/11 and SECURED New York harbor with ships where no one knew if another attack were imminent but, a well sighted in weapon could have been useful.

          • CaptainDoc

            secured the harbor against what? there was nothing there to secure against. I would feel just great if the coast guard and all regulators stopped doing safety checks, they are not needed, if a person has a fire and does not have an extinguisher then that is his problem as he is the one stupid enough to not have one, same for life jackets that no one will wear. we do not need another police force and now we have it anyway. my family is protected and does not need someone shooting/ pointing a automatic weapon at us while checking the toilet, or shooting at some speeder and causing damage and loss of life from that. in other words they should do what was intended for them in the first place, guarding the coast not regulating it.

          • BOB

            You sound like the typical fishing boat captain that absolutely hates the USCG, until your on fire or sinking, then they are your best friends. If you dont want that $25K fine for having your valve open to sea then wire or lock it in the closed position.

          • CG Doc

            On 9/11 the Coast Guard secured the ENTIRETY of the New York Harbor and acted as the communications hub until a unified command could be established.

        • Capitan

          Under peace time the Coast Guard is under homeland security, Which makes them a Federal Law enforcement agency. In a time a war they take orders from the department of navy. Actually all military branches take orders from the department of navy. Why is the coast guard enforcing laws? Well jack they enforce laws to over rule laws that collide into ecother. Coast Guard is also oversees protecting american assets and doing raids,and working side by side military service members in combat and non combat roles. They coast guard also make sure the food you eat doesnt have bio chemicals that can kill you. Everything that goes on in this world with protecting the u.s involves the coast guard one way or another.

          • Stan R.

            Actually, the Coast Guard has not been put under the Navy since WW II. If you read the actual regulation it states the Coast Guard “MAY” be put under the Navy in time of war or when the President so directs.

            I am a Nam veteran of the Coast Guard. At times we were under operational control of the Navy, but the CG as a whole, and many CG units in Nam were NOT under Navy control.

            And for those claiming the Coast Guard is a law enforcement agency, that is only ONE of their missions. Per U S Code 14 the CG is the 5th branch of the military.

    • blight_

      There are also some questions as to /how/ precise the USCG needs their weapon system to be. Is it precise enough to hit one boat moving away from the USCG in a port without hitting bystanders? Is it picking off a single person on a boat moving at high speed? Different needs mean different solutions.

      For a pintle-mount, mount-stabilization would be a good first step, and would probably be “good enough” to put rounds onto a boat. But if the Coast Guard wants a machinegun that can plink humans on a boat in a busy harbor while moving at speed at anything rougher than calm seas…

    • Always Ready

      Imagine a liquefied natural gas tanker blowing up in a major US port after being attached by a suicide boat packed with explosives or an oil tanker being sunk in the channel of a major US refinery port. Now maybe you’ll get the picture.

    • CG Doc

      First off the Coast Guard CANNOT and DOES NOT kill citizens at will. Every crew member and boarding team member is train on specific use of force rules. There MUST BE and eminent threat to the life or safety of the team member or small boat crew in order for response in kind. If you are fleeing in a vessel and they have ordered you to stop they will shoot at the engines to disable the craft, provided they are immediately accessible and the shots can be taken without undue risk to the people on board.
      The fist Coast Guard Cutter was the Cutter Hamilton of the United States Revenue Service, a precursor to the Department of Treasury.
      Do a little research the next time you post.

    • A veteran

      Are you sure that they are not talking about “Combat Armed Intruders” Why is the current government buying up all the Ammo they can and certain Presidential Decrees being signed that authorize the US Military to control the internal population of the country. The current Administration is looking to protect itself from the unhappy people in this country. How many high level military personnel have been removed, by the current Executive Branch because they do not agree with what the Administration says they have to agree with,

  • John D

    Try training your gunners to shoot! Leaving HAL to run this still is responsible for the shooting! The military today wants a robotic army so no body feels bad about a combat type job!

    • 00 Del

      Agree, teach them to shoot and maybe give them an optic.

      • CG Doc

        Check out Top Snipers on the Military Channel and see what the Coast Guard has for shooters. You couldn’t out-shoot them on your best day.

    • CG Doc

      Coast Guard gunner already know how to shoot, but you are not talking about shooting on a fixed, static platform. The small boats and ships that they shoot from move with, or against, the waves. They are trained to hit a moving target from a moving position anyone in law enforcement will tell you that this is not a simple case of better optics or training sometimes you need a more stable platform.

  • cwolf88

    The problem is recoil on a bouncing boat. Not sure a mount will solve the issue. Ought to test other gun types as part of a system. Mount plus chain gun. Mount plus Kriss-type gun. Etc.

  • lol

    People are curious why I left the CG. When’s the last time you heard of the CG even discharging a weapon, not to mention taking down a vessel in pursuit in an enclosed harbor? Keep pissing away thousands of thousands for something that won’t be used. Plus, other than trained special forces (which the CG isn’t of course) name me someone that’s gonna stand up in a firefight to shoot back versus turning away from the fire. Just like locks and honest people and 9/11, if someone wants in, there isn’t much we can do to stop them without having a true military ready and waiting. Makes me laugh, thanks gov’t for pissing away more of our hard earned money.

    • Perkybeer2

      I spent a lot of time in the Mekong Delta standing up in a firefight- there is no place to hide on an 82 foot WPB that did 12 knots tops along the river bank. The Coast Guard is tasked with harbor security worldwide in support of US military operations which you would know as a member of the Coast Guard.

    • CaptainDoc

      very true. I have never seen such an outfit that crucifies their own so badly, look at all the non-judicial punishment passed out on a monthly basis, the nit picking and harassment of each other is unbelievable so I doubt they will ever have the balls to shoot the dam thing anyway.

  • JBK

    The comments about why the CG would need a machine gun can be answered by this. The Coast Guard was transferred in 2003 to the Department of Homeland Security. The following is taken from the Coast Guards web site.

    “The Coast Guard has four major national defense missions: maritime intercept operations, deployed port operations/security and defense, peacetime engagement, and environmental defense operations. These missions are essential military tasks assigned to the Coast Guard as a component of joint and combined forces in peacetime, crisis, and war.”

    So the Coast Guard is responsible for responding to terrorist attacks at sea and in harbors. Not the sort of job you want to go into without the best, most accurate, fire power you can get.

    • CaptainDoc

      what are they doing at sea? it is the coast guard of the USA not the Caribbean countries. the most they should have is a 9 m/m.

  • cgdoc

    Lots of misconceptions here of what the USCG is and what we do…?

  • charles

    Served in the CGR for 27 years. Met a member with a Purple Heart and asked about his injury. He was at sea during the Viet Nam days and the captain wanted to run some firing practice. There was a mortar on the bow. Just as this fellow was about to drop a round down the tube, the helmsman steered the vessel hard in one direction. The result was that the mortar shell went straight up and came straight down. It hit next to the small cutter and injured the gunner on deck. A better fire control technique could prevent shells from going where they are not intended, especially ones can can come back to harm you.

  • Larry Mate the weapon to a stabilizing system. These systems are gyro-stabilized so accurately that a 120 pound woman can run with one and the view stays perfectly stable. Mate the rate of fire and recoil to the gyro rate and poof–steady on target all the time. Requires some fancy machine and computer work but this system has already been created so there is no R & D funding required. Just give it to the master gun smiths and let them do what they do.

  • SFCPappy

    The Defense Tech blog is “SUPPOSED to be about technical issues within the US military. Not a place for trolls, race baiters and over the top political dogma.

    If I wanted to read that kind of crap I’d go onto Facebook or watch any of the news media shows.

    So grow up and remember that ever military person bleeds RED.

  • Joe Tripodi

    To all the Wantobe’s and knowitall’s out there: the Coast Guard is now part of Home Land Security. Their mission is not limited to immigration control or rescuing weekend sailors from themselves. This may come as a surprise but, harbors are NOT a secure environment!
    What they are looking for, is a weapon they can use if, your sorry a** is standing next to a bad guy with malace of heart, and they want to prevent the first, second or third round they fire, from ventilating yours.
    I did see a new weapon system on YouTube that will do all the math and not allow the weapon to fire until it is on target. It’s single fire, but is it off the shelf. With modification, it may allow a two, three or even four burst fire.
    The men and women of the Coast Guard put themselves in harms way so you can sleep better. Give them the respect and credit they deserve, for a job will done!

  • BMC USCG ret.

    The Coast Guard is still the Coast Guard even if it works for the Homeland Security. We still have traditions to uphold and it may be about time for everyone to read or re-read Alexander Hamilton,s letter to the Revenue Cutter Service on how to deal with an American Citizen, in fact maybe all Law Enforcement should be required to read it.

  • BosnB

    From an old retired Bosn..for the skippy’s commenting and berating Charlie Gulf: I would suggest you do a little research on the Coast Guard and it’s history in wartime. As for me, I would have liked to have your sorry butt along on a boat ride near Cat La, Vietnam in 1966. There were 28 82′ CG cutters running river patrol for nearly two years. Our mission was to intercept and destroy North Vietnamese and Viet Cong enemy and craft, …which we did. Our 311′ cutters acted as mother ships for the swift boats on which many CG Bosn’s serving as coxswains. Our 311′ cutters also provided support fire for troops on the ground. My son served in Desert Storm in the liberation of Kuwait and is a second tour vet in Afghanistan. Yes…and we are both Coasties. True, the CG save fishermen, Katrina victims and provide port security. There is also a great group that have and are intercepting the drug runners coming out of S. America. As far as the precision gun mount…..collateral damage happens…get over it.

    • BMC USCG ret.

      Sounds to me like you are a wannabe soldier. The Coast Guard is and has always been a Law enforcement, SAR, and Marine Safety entity. When the Coast Guard went to war it was under the U. S. Navy. The Coast Guard should have never been used in wartime unless as part of the Navy. What you are talking about is Commandants trying to get a piece of the wartime budget pie, along with a little personal glory. The comment about collateral damage in an American Harbor by a Coast Guardsman is something one should “get over ” is insulting to the CG and something a real Coast Guard Leader would never consider.

    • CaptainDoc

      USCG should not have been deployed outside CONUS. You are forgetting the word “coast” our coast. Sending the USCG outside CONUS is a terrible waste of money, equipment and manpower. SO MUCH FOR THE NEED OF USCG OUTSIDE CONUS. You have that correct that they are part of homeland security another police agency for protecting the country. What ever happened to the US Navy, Army, DEA, BATF and Air Force? Did they just go away. If you take the amount of people that actually need the USCG into account against the amount of $$ spent for the operations you will find civilian, non police can handle the job very well at a cost of 80% less of what the USCG costs. I was on the ground in during the RVN war and never saw a coastie as they were far and few between.

      • Jim

        When the Coast Guars deployed OCUNUS it doesn’t come out of the money equipment or manpower of the service. In times in which the Coast Guard serves to support another service or foreign entity. The budgeting all the way down to housing and pay is paid for from a different budget outside of the Coast Guard. Sometimes the other services aren’t equipped with the specific skill sets to train or service that specific role. If that were the case there would be no reason for Marines or Air Force or Coast Guard etc. it would just be called Military. We each as a service fill a specific role unique to one another and compliment each other well. Our Marines do their job better than anyone. That’s why we have them.

      • BosnB

        Well CaptanDoc you need a little refresher. Here for your edification is a timeline of the Coast Guard in Vietnam. Sorry to burst your bubble on what you ” thought” you knew.… Your concept of the CG’s usefulness is so skewed.

        • CaptainDoc

          Did not imply that I thought I knew. The USCG belongs to the US coast just as the name implies, during a declared war they come under the jurisdiction of the USN. Period. They should not have been in RVN….
          They did an excellent job while there and at other places in the world but they still should not leave CONUS. The article is about needing the capability to fire in excess of 400 round per minute in a US harbor to stop someone that once detected cannot get away so discharging such force is not needed. The CG always has and always will perform superbly with what ever it is tasked

    • CaptainDoc

      your chest must sore from beating on it and your arms broken from patting yourself on the back. sounds pretty dangerous being on a 82′ boat on the river! must have missed that as they were so far from shore you could not see them. the USN did most of the work and the CG was not involved as they were so busy worrying about damage and responsibilities. there were lots of men and women that got a little closer, did not get hot meals, showers each day and the casualties mounted in the thousands. so quit sniveling that was 30+ years ago. the CG should not have anything more than a 9 m/m

      • BosnB

        Thank you for your service to our county. You have a super day.

  • BosnB

    Chief I suppose being a BMC you may have missed the part about the Coast Guard being (asked){ not as a part of the Navy}… to participate in Vietnam. The cutters that were assigned that duty, were never under U.S.Navy jurisdiction and took no orders from the same. Just so you know. In reference to your remark “Wannabe soldier”. No sir, just a BM2 at the time and a fairly good coxswain. Graduated radio school, Groton, CT RM3 in 1960. Changed my rate to BM as I wanted to be on deck and to hang with some real BMC’s. Thank you.

    • Squared-Away

      Semper Paratus Boats!

  • J.M. DeAngelis

    I believe the motto is Semper Paratus…so along with the ever increasing and diverse duties “given” the Coast Guard, we must be train and equipped to handle whatever comes our way. That being said….WE HAVE ALWAYS MANGED TO MAKE DUE AND GET THE JOB DONE!

    • CaptainDoc

      The USCG is the most under funded branch of any service there is. They have always had to do with vessels and aircraft the other services had retired and they GOT THE JOB DONE, EXCEPTIONALY WELL. Now the DHS is providing/finding money for the new vessels and aircraft and the coasties are in fighting so bad that cost overruns are enormous. The USCG has submitted so many revisions, change orders, upgrades etc. that the price of a piece of equipment has tripled and then tripled again and again. The CG needs a control that is not police related, we now have a 250 foot police cruiser with a big gun and blue lights doing +25 knots trying to catch someone with a broken toilet valve.

      • SFCPappy

        Actually the Coast Guard isn’t a branch of the military services. It is under the Department of Homeland Security. But they can, by order of the President with Congress approval, be put under the control of the US Navy. But that’s for a declared war. Additionally Coast Guard personnel have and still do get assigned to serve on US Navy ships working in the Caribbean on drug interdiction operations. Finally, I’ve watched as Coast Guard helicopters would have the door gunner shoot bear or at fleeing Go Fast boats smuggling narcotics. They shot very well.

        Sadly the Coast Guard is the bastard step child of our fighting forces. Things got better after 9/11 but still bastards. I think they deserve to get every single LCS that has been built, being built or contracted to being built. It is a Coast Guard vessel not a US Navy warship.

        • Jim

          Pappy. Let me help you out. The Coast Guard is one if the 5 military branches. See attached link for your info.
          Last time I checked my Military ID issued to me says Chief Petty Officer E7. Just like the rest. We take the same oath as the other services. Yes we are under the department of homeland security. This allows us to have our regulatory and law enforcement authority. Other wise it would be a violation of the Posse Comitatus Act employing the military in a police function. And Captain Doc I would like to apologize for the individual who put such a sour taste in your mouth considering the coast guard. Sounds like a combination of jealousy and ignorance. Maybe a bit more reading before be start to spill our mouths.

          • SFCPappy

            @JimSo by reading and already knowing what you wrote you verified my answer. I stated “military services”. Which fall under DOD. As you stated about them being under Homeland Security, doing law enforcement of non military personnel and the Posse Comitatus Act. If you’ll review my statement that we had the Coast Guard attached to the USS Ticonderoga while doing drug interdiction in the Caribbean because we, the US Navy, had no powers of arrest because it violated the Posse Comitatus Act. I know what a Coast Guard ID card looks like because I’ve detained and charged many while I was a Master at Arms. I also know they take the same promotion tests for their specific rate, if there is a Navy duplicate, because when I was a Gunners Mate we’d study together and I saw several of them going to the same “A” School for Gunners Mate at Great Lakes. The “Greenhouse”. I’m not trying to disrespect anyone or any service. Just going on what I know as fact.

        • tiger

          Uh……. How does a coat of paint make the LCS a USCG vessel? It’s really not set up for that role.

          • SFCPappy

            It won’t. But then the LCS wasn’t designed for the Navy. I just thought it would be a nice gift to the Coast Guard….lol

  • Mike

    Automatic fire in a marine environment will have rounds skipping off the water and going in all directions no matter how accurate or controllable the weapon is. Automatic weapons should not be used in the described environment, sniper rifles with highly trained shooters is the only really safe option. I’ve fired the M1, M-60 and M-14 from Navy and Coast Guard ships and they all ricochet in every direction as soon as the rounds contact the water. Too many administrators involved with this decision and not enough common sense.

    • CaptainDoc

      very correct.

  • Jon

    Here is the deal with firing a crew served weapon on a small boat in a security mission. The boat is maneuvering as a fast rate. This combined with a platform that is small and fast. Wave action takes its toll on the ability to aim a weapon especially if the gunner is small and unable to keep position at the weapon. Yes, you are strapped in, but it can be difficult to keep stable. The weapon mounts we use now are so free moving that is hard to keep on target. Hydraulic stabilizers would be a big help. Most units use M240B on the small boats. Some units use M2 Just depends on the unit and the mission. The M2 is mounted too high for some of us to be able to fire it accurately on plane.

    Yes, bullets will ricochet when they hit the water. This is just part of the game. You can eliminate a lot of collateral damage with a system that moves when the gunner moves it, not just free floating.


  • CG Doc

    This isn’t a case of Coast Guard crew members needing to learn how to shoot or what targets to shoot. This is the Coast Guard trying to limit the amount of collateral damage that could take place. Certainly they could adopt the “spray and pray” method of some machine gunners but for them protecting the public is just as important a hitting the target. Remember you aren’t talking about taking a shot from a stable, unmoving, platform. They are taking these shots from a moving vessel that is battling wind and waves.

  • cafed

    Stabilized RWS with a semi-trigger/FA pack

  • Johnw

    The solution the Coast Guard seeks already exists and has been tested extensively by the Navy. Fully Stabilized T-360 Remotely Operated Weapons Station for the M240 is made by Precision Remotes.

  • CG GM

    Concur with a PRL T-360, a proven system and used in many applications. As good if not better than a Kongsberg non US manufactured weapon at probably 1/10th of the cost. Put an externally powered 7.62mm on it that has a variable rate full auto as well as semi and single shot capabilities. Then the system could be used in the many different operations the USCG is tasked with.

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  • Mike

    Once again wanting to use a hammer where a q-tip is needed.

  • MAM

    Keep the mount you have and use a longer barrel, contact FN. If that doesnt increase precision to a suitable level, you will need a new system all together. Best of Luck

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  • CG FS

    I don’t think the thought of disabling fire has even been thought of by you bone heads. No disrespect but sometimes stopping a ship or boat that is moving through a harbor is more important than killing all the bad guys. Being able to put all your rounds in one tight spout without collateral damage is a good thing.

  • S.Evans

    Buy HK21E MG’s from Heckler Koch. Yeah, sure, there’s a generation older, and they have a lower fire rate, but the fire from a CLOSED bolt, which means they can ALSO be employed as a designated marksman’s rifle if equipped with a standard MG ACOG.

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