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If Kafka Designed and Built Boats for the Coast Guard...

Press Release

Chairman Cummings Seeks Answers to Deepwater Program’s Failures

Statement of The Honorable Elijah Cummings -- Hearing On “Compliance with the Requirements of the Deepwater Contract”

April 18, 2007

By Mary Kerr (202) 226-4496

I thank Chairman Oberstar for his dedication to effective oversight – and for convening this hearing today to continue requiring accountability on the part of the Coast Guard as well as its contractor partner for implementation of the Deepwater acquisition program. Deepwater is a $24 billion procurement effort through which the Coast Guard is acquiring 91 cutters, more than 100 small surface craft, and 244 new or converted aircraft, including helicopters and fixed-wing airplanes.

Americans trust the Coast Guard to protect them from emerging threats approaching our homeland from the sea, to rescue them when they are in danger, and to protect the natural resources of our marine environments. That trust is well-placed.

However, Americans also need to know that they can trust the Coast Guard’s leaders to manage taxpayer money effectively and efficiently and to provide the tools that the men and women of the Coast Guard need to succeed. Further, Americans need to know that when a multi-billion contract is signed, the parties to that contract will accomplish its objectives to the best of their abilities.

Our expectations for the Deepwater program are not unreasonable. We expect it to produce boats that float, planes that fly, and information technology systems that work – meaning that they allow for identification of threats in the maritime domain while protecting sensitive and classified communications and allowing effective control of deployed assets.

What is remarkable – and completely unacceptable – is that a program costing on the order of $100 million intended to upgrade 110-foot legacy cutters, lengthen them to 123 feet, and extend their service lives has produced 8 cracking hulks that are now tied up in Baltimore, unable to return to service, and waiting for the scrap heap.

What is unconscionable is that the simple and straightforward expectations of Congress and, more importantly, the American taxpayers, have not been met because of a combination of poor oversight by the United States Coast Guard and poor performance by two of the world’s largest defense contractors, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman.

I applaud the action taken yesterday by Admiral Thad Allen, the Commandant of the United States Coast Guard, to begin to right what has become a floundering acquisitions effort veering far off course. I believe that his decisive leadership will put this program on a path to success.

However, though the Commandant has taken bold steps to bring the systems integration functions back in-house, to re-bid parts of the Deepwater contract, and to ensure that assets are independently certified against the highest industry standards, it is essential that we learn the lessons of the past five years of Deepwater implementation so that past errors are never repeated.

Today, therefore, as we examine the 123 program, we will take a close look at all of the actions of the Coast Guard and its partner, the Integrated Coast Guard Systems team, that contributed to the colossal failure of the program.

We want to know why the Coast Guard and its partners went ahead with a design to lengthen the 110-foot cutters despite warnings from the United States Navy that the hulls should have been strengthened before they were lengthened – warnings based on Navy’s own experience lengthening 170-foot Cyclone class ships to 179 feet.

We will also closely examine whether the equipment installed inside the converted 123-foot boats met all contractual requirements and was designed to ensure the safety of the crews in all of the sea states that the boats were expected to face.

Further, we will examine whether the C4ISR command/control system was properly certified to ensure the protection of national security data.

I applaud the willingness of the dedicated individuals who worked in various capacities in the Deepwater program to come forward today to share their concerns about what they experienced on that program and about the actions taken by the managers leading the program.

The Committee’s investigation also received critical assistance from an outside expert on the TEMPEST process who has dedicated countless hours of his own personal time to analyzing the TEMPEST certification process on the 123s. I thank Michael DeKort, Robert Braden, Scott Sampson, and James Atkinson for their dedication to excellence.

Our Committee shares their dedication. Therefore, while we examine what must be done to ensure the success of Deepwater, we will also be examining what must be done to build acquisitions systems and develop experienced management personnel within the Coast Guard who can ensure that a single dollar is never again wasted in the procurement of a ship or plane for the Coast Guard’s fleet.

Press Release

T&I Committee Leaders Urge Coast Guard to Examine Future of Deepwater Contract

Committee Chairman James L. Oberstar and Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation, will speak on the need to examine the Deepwater Program at a hearing April 18th.

April 13, 2007


By Mary Kerr, (202) 226-4496

Rep. James L. Oberstar (Minn.), Chairman of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, and Rep. Elijah E. Cummings (Md.), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation, today called on the U.S. Coast Guard to restructure the Deepwater Program, which is critical to the mission readiness of the Coast Guard.

Under the Deepwater Program, the Coast Guard is procuring 91 cutters, more than 100 small surface craft, and 244 new or converted aircraft, including helicopters and fixed-wing airplanes.

“Congress has seen time and time again that the Executive Branch is trying to contract out program management duties that should be carried out by Federal employees. The Deepwater Program has tried to replace the expertise of the Coast Guard with the expertise of private contractors. The unique expertise of the Coast Guard cannot be replaced by people who are experts at making money for their stockholders,” said Chairman Oberstar. “The Deepwater Program has been sailing into a head wind. It is time to change direction for a smoother and more efficient sail.”

Chairman Oberstar and Chairman Cummings stated that, based on the Committee’s previous oversight hearings and its current oversight investigation, the Coast Guard needs to significantly restructure the Deepwater contract.

“The Coast Guard must act immediately to cut their losses if they want to save this program. The $24 billion Deepwater Program must provide the men and women of the Coast Guard with the best platforms to accomplish their missions in a manner that protects the financial interest of the U.S. taxpayer,” Chairman Cummings said. “This weekend, millions of Americans will file their tax returns. It is our job to make sure those dollars are spent effectively and efficiently -- and to hold those who are spending this money are accountable for their decisions.”

“Our expectations for Deepwater are really very straightforward,” stated Chairman Cummings. “We expect Deepwater to produce boats that float, ships that sail, and information technology systems that are fully functional and that protect classified information. Unfortunately, right now, these expectations are not being met.”

“We have spent some $64 million to fund the rehabilitation of eight ships that are now likely never to be returned to service because they have cracked hulls, and we are concerned about the ability of the Deepwater Program to successfully complete other major procurements, including the $2.9 billion National Security Cutter,” according to Chairman Oberstar.

Chairman Oberstar and Chairman Cummings have urged the Coast Guard to return system-integration back in-house as an internal Coast Guard function.

“The men and women who serve in the Coast Guard know what they need to carry out their missions better than any contractor. The Coast Guard should not attempt to replace the expertise they have gained from decades of enforcing our laws with the limited knowledge of ‘inside-the-beltway’ contractors who are out to make money for their stockholders,” stated Chairman Cummings. “Second, the Coast Guard needs to contract directly with aircraft manufacturers and shipbuilding companies. Cutting out the middle-man can save the taxpayer millions of dollars over the life of this procurement. The Coast Guard has been building ships since Alexander Hamilton contracted for the construction of the ‘Baltimore schooner’ cutters to enforce our customs laws in 1790. Having the shipyard or an aircraft manufacturer be a subcontractor to a system integrator only adds overhead and makes coordination between the Coast Guard and the shipyard more difficult.”

“And third, it is time to salvage equipment and parts from the 123-foot patrol boats and begin a civil and criminal investigation into how the Federal Government and the American taxpayers were sold a boat that is unsafe. Admiral Thad Allen, the Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard, made the right decision to tie these boats up. We cannot risk the lives of the men and women in the Coast Guard by operating unsafe boats,” added Chairman Cummings. “It is time for the Department of Justice to step up and hold those who perpetuated this fraud accountable.”

“Our Committee will work closely with Admiral Allen to ensure that the Coast Guard has the personnel – both uniformed military and civilian personnel – with the expertise in contract management and financial management and other specialized acquisitions activities to ensure effective oversight of the Deepwater Program,” concluded Chairman Oberstar. “We also expect that all future procurements under Deepwater meet independent certification standards. Contractor self-certification is tantamount to no certification and does not produce reliable results.”

Chairman Oberstar and Chairman Cummings expressed confidence in Admiral Allen and stated that he has the leadership and management skills necessary to turn the Deepwater Program around. “We believe that in six months, the Deepwater Program will not be the same program that has been mismanaged over the past several years.”

On Wednesday, April 18, the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure will convene a hearing entitled “Compliance with the Requirements of the Deepwater Contract” to examine the Deepwater Program.


Press Release

T&I Committee to Look at Oversight Deficiencies with Deepwater Program Wednesday, April 18th

April 13, 2007


By Mary Kerr, (202) 226-4496

At 2:00 p.m. on Wednesday, April 18, the full House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure will hold an oversight hearing on failures to comply with contract requirements of the U.S. Coast Guard’s troubled Deepwater Program.

The Deepwater Program is a $24 billion, 25-year modernization initiative to upgrade the Coast Guard’s cutters, patrol boats, airplanes and helicopters. Integrated Coast Guard Systems (ICGS), a joint venture by Lockheed Martin Corp. and Northrop Grumman Corp., was awarded the contract to implement the fleet replacement program in 2002.

This hearing will focus on the results of an in-depth investigation conducted by the Oversight and Investigations staff of the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure on the 110/123-foot patrol boat conversion undertaken as part of the Deepwater Program. The investigation assessed how the multi-million dollar extension of 110-foot patrol boats to 123-foot patrol boats left eight legacy cutters unseaworthy.

The Committee’s investigation uncovered facts previously undisclosed in other investigations and has raised serious concerns about contractor compliance with the Deepwater Program contract and about the ability of other Deepwater acquisitions to yield reliable assets.

DATE: Wednesday, April 18, 2007

TIME: 2:00 p.m.

SUBJECT: Compliance with Requirements of the Coast Guard’s Deepwater Contract

LOCATION: 2167 Rayburn HOB

• Mr. Michael De Kort, former Lockheed Martin Project Management Specialist for 123 Systems
• Mr. Robert Braden, Senior Technical Staff, Processor and Systems Design, Lockheed Martin (Systems program manager for the 270’ Legacy Cutter)
• Mr. Scott Sampson, Section Chief of the Development Section, U.S. Coast Guard Maintenance and Logistics Command Atlantic in the Vessel Specifications Branch
• Mr. James Atkinson, President and Senior Engineer, Granite Island Group (TSCM/TEMPEST Expert)
• Mr. Thomas Rodgers, Vice President Technical Operations, Lockheed Martin Maritime Systems & Sensors (former program manager for the Integrated Deepwater System)
• Mr. Bruce Winterstine, Principal Project Analyst, Lockheed Martin Maritime Systems & Sensors (ICGS program manager for the 123s)
• Ms. Maryanne Lavan, Vice President for Ethics and Business Conduct, Lockheed Martin
• Dr. Leo Mackay, Vice President and General Manager, Coast Guard Systems
• Mr. James E. Anton, Executive Vice President, ICGS
• Mr. T.R. Hamblin, Vice President of Government Affairs, Bollinger Shipyards
• Mr. Marc Stanley, Executive Vice President of Government Affairs, Bollinger Shipyards
• Mr. Debu Ghosh, Naval Architect, Branch Chief Coast Guard Boat Engineering Branch
• Mr. Joe Michel, Assistant Deputy for Systems Implementation, Coast Guard Nationwide Automatic Identification System Project
• LCDR Chad Jacoby, Program Manager, Scaleable Composite Vessel Prototype Program Science & Technology Directorate Department of Homeland Security
• Ms. Cathy Martindale, Contracting Office Chief, Coast Guard Engineering and Logistics Center
• Rear Admiral Gary T. Blore, Program Executive Officer, Coast Guard Integrated Deepwater System
• Vice Admiral Paul E. Sullivan, Commander, Naval Sea Systems Command, U.S. Navy

Oberstar Says U.S. Investigating Coast Guard Deepwater Program

2007-04-18 22:36 (New York)

By Jeff Bliss

April 18 (Bloomberg) -- A former Lockheed Martin Corp. employee said the defense contractor knowingly used inferior equipment in upgrading Coast Guard ships as a lawmaker said the Justice Department was investigating the program.

Michael DeKort, a former Lockheed project manager on the project, called Deepwater, told the House Transportation Committee that Bethesda, Maryland-based Lockheed Martin used radios that weren't waterproofed and electronic cables that didn't protect classified information to save money on a project to extend eight 110-foot craft into 123-foot vessels.

The Coast Guard yesterday said the ships, whose hulls have been deformed by flawed conversions, would have to be scrapped at a cost of $60 million.

The equipment problems ``are not simply mistakes,'' DeKort said at a hearing in Washington today. ``They were informed, deliberate acts.''

House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman James Oberstar, a Minnesota Democrat, confirmed speculation that the Justice Department was investigating the ship improvement project and other parts of the $24 billion Deepwater program, a 25-year effort to modernize the Coast Guard fleet.

``Justice is conducting its own inquiry into this matter,'' Oberstar said.

DeKort posted videos on YouTube detailing his concerns about the project and said Lockheed removed him from it.

Brian Roehrkasse, a Justice Department spokesman, and Commander Jeff Carter, a Coast Guard spokesman, declined to confirm a Justice Department investigation. Margaret Mitchell-Jones, a spokeswoman for the Deepwater contractors, didn't return a call seeking comment.

Followed Specifications

Lockheed Martin and Los Angeles-based Northrop Grumman Corp. have denied any wrongdoing and said they followed Coast Guard specifications for the project. The two companies, which lead the Deepwater contracting team, have said the cause of the flaws in the conversions hasn't been pinpointed, so blame can't be assigned yet.

The contractors ``will continue to work with the Coast Guard in seeking to determine the root cause of the issues and a path forward to assist the Coast Guard with its mission needs,'' James Anton, Northrop Grumman Ship Systems vice president of the Deepwater project, said at the hearing.

The Deepwater program also involves the upgrading of helicopters and the building of new airplanes and large and medium-sized cutters as well as small boarding craft to replace vessels and aircraft that are decades old.

Representative Elijah Cummings, a Maryland Democrat, said that documents supplied to the committee raised questions and should be given to a ``higher authority'' to determine how much at fault the contractors are.

Inspector General Report

``We have so many documents, to be frank with you, that show so many inconsistencies,'' he said. ``It's better that I turn them over to someone else.''

Lockheed and Northrop's work on Deepwater has been criticized in a Homeland Security Department inspector general report and by lawmakers since the first converted Coast Guard cutter began experiencing problems two years ago.

Coast Guard Commandant Thad Allen said yesterday that the service will take over as manager of the Deepwater program.

Although applauding Allen's move, lawmakers said the Coast Guard's lack of experience in handling such a big project and failure to oversee the Deepwater contractors doesn't give them much confidence.

James Atkinson, president and senior engineer of the Gloucester, Massachusetts-based Granite Island Group, which advises on security issues, said that the Coast Guard had neglected to insist that the converted cutters be modified to ensure that classified communication be protected.

``The Coast Guard was, and still is, spending money like a drunken sailor on shore leave'' on the Deepwater program, Atkinson said. ``My recommendation is that this committee pull the plug on the Coast Guard's access to classified information.''

May 17, 2007



"Deepwater" Program's Direction by Contractors Working on the Plan was

Like Asking "the Fox to Develop the Security Plan For the Henhouse" says

Ex-Coast Guard Officer

The country is less secure and the U.S. Coast Guard is in

worse shape now than when it began its $24 billion "Deepwater"

refurbishment plan years ago, says the chairman of the congressional

committee overseeing the maritime force. Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.)

tells Steve Kroft the plan - managed by contractors who also worked on

the contracts -- is a "mess" that undermines the Coast Guard's crucial

role in homeland security. Kroft's report will be broadcast on 60

MINUTES Sunday, May 20 (7:00-8:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television


"[The Coast Guard] says they're not [in worse shape] but I

think they are," says Cummings. "Here it goes to the national security

of this country... particularly after 9/11...It pains me, it really

does," he says of the plan that is supposed to make the Coast Guard a

better defender against terrorism.

One of the weaknesses caused by Deepwater is the loss of

eight patrol boats due to a botched lengthening process. "When I went to

see these ships that were supposed to be extended from 110 feet to 123

feet...I knew something was wrong," says Cummings. "What you see is a

lot of buckling in the floor," he says. Although Cummings offered to

show 60 MINUTES the problem boats, the Coast Guard refused to allow the

broadcast to accompany or speak with members of Congress at its

Baltimore yard. After a cost of nearly $100 million, the boats will be


Other Deepwater problems range from radios for small boats that weren't

waterproof and failed under testing in a rainstorm to serious questions

about the structural design of what will be the Coast Guard's largest

ships, National Security Cutters. Already $800 million has been spent

on the 418-ft. ships, despite the fact that engineers see design flaws

they believe could cause premature metal fatigue and even structural

failure. Flaws aside, one has been christened and another is being

built. Part of the money spent, $38 million, was wasted on a

since-rejected composite hull design that the former head of the Coast

Guard's Engineering and Logistics Center says was so heavy, it needed

four engines instead of two to propel.

Could the composite idea be a contractor's desire to utilize

a shipyard it re-fitted to construct composite hulls? "One can sure

make that inference," says retired Coast Guard Capt. Kevin Jarvis, the

former head of Engineering and Logistics. This question of conflict of

interest is at the center of what Jarvis believes was fundamentally

wrong with the way the Coast Guard handled Deepwater. Too big to handle

itself, the program was given to a joint venture of defense contractors

Lockheed Martin and Northrup Grumann to manage, which then "contracted"

the job out, mostly to its own companies.

"People say that this is like the fox watching the henhouse

and it's worse than that," says Jarvis. "It's where the government

asked the fox to develop the security system for the henhouse, then told

them 'By the way, we'll give you the security code to the system and

we'll tell you when we're on vacation.' It was...that bad," he tells

Kroft. To watch this clip, click on the link:

Both the Coast Guard and Integrated Coast Guard Systems, the joint

venture of Northrop Grumman and Lockheed Martin, declined to be

interviewed for this story.

Coast Guard Unprepared to Run Deepwater Program, Skinner Says

2007-05-17 17:05 (New York)

By Jeff Bliss

May 17 (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. Coast Guard needs more

expertise before it can oversee its $24 billion Deepwater program

to modernize its ships and planes, the Homeland Security

Department's chief investigator said.

Lockheed Martin Corp. and Northrop Grumman Corp. have

managed the program. Their botched effort to upgrade eight patrol

boats -- the cutters cracked and buckled after being extended 13

feet -- spurred outrage in Congress. Commandant Thad Allen said

last month that the Coast Guard will gradually take ``full

responsibility'' for managing Deepwater.

While the Coast Guard has a good plan to take over

management of the program by 2010, it lacks the right people to

begin assuming major responsibilities now, Richard Skinner, the

department's inspector general, said today.

``The Coast Guard does not have a sufficient number of staff

and mix of experience,'' Skinner told House homeland security

panels in Congress during a hearing in Washington. ``Many of the

staff assigned to Deepwater have little of the training'' needed.

Rear Admiral Gary Blore, Deepwater's executive officer, said

the Coast Guard is reorganizing itself to make better use of the

experience it has managing contracts and is hiring more staff.

Currently, the Coast Guard has 450 military and civilian

employees focused on acquisitions, although more are needed,

particularly in estimating prices of projects, he said.


Blore said in an interview after the hearing that he also

was ``a little concerned'' about the Coast Guard's ability to

take increasing control of Deepwater over the next several years.

The Coast Guard is relying on the expertise of Defense Department

and Navy officials to help them through the transition.

By the end 2010, the Coast Guard will have built up its

workforce to a point that ``we can function as a systems

integrator,'' Blore said.

Skinner said Northrop and Lockheed were resisting his

staff's efforts to investigate design problems with the

construction of the National Security Cutter, the largest vessel

in the planned Deepwater fleet.

``That's just totally unacceptable,'' he said. ``It's the

first time I've ever encountered something like this.''

Margaret Mitchell-Jones, a spokeswoman for the Lockheed-

Northrop team, said the companies made ``multiple requests'' to

find out the scope of the investigation and the topics Skinner's

staffer would discuss with employees.

The request by Skinner's office for unfettered access to

employees was ``outside the normal and expected practice and

experience of the companies,'' she said.

Coast Guard Seeks Deepwater Refund

Problematic Patrol Boats to Be Scrapped

By Renae Merle

Washington Post Staff WriterFriday, May 18, 2007; D03

The Coast Guard said yesterday that it will seek damages from Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman for eight failed patrol boats that have come to exemplify the problems with its $24 billion modernization effort.

The service is seeking a refund for a project to convert 110-foot patrol boats into 123-foot vessels as part of its so-called Deepwater program. The Coast Guard initially planned to upgrade 49 patrol boats but stopped in 2005 after eight had been completed and problems developed in their hulls and decks. At that time, the eight boats, converted at a cost of about $80 million, were put on restrictive duty that forbade them operating in waves higher than eight feet. Last year, after finding more problems, the Coast Guard took those eight boats out of service, and it recently said the boats could not be salvaged and would be scrapped.

The problems were present when the Coast Guard accepted the vessels, but they could not have been discovered by a reasonable inspection, Pamela Bible, a Coast Guard contracting officer, said in a letter to the contractors yesterday. "The physical integrity of the 123 [foot] cutters has been compromised to such a degree the performance specifications under the contract cannot be achieved and sustained," Bible said.

The letter argued that the Coast Guard's own studies attributed the problems to flaws in Lockheed and Northrop's design and said the companies had not provided their own assessment despite saying months ago that they would. "Since the Government has not received any analysis that would effectively exculpate [the contractors] for these hull and alignment problems, the Government must now revoke our prior acceptance in the interest of timeliness," the letter said. The letter said the Coast Guard had not yet determined the amount it is due.

Bethesda-based Lockheed and Northrop, which operate the Coast Guard's Deepwater program under a joint venture known as Integrated Coast Guard Systems, are still evaluating the letter, ICGS spokeswoman Margaret Mitchell-Jones said in a statement.

The announcement comes as the Coast Guard attempts to revamp Deepwater, a program to modernize and upgrade the service's ships and boats over the next 25 years. The program has faced criticism for cost overruns, delays and technical problems with the patrol boats and other vessels, which have attracted the attention of Congress. Last month, the Coast Guard said it would take over leadership of Deepwater, attempting to defuse complaints that Lockheed and Northrop had been given too much leeway to run the program.

"I applaud the Coast Guard for taking this critically important step to recoup millions of dollars wasted by the contractor," Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), chairwoman of the Senate subcommittee that oversees the Coast Guard, said in a statement. "We must continue to hold [the contractors] responsible for these flawed ships that fall far short of contract requirements. Taxpayers should not get stuck with this bill. We will keep on this issue until we fix Deepwater."

DEFENSE: Coast Guard demands refund for faulty ships


The Coast Guard on Thursday demanded a refund for eight faulty ships built jointly by Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman as part of a much-criticized, multibillion-dollar fleet modernization.

Rear Adm. Gary Blore told a House hearing that the Coast Guard was "frustrated and disappointed" by structural problems in eight 123-foot patrol boats that were permanently decommissioned last month.

The Coast Guard last month said it lost between $30 million and $60 million on the eight cutters.

Here is the Coast Guard press announcement on the Deepwater DooDoo and the political patches they are putting on the program.

By legal definition because Lockheed and in turn ICGS - Integrated Coast Guard Systems has a long criminal history, and they (according to the government) practiced a long term course of conduct and they qualify for the definition of "Organized Criminal Enterprise" as defined by the FBI and U.S. law (Chapter 11, 19, 37, and 15 of Title 18 of the United States Code).

Note the following PARTIAL list of Lockheed criminal and civil convictions, fines, etc. Notice that many of them involved flat out fraud on the part of Lockheed, lying in official documents, using defective products, poor workmanship or services, and on , and on ad nauseam.

The real icing-on-the-cake that nobody seems to notice is that both Lockheed are Northrop are both criminal organizations, and both have repeatedly been found guilty of defrauding the government, bribery, blackmail, theft, filing false claims, etc. Here are some of the more notable cases, but between the two companies there are over 100 cases. The two companies came together to form ICGS (Integrated Coast Guard Systems) which acted as the front for the two companies (who both are convicted felons).

Given the two companies proven history of criminal fraud, of multiple serious felony convictions, and of dozens of civil cases of procurement fraud, and fraud regarding government contracts perhaps the Coast Guard should explain who got paid off to get the two companies this multi-billion dollar contract. Yeah, sure this is "an accident"... Yeah, and those 43 bases in Cuba have nothing to do with eavesdropping on Key West Miami, Tampa, and the entire south-east quadrant of the United States.

Here are several Federal cases that go to the heart of both companies being a criminal enterprise defined by law)

Northrop Grumman  Defense $17,000,000    Pled Guilty, 2/27/1990

Allegedly falsified test results and falsely claimed that required tests had been performed on a navigational device manufactured for cruise missiles purchase by the Government.  United States v Northrop, Docket #89-CR-303, US DC CD CA (Criminal)  Taxpayers Against Fraud (TAF) Quarterly Review Volume 14 July 1998; Defense Contract Litigation Reporter 06/18/90; Defense Contracting: Contractor Claims for Legal Costs Associated with Stockholder Lawsuits, GAO/NSIAD-95-66 (July 1995)

Northrop Grumman--Grumman  Defense $20,000    Pled Guilty, 3/16/1990

"Procurement Fraud"  (Criminal)  Defense Contracting: Contractor Claims for Legal Costs Associated with Stockholder Lawsuits, GAO/NSIAD-95-66 (July 1995)

Northrop Grumman--Litton  Defense $3,900,000    Pled Guilty, 1/14/1994

Pled guilty to charges of "conspiracy to defraud the government, wire fraud and converting procurement data."  (Criminal)  Defense Contracting: Contractor Claims for Legal Costs Associated with Stockholder Lawsuits, GAO/NSIAD-95-66 (July 1995); Federal News Service 1/17/1994

Northrop Grumman--Litton (Systems Canada)  Defense $8,882,700    Pled Guilty, 6/30/1999

Pled guilty to accusations of "concealment of commissions paid to consultants who helped obtain contracts to obtain military sales to foreign governments ... and LSL pleaded guilty to additional charges of mail fraud and causing a false statement to be made by the U.S."  (Criminal)  Senator Harkin and Representative DeFazio Press Release 06/07/00; Department of Defense (DOD) Inspector General Press Release 07/01/99 - 07/15/99; US Attorneys Office CD CA Press Release 06/30/99 and 10/25/99; DOD IG Semiannual Report to Congress 04/01/99

Northrop Grumman--Litton (Applied Technology)  Defense $8,881,900    Pled Guilty, 6/30/1999

Pled guilty to accusations of "concealment of commissions paid to consultants who helped obtain contracts to obtain military sales to foreign governments ... ."  (Criminal)  Senator Harkin and Representative DeFazio Press Release 06/07/00; Department of Defense (DOD) Inspector General Press Release 07/01/99 - 07/15/99; US Attorneys Office CD CA Press Releases 06/30/99 and 10/25/99; DOD IG Semiannual Report to Congress 04/01/99

Lockheed Martin --Aeronautical Systems  Defense $21,800,000    Pled Guilty, 1/27/1995

Allegations that Lockheed and its executives paid bribes to an official of the Egyptian government to sell C-130 aircraft to Egypt.  United States v Lockheed, Suliman A. Nassar and Allen R. Love, Docket #94-CR-226-ALL, US DC ND GA (Criminal)  Senator Harkin and Representative DeFazio Press Release 06/07/00; Department of Defense (DOD) Inspector General Report of Investigation 07/02/92 (FOIA); Court Docket; US Dept of Commerce Anti-bribery Provisions of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act

So both companies appear to have criminal convictions on fairly major issues, but they also have other convictions, or rather between the two of them they have around 100 criminal or civil convictions, some of which bear a strong similarity to the Deepwater fiasco.

The common thread in these cases are bribes, kickbacks, procurement fraud, lying to the government, cheating the public, espionage, abusing their employees, proving that they are not trust worthy, and so on ad nauseam. Yet, even with absolute proof of their criminal conduct, convictions of criminal conduct, admission of criminal conduct, and guilty pleas of criminal conduct they are still given billions of dollars of contracts (which they have a history of not being able to deliver).

Lockheed Martin --Lockheed Propulsion Company Environment $85,000,000 Settlement, 1/1/2001
"The corporation is responding to three administrative orders issued by the California Regional Water Quality Control Board & in connection with its former facilities in Redlands, California." (Administrative) Lockheed Martin Fiscal Year 2001 Annual Report

Lockheed Martin Environment $67,000,000 Settlement, 8/1/1996
"The settlement ... Resolved claims of personal injury and property damage asserted by the [1,300] residents [of Burbank, CA] and alleged to be related to environmental contamination ... ." (Civil) Lockheed Martin SEC 10-K FY1996

Lockheed Martin Environment $50,000,000 Superfund Cleanup Costs, 1/1/2000
"The company has been responding to various consent decrees and orders relating to soil and regional groundwater contamination in the San Fernando Valley. & ." (Civil) Lockheed Martin Fiscal Year 2001 Annual Report

Lockheed Martin Financial $27,000,000 Settlement, 2/24/1994 (Lockheed lied?)
"The jury found that Lockheed violated the federal securities laws by making false and misleading public statements about Lockheed's employee stock ownership plan." NL Industries v Lockheed, Docket #90-CV-1950 RMT (Bx), US DC CD CA (Civil) NL Industries SEC 10-K FY1993; Confirmed by Kirkland & Ellis Law Firm on 04/13/01

Lockheed Martin --Aeronautical Systems Defense $21,800,000 Pled Guilty, 1/27/1995 (bribes and kickbacks)
Allegations that Lockheed and its executives paid bribes to an official of the Egyptian government to sell C-130 aircraft to Egypt. United States v Lockheed, Suliman A. Nassar and Allen R. Love, Docket #94-CR-226-ALL, US DC ND GA (Criminal) Senator Harkin and Representative DeFazio Press Release 06/07/00; Department of Defense (DOD) Inspector General Report of Investigation 07/02/92 (FOIA); Court Docket; US Dept of Commerce Anti-bribery Provisions of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act

Lockheed Martin --Martin Marietta Labor $13,000,000 Settlement, 11/21/1996
" claimed that Martin targeted its employees age 40 and over for a series of massive layoffs and forced retirements over a five-year period." (Civil) Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) Press Release 11/21/96

Lockheed Martin Defense $13,000,000 Fine, 6/13/2000 (nice to know that Lockheed defecates on U.S. national security)
Allegedly "the information transferred [to the Chinese Government] was inappropriate ... and ... there was a serious problem here that information had the potential to be used to be applied to missile development." (Administrative) Consent Decree 06/13/00; State Department Press Briefing 06/14/00

Lockheed Martin --Federal Systems Other $12,800,000 Judgment Against Defendant, 11/27/2002
"The jury found defendants liable for breach of contract and for substantial compensatory damages." Cable & Computer Technology Inc. v Lockheed Sanders; Lockheed Martin; and Lockheed Martin Federal Systems, Docket #97-CV-05315, US DC CD CA (Civil)

Lockheed Martin --Sanders Other $12,800,000 Judgment Against Defendant, 11/27/2002
"The jury found defendants liable for breach of contract and for substantial compensatory damages." Cable & Computer Technology Inc. v Lockheed Sanders; Lockheed Martin; and Lockheed Martin Federal Systems, Docket #97-CV-05315, US DC CD CA (Civil) 52 Fed. Appx. 20; 2002 U.S. App. LEXIS 24501 [Lexis legal document]

Lockheed Martin Other $10,500,000 Settlement, 3/13/2001
"IBM's Federal Systems Division overcharged the FAA for rent on four office buildings. & . Lockheed Martin (which acquired IBM's Federal Systems Division) agreed to credit the FAA with $10,500,000, to be offset through future billings." (Administrative) Department of Transportation Inspector General Press Release 3/13/2001

Lockheed Martin --Electromechanical Systems Defense $500,200 (Fine/Penalty) $7,500,000 (Restitution) Judgment Against Defendant, 11/6/2000
Allegedly "since at least 1989, EMS and its employees have defrauded the government by charging costs incurred on its commercial contracts to its contracts with the Navy ... ." United States v Comsat, Docket #96-CV-966, US DC MD FL (Civil) Department of Defense (DOD) Inspector General Press Release 11/01/00 - 11/15/00; Department of Justice (DOJ) Press Release 01/16/99; Court Docket

Lockheed Martin --Control Systems Defense $7,870,177 Settlement, 1/12/1998
"Defective Pricing" (Civil) Senator Harkin and Representative DeFazio Press Release 06/07/00

Lockheed Martin Defense $7,100,000 Settlement, 6/10/2003
"Allegations that payments made by NASA to Lockheed Engineering Sciences Corporation were based upon false and fraudulent lease cost claims." (Civil) U.S. Department of Justice U.S. Attorney's Office Southern District of Texas News Release 06/10/2003

Lockheed Martin --Martin Marietta Defense $6,700,000 Settlement, 10/6/1993
Allegedly "fraudulently overcharged the US on dozens of defense procurement contracts from 1979 through 1988." (Civil) US Attorney's Office District of MA Press Release 10/06/93

Lockheed Martin --Support Systems Defense $6,693,000 Settlement, 3/30/1994
"The allegations include that LSSI [Lockheed Support Systems, Inc.] underpaid its service contract employees . & ." (Administrative) Memorandum from the Department of the Navy Office of General Counsel 11/21/1994

Lockheed Martin --Lockheed Defense $6,284,796 Settlement, 12/14/1994
Alleged nondisclosure of information to the Air Force negotiators regarding Lockheeds realization factor for direct labor costs for manufacturing ... . (Civil) Department of Defense (DOD) Inspector General Report of Investigation 01/11/96 (FOIA); Court Settlement Agreement 12/14/94

Lockheed Martin --Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory Labor $5,974,636 Judgment Against Defendant, 2/13/2002
"Twenty-six plaintiffs, all over age forty, brought age discrimination suit after their employment was terminated ... ." Meacham v Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory, Docket #97-CV-12, US DC ND NY; Quinn v Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory, Docket #97-CV-45, US DC ND NY (Civil) The Times Union (Albany, NY) 10/13/00; Court Docket; West Federal Supplement (185 F.Supp.2d 193); Confirmed by US DC ND NY clerk on 05/16/01

Lockheed Martin Defense $5,300,000 Settlement, 12/23/1996 (just like the Deepwater Project)
Settled "allegations it overcharged the DOD by deliberately bidding low to win a contract and then made up the shortfall by boosting research and development costs ... ." United States v Martin Marietta, Docket #L91-1853, US DC MD (Civil) Settlement Agreement 12/20/96; Department of Justice (DOJ) Press Release 12/23/96; Taxpayers Against Fraud (TAF) Quarterly Review Volume 8 January 1997

Lockheed Martin Environment $5,000,000 Settlement, 10/2/2000
"... more than 300 Burbank residents ... claimed they suffered illness due to toxic pollution." Abel v Lockheed Martin, Docket #EC021023, CA Superior Court (Los Angeles) (Civil) Mealey's Pollution Liability Reporter November 2000

Lockheed Martin --Sanders Defense $5,000,000 Settlement, 5/1/2000
"... case involving the defective pricing on US Navy contracts ... [which] appears to be a pattern of activity ... ." (Civil) Naval Criminal Investigative Service Press Release 01/15/00 - 06/15/00; Taxpayers Against Fraud (TAF) Quarterly Review Volume 19 July 2000

Lockheed Martin Defense $5,000,000 Fine, 9/1/1998
A qui tam complaint alleged that Lockheed Martin Corporation mischarged the Government by directing costs incurred in a commercial venture to the Government. (Administrative) Department of Defense (DOD) Inspector General Semiannual Report to Congress 04/01/98 - 09/30/98

Lockheed Martin --Naval Electronics & Surveillance Systems - Akron Defense $4,250,000 Settlement, 5/1/2000
"Foreign Military Sales (FMS) funds were improperly used while performing on a FMS contract ... ." (Civil) Department of Defense (DOD) Inspector General Press Release 05/01/00 - 05/15/00

Lockheed Martin Environment $3,700,000 Settlement, 10/5/1999
(Civil) Redlands City Council Minutes 10/05/99

Lockheed Martin Environment $3,500,000 Superfund Cleanup Costs, 3/14/2000
"... proposed decree provides for a cash payment of $3.5 million over 10 years from LMC to the USAF and clean up services for LMC [for contamination in] ... Jefferson Co., Colorado site." United States v Lockheed Martin, Docket #00-S-562, US DC CO; Docket #97-CV-4214, US DC CD CA (Civil) Department of Justice (DOJ) Press Release 04/13/00; Court Docket; Confirmed by DOJ Environmental Natural Resource Division (ENRD) on 06/26/01

Lockheed Martin --Martin Marietta Defense $3,100,000 Settlement, 9/18/2002
"The government alleged that from 1987 through 1994, GE and Martin Marietta manufactured and delivered for installation in Hornet aircraft more than 1,300 Accelerometer Sensor Assemblies that did not comply with electromagnetic interference contractual requirements." United States v General Electric, 97-CV-255, US DC SD OH (Civil) Department of Justice Press Release 9/18/2002

Lockheed Martin Defense $3,000,000 Judgment Against Defendant, 1/27/1995
Allegations that Lockheed and its executives paid bribes to an official of the Egyptian government to sell C-130 aircraft to Egypt. United States v Lockheed, Suliman A. Nassar and Allen R. Love, Docket #94-CR-226-ALL, US DC ND GA (Civil) Senator Harkin and Representative DeFazio Press Release 06/07/00; Department of Defense (DOD) Inspector General Report of Investigation 07/02/92 (FOIA); Court Docket; US Dept of Commerce Anti-bribery Provisions of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act

Lockheed Martin --Martin Marietta Defense $2,252,501 Settlement, 12/20/1996
"Procurement Fraud" (Civil) Senator Harkin and Representative DeFazio Press Release 06/07/00

Lockheed Martin --Tactical Systems Division Defense $2,122,603 Settlement, 8/1/2002
"Allegations that the company submitted or caused to be submitted certain claims to the Navy that were false and fraudulent & " (Civil) Department of Justice Press Release 8/1/2002

Lockheed Martin --Loral Electronics Systems Defense $1,550,000 Settlement, 1/10/1995
"Defective Pricing" (Civil) Senator Harkin and Representative DeFazio Press Release 06/07/00

Lockheed Martin Defense $1,500,000 Settlement, 7/27/1998
Allegedly "mischarged in excess of $22 million ... by intentionally misclassifying leasehold improvements as rent in order that the ... costs could be reimbursed by the Government ... ." (Civil) Department of Defense (DOD) Inspector General Report of Investigation 11/12/98 (FOIA)

Lockheed Martin Defense $1,407,834 Settlement, 1/23/2003
"The lawsuit alleges that Loral wrongfully inflated estimated costs it was required to disclose during contract negotiations, resulting in an inflated contract price and false claims for payment under the contracts." United States v Lockheed Martin, 97-CV-767, US DC SD OH (Civil) Department of Justice Press Release 01/23/03

Lockheed Martin Environment $1,300,000 Fine, 5/2/2002
"The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today penalized Lockheed Martin & for failing to operate its pump and treat groundwater cleanup system at the Burbank area of the San Fernando Valley Superfund site at full capacity." (Administrative) Environmental Protection Agency Region 9 News Release 5/2/2002

Lockheed Martin --Martin Marietta Electronic Systems Defense $1,172,062 Settlement, 4/9/1996
"Defective Pricing" (Civil) Senator Harkin and Representative DeFazio Press Release 06/07/00

Lockheed Martin Labor $1,045,000 Fine, 8/28/2000
Accused of "... multiple violations of nuclear safety requirements ... ." (Administrative) Department of Energy (DOE) Press Release 08/28/00; Confirmed by DOE on 04/23/01

Lockheed Martin Defense $1,042,144 Settlement, 8/4/1992

"Procurement Fraud" (Civil) Defense Contracting: Contractor Claims for Legal Costs Associated with Stockholder Lawsuits, GAO/NSIAD-95-66 (July 1995)

Lockheed Martin --Comsat (Electromechanical Systems) Defense $1,000,000 Settlement, 8/27/2001
"Electromechanical Systems, Inc., & have agreed to pay the United States $1 million to settle allegations related to contract fraud." United States v Comsat Corp., Docket #96-CV-966, US DC MD FL (Civil) Court Docket; Department of Justice Press Release 8/27/2001

Lockheed Martin --Martin Marietta Defense $752,000 Settlement, 4/22/1992
"Procurement Fraud" (Civil) Defense Contracting: Contractor Claims for Legal Costs Associated with Stockholder Lawsuits, GAO/NSIAD-95-66 (July 1995)

Lockheed Martin Defense $639,641 Settlement, 4/30/1993
"Procurement Fraud" (Civil) Defense Contracting: Contractor Claims for Legal Costs Associated with Stockholder Lawsuits, GAO/NSIAD-95-66 (July 1995)

Lockheed Martin Defense $530,000 Settlement, 4/22/2002
"An investigation revealed that approximately 23 Lockheed employees working on the contract did not meet the minimum qualifications for their positions. Consequently, Lockheed charged and billed & a higher hourly rate for these employees than was allowed." (Administrative) Department of Defense Criminal Investigative Service Press Release 4/22/2002

Lockheed Martin --Randtron Systems Defense $500,000 Settlement, 10/18/1996

Settled claims that it didn't give the government relevant information that would have lowered the price of military contracts for radar antennas... (Civil) Department of Justice (DOJ) Press Release 10/18/96

Lockheed Martin --Michoud Space Systems Defense $450,000 Settlement, 10/1/2000
"An investigation revealed LMMSS failed to fully report its use of Government-furnished equipment and facilities for commercial production of thermal protective products ... ." (Civil) Department of Defense (DOD) Inspector General Press Release 10/01/00 - 10/15/00

Lockheed Martin Labor $250,000 Judgment Against Defendant, 10/17/2000
Job Discrimination (Sex) Case Davey v Lockheed Martin, Docket #96-CV-2076, US DC CO; On Appeal 10th Circuit, Docket #00-1373 (Civil) Court Docket; General Docket US Court of Appeals 10th Circuit

Lockheed Martin --Idaho Technologies Labor $220,000 Fine, 8/20/1999
"The $220,000 penalty to Lockheed Martin Idaho Technologies Company (LMITCO) covers problems with nuclear waste storage containers in addition to a number of other violations that took place over a period from 1995 to 1998." (Administrative) Department of Energy (DOE) News Release 08/20/99

Lockheed Martin --Aeronautical Systems Defense $202,500 Settlement, 7/14/1997
"Lockheed facilities manager was [allegedly] involved in a scheme with ... an independent real estate appraiser ... to over-appraise the value of Lockheed executives homes during a ... relocation buyback program. (Civil) Senator Harkin and Representative DeFazio Press Release 06/07/00; Department of Defense (DOD) Inspector General Report of Investigation 12/09/97 (FOIA)

Lockheed Martin --Federal Systems Defense $200,000 Settlement, 8/22/1996
"... alleged failure ... of Lockheed ... to properly inspect, test, or remove residual salts from dip-brazed [aircraft-computer] parts ... ." United States v IBM, Docket #93-CV-1408 TJM/DNH, US DC ND NY (Civil) Settlement Agreement 08/22/96; Senator Harkin and Representative DeFazio Press Release 06/07/00

Lockheed Martin --Aeronautical Systems Defense $146,000 Settlement, 11/21/1995
"Contractor Kickbacks" United States v Lockheed, Docket #93-CV-2167, US DC ND GA (Civil) Senator Harkin and Representative DeFazio Press Release 06/07/00; Court Docket; Confirmed by Department of Justice (DOJ) Public Affairs Office on 07/20/01

Lockheed Martin --Idaho Technologies Environment $130,175 Fine, 10/29/2001
Allegedly "violating federal asbestos and chlorofluorocarbons (CFC) emissions laws." (Administrative) Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 10 News Release 10/29/01

Lockheed Martin --Idaho Technologies Labor $125,000 Fine, 6/8/1998
"The Department of Energy (DOE) has fined two contractors at the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory (INEEL) for violations of nuclear safety rules that led to low-level radiation exposures to six workers in September 1997." (Administrative) Department of Energy (DOE) News Release 06/08/99

Lockheed Martin --Idaho Technologies Other $55,000 Fine, 9/24/1998
"In October 1997, two reactor operators at the Advanced Test Reactor Critical Facility in Idaho falsified records to indicate that the required testing of reactor safety systems had been performed, when in fact it had not." (Administrative) Department of Energy (DOE) News Release 09/24/98

Lockheed Martin Environment $45,000 Fine, 4/21/1997

Toxic Substances Control Act case. (Civil) Environmental Protection Agency Freedom of Information Act document

Lockheed Martin --Martin Marietta Other $45,000 Fine, 9/30/1997
"Allegations that Martin Marietta exported graphic/epoxy prepreg material from the United States to South Korea, without obtaining the required validated export licenses." (Administrative) Department of Commerce News Release 9/30/1997; Settlement Agreement

Lockheed Martin --Energy Systems Environment $43,000 Fine, 4/21/1997
Toxic Substances Control Act case. (Civil) Environmental Protection Agency Freedom of Information Act document

Lockheed Martin --Energy Systems Environment $22,500 Fine, 10/24/1996
Resource Conservation and Recovery Act case. (Civil) Environmental Protection Agency Freedom of Information Act document

Lockheed Martin --Loral Federal Systems Defense $17,272 Settlement, 9/18/1996
"Cost/Labor Mischarge" (Civil) Senator Harkin and Representative DeFazio Press Release 06/07/00

Lockheed Martin --Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory Environment $12,750 Fine, 7/2/1998
... failing to notify the EPA promptly of releases of PCBs. (Administrative) Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Press Release 07/02/98

Lockheed Martin --Lockheed Environment $6,000 Fine, 8/18/1994
Clean Water Act case. (Administrative) Environmental Protection Agency Freedom of Information Act document

Lockheed Martin Environment $5,000 Fine, 11/2/2000
Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act case. (Civil) Environmental Protection Agency Freedom of Information Act document

Lockheed Martin Environment $500 Fine, 3/13/1997
Toxic Substances Control Act case. (Administrative) Environmental Protection Agency Freedom of Information Act document

Lockheed Martin Environment Part of $37,250,000 Superfund Cleanup Costs, 5/25/2000
Lockheed will pay for drinking water aquifer restoration costs in the San Fernando Valley - one of the largest contaminated groundwater sites in California. (Administrative) Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 9 Press Release 05/25/00

Lockheed Martin Labor Pending, 5/10/2000
"... African-American employees charge that Lockheed harassed black workers [and] denied them deserved promotions or wages ... ." Reid v Lockheed Martin; Yarbrough v Lockheed Martin, Docket #00-CV-1182 & Docket #00-CV-1183, US DC ND GA (Civil) Court Docket; Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) Press Release 12/05/00

Lockheed Martin Environment Pending, 6/28/2000
"The [class action] suit alleges the companies didn't run the [Hanford Nuclear Reservation] plant safely and failed to inform the public of the health risks." Lumpkin v EI Dupont, Docket #00-CT-5052, US DC ED WA (Civil) Pittsburgh Post Gazette 07/12/00; Confirmed by Short, Cressman & Burgess Law Firm on 04/23/01

Lockheed Martin --Missions Systems Labor Pending, 7/13/2001
Two employees were "allegedly subjected to sexual harassment and sex discrimination at Lockheed's facility in Albuquerque, New Mexico." (Civil) Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) Press Release 07/13/01; Court Complaint

Lockheed Martin Environment Part of $2,292,954 Superfund Cleanup Costs, 10/6/2000
"... the United States sought recovery of the past costs it incurred with addressing the release ... of contaminants at the Vandale Junkyard Superfund Site in ... Ohio." United States v BF Goodrich, Docket #C2-97-366, US DC SD OH (Civil) Department of Justice (DOJ) Press Release 10/06/00; Consent Decree 07/17/00; Confirmed by DOJ on 06/27/01

Lockheed Martin --Space Systems Defense Pending, 4/5/2001
Lockheed is allegedly "selling several buildings and associated land ... in effect considering the buildings to be worthless [but] proposals to charge government contracts with over $95 million in losses for the supposedly worthless buildings." (Administrative) Letter from Senator Tom Harkin to Diedra Hall, Director of Defense Procurement 04/05/01; Confirmed by Defense Contract Management Office on 06/28/01; Pending status confirmed by Senator Harkin's Office on 03/19/02

Lockheed Martin Environment Part of $12,145,000 Superfund Cleanup Costs, 11/23/1999
Regarding "cleanup of the Pine Street Canal Superfund Site in Burlington, Vermont." United States v Green Mountain Power, Docket #99-CV-366, US DC VT (Civil) EPA Press Release 11/23/99; Confirmed by Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 2 on 05/02/01

Lockheed Martin --Loral Defense Pending, 8/13/1996
False Claims Act Lawsuit United States v Loral, Docket #96-CV-5554, US DC CD CA (Civil) Court Docket

Lockheed Martin --Tactical Systems Defense Pending, 5/5/1999 (who at the CG got a kickback?)
"Ultimately, the contract was awarded to the winning bidder. Subsequently, it was revealed that the winning bidder offered bribes and sexual favors to key Korean officials. The losing bidder filed an action asserting claims under California's unfair competition law. ... ." Korea Supply Company v Lockheed Martin, Court of Appeal of California, Second Appellate District, Division Four. Los Angeles County. B136410. No. BC 20893 (Civil) Supreme Court of California 29 Cal. 4th 1134; 63 P.3d 937; 131 Cal. Rptr. 2d 29; 2003 Cal. LEXIS 1301; 2003 Cal. Daily Op. Service 1825; 2003 Daily Journal DAR 2291 (Lexis legal document)

Lockheed Martin --Energy Systems Environment Pending, 6/1/1999
"Alleges that Energy Systems submitted false claims for millions of dollars while failing to store properly and dispose of radioactive and hazardous wastes." United States v. Lockheed Martin, Docket #5:99-CV-00170-M, US DC WD KY (Civil) Department of Justice Press Release 05/30/2003

Lockheed Martin --Sanders Environment Part of $626,000 Superfund Cleanup Costs, 7/11/2002
"Administrative settlement for recovery of past response costs concerning the Angelillo Property Superfund site in Southington, Connecticut with the settling parties." (Civil) Federal Register 7/11/2002 (Vol.67,No.133) p.45978-45980

Lockheed Martin --Lockheed Missiles and Space Company Defense Pending, 1/8/1988
Allegedly, "filed false claims for payments under several contracts with the federal government." United States v Lockheed Missiles and Space, Docket #88-CV-20009, US DC ND CA (Civil) Government Contract Litigation Reporter 03/23/00; Court Docket; Federal Contracts Report 03/29/99; Taxpayers Against Fraud (TAF) Quarterly Report Volume 11 October 1997, Volume 16 April 1999; Appeals Court Docket Summary

Lockheed Martin Defense Sealed Case Settlement, 9/19/2000
"A C-130 Hercules was on a routine training mission ... when its four Allison T-56 turboprop engines failed, causing the aircraft to crash. The lawsuit alleged that Lockheed Martin was liable for the crash ... that took the lives of ten Air Force Reservists." Wellnitz v Lockheed Martin, Docket #97-CV-1648, US DC OR (Civil) Armed Forces Newswire Service 11/24/97; Court Docket; Confirmed by Tichenor & Dziuba Law Firm on 04/19/02

Lockheed Martin Labor Sealed Case Settlement, 3/1/1993
Three former employees of Lockheed Corp ... claimed they had been dismissed after revealing faults in Lockheeds C5B cargo plane. Benecke v Lockheed, Docket #621967, Superior Court (Los Angeles County) (Civil) The National Law Journal 01/17/94

Lockheed Martin --Martin Marietta Defense Part of $5,874,000 Settlement, 12/23/1994
Allegations of "wrongdoing associated with foreign military sales of radar systems to Egypt ... ." (Civil) Taxpayers Against Fraud (TAF) Press Release 12/23/94

Lockheed Martin Environment Pending, 8/14/1996
"Residents and property owners [in Burbank, CA] seeking to recover damages for nuisance arising from environmental remediation efforts at the site of massive toxic contamination ... ." Hook v Lockheed Martin, Docket #96-CV-5584, US DC CD CA (Western Division) (Civil) Gancedo & Nieves Law Firm case description, downloaded 07/20/01; Court Docket

Lockheed Martin Defense Pending, 12/14/1995 (shades of Deepwater)
" accusing Lockheed Martin Corp. of deliberately inflating the cost of equipment it sold to the US Air Force" United States v Lockheed Martin, Docket #95-CV-1287, US DC MD FL (Civil) Reuters 09/29/01; Court Docket

Lockheed Martin --Martin Marietta Environment Part of $12,145,000 Superfund Cleanup Costs, 11/23/1999
Regarding "cleanup of the Pine Street Canal Superfund Site in Burlington, Vermont." United States v Green Mountain Power, Docket #99-CV-366, US DC VT (Civil) EPA Press Release 11/23/99; Confirmed by Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 2 on 05/02/01

Lockheed Martin Environment Pending, 8/1/1997
"... groundwater contamination class complaint ... ." Carillo v Lockheed Martin, Docket #RCV31496, Superior Court (Court of Appeal, 4th District, Division Two, California) (Civil) Mass Tort Litigation Reporter August 1997; Court Docket; Confirmed by Engstrom, Lipscomb & Lack Law Firm on 05/01/01;

Lockheed Martin Defense Part of $3,150,000 Settlement, 3/26/1998
Allegations "that Unisys sold spare parts at inflated prices for the NEXRAD Doppler Radar System. Lockheed Martin succeeded Unisys on the contract ... ." (Civil) Department of Justice (DOJ) Press Release 03/26/98

Lockheed Martin Labor Sealed Case Settlement, 5/7/1998
"Workers in an Alabama foundry incurred a potentially deadly lung disease because manufacturers of a mask used to trap dust particles [allegedly] did not properly test the device ... ." (Civil) Houston Chronicle 05/08/98; Confirmed by Watts & Heard Law Firm on 04/12/01

Lockheed Martin --Energy Systems Environment Pending, 6/23/1998
"Plaintiffs who own property near the ... complex ... [are] alleging that radioactive and chemical wastes are being discharged into the environment due to the negligence of the defendants." Adkins v Divested Atomic, Docket #98-CV-595, US DC SD OH (Civil) Hazardous Waste Litigation Reporter 07/28/98; Court Docket; Confirmed by Waite, Schneider, Bayless & Chesley Law Firm on 06/22/01

Lockheed Martin Financial Pending, 1/14/1999
Allegedly "inflated the companys stock price by makin false and misleading statements about Lockheeds operations and earnings." Yousefi v Lockheed Martin, Docket #99-CV-372, US DC CD CA (Civil) Court Docket; Stull, Stull & Brody Law Firm Press Release 06/18/99

Lockheed Martin Financial Pending, 2/11/1999
"The Complaint alleges that Lockheed violated the securities laws by misrepresenting how the Company had reached its 3rd Quarter 1998 EPS targets ... by utilizing a secret accounting adjustment ... ." Kretchmeyer v Lockheed Martin, Docket #99-CV-1476, US DC CD CA (Civil) Court Docket; Wolf, Haldenstein, Adler, Freeman & Herz Press Release 02/11/99; Confirmed by Wolf, Haldenstein Law Firm on 05/11/01

Lockheed Martin Financial Pending, 7/15/1999
"The Complaint alleges that ... Lockheeds insiders reinitiated a ... [misleading] publicity campaign ... to boost its stock price throughout 1999." Kensington Cap v Lockheed Martin, Docket #99-CV-7249, US DC WD CA (Civil) Court Docket; Wolf, Haldenstein Law Firm Press Release 07/15/99; Confirmed by Wolf, Haldenstein Law Firm on 05/11/01

Lockheed Martin Defense Pending, 5/30/1995
" alleged that Lockheed Martin program management purposely hid $40 million reserve in order to create additional profit which could be used to offset overruns on another contract." United States v Lockheed Martin, Docket #95-CV-549 & Docket #95-CV-1287, US DC MD FL (Civil) Department of Justice (DOJ) Press Release 09/28/01; Court Docket

Pay no attention to the long range missiles at San Antonio de los Banos, and those Fulcrums in Cuba which certainly present no issues in regards to weapons that we should be concerned with, and of course the brothers Castro have never expressed their intention to turn Florida into a molten sea of glass at the slightest provocation.

It is comforting to know that not only was the Coast Guard letting two convicted felons run the entire Deepwater program worth tens of billions of dollars, but that they were willingly, and knowingly letting Lockheed and Northrop sodomize every member of the Coast Guard while the senior leadership of the CG stood by and glad-handed the two contractors and just kept tossing more, and more money at them. Points to the Coasties if they can explain why Cuba has several TU-22ME alert pads and bunkers near Santa Clara, and why those seven axle trucks in the Sierra Maestra mountains on the East side of the island are not hauling Cuban produce to market.

Those Shaanxi Y-8/AN-12 with a warts on the belly that seem to take to the air on a regular basis during fast boat ferret runs would have nothing to do with the Coast Guard having one of the weakest TEMPEST and TSCM programs in the government, and that the Coast Guard has a long history of getting into long chases with lots of classified communications... no, that couldn't be a problem.

It is nice to know that the senior leadership of the Coast Guard cares so little for the Coastguardsman under their command that instead of actually doing their job they would rather hand money over to someone who is legally on the same level as a Colombian drug lord. They can't really blaim the previous CG management on the probelm either, as the current management was a staff member of the previous leadership, and while the currently leadership may be tasked with the clean-up, they also have to be held responsible for causing the probelm in the first place. You see the whole Deepwater 2001 - 2006 program was more about politics and pork barrel spending and less about building boats that float and planes that fly.

Here is a copy of written testimony to the House Committee on the matter:

... and a short one page summary of the 168 page testimony

This is a detailed copy of some of the TEMPEST inspections performed by Lockheed and by the Coast Guard.

As you can see in the first few dozen pages, Lockheed knew full well about 75 major screw ups with the design of the ships, that resulted in somewhere around 300 problems, and was planning to sneak the deliberately created problems past the Coast Guard (er, Navy) instrumented inspections. It seems that the Coast Guard did not have anybody qualified to perform the inspections and that there was a last minute scramble to get the Navy to perform the inspections for the Coast Guard, and that the inexperienced Coast Guard inspector was in way over his head.

Lockheed did however, provide one of thier engineers who used to perform these inspections (in a previous position) to the Coast Guard CTTA and who helped document the serious TEMPEST, HIJACK, and NONSTOP problems in the Matagorda. The results of this inspection were not mentioned in the DD-250 inspections filed mere days later, and in fact the vast majority of the probelms found were never mentioned again in public documents.

This set of documents proves that not only did Lockheed/ICGS know well in advance that the ships had gaping holes in the TEMPEST compliance, but that they knew that they did not comply with the government specifications when they signed the "Certificates of Conformance" (which is a very serious federal felony). Also, the Coast Guard inspector knew that these ships did not comply with the contract BEFORE they accepted the ships, and instead of rejecting the ships he chose to instead cover-up the TEMPEST problems.

The Coast Guard inspector also did not mention any of the more serious problems that was discovered in the earlier inspections in later reports, and according to Lockheed employees at the time he seemed to be fairly new to this whole TEMPEST inspection issue.

The issue of the ships having waivers or not having waivers is actually immaterial, the ships did not comply with the specification for design and construction, and did not comply with the original contract. It doesn't matter if the ships passed or did not pass the instrumented inspections as they failed the visual inspections. Even if they passed the visual inspections, and passed the instrumented inspections the design itself would have failed as it did not comply with MIL-HNBK-232.

Shhhh, don't tell anybody, but they were playing with smoke and mirrors to confuse people who do not understand such things.

The whole Deepwater TEMPEST and NONSTOP issue is right out of a Franz Kafka book, and the double speak of the contractors and the inspectors is actually quite incredible, but what is even more incredible is that the Coast Guard "TEMPEST Expert" (who really wasn't) not only issued waivers for serious classified leaks, but instead of fixing some of the problems actually did nothing more then stick a label to something to make a technical problem go away, but did not deal with the technical problem itself... the brothers Castro were no doubt delighted by this, as the Matagorda, Padre, and other new cutters came to visit Cuban waters even while hemorrhaging classified information.

This is a full (uncorrected) copy of the entire hearing held on April 18, 2007. It is a very long document, and while some of it is quite dry, there are portions of the testimony where the Coast Guard admits that they were in way, way over their head, that they let themselves get ripped off, and that quite frankly they didn't care about anything other than favorable press releases (and the paint job on the Cutters), and not so much the capability of the boats not to leak by letting seawater in and national secrets out. Quite a bit of the government and contractor testimony was right out of a Franz Kafka book, just like the previously mentioned inspection reports.

In the following Memo dated 05-March-2005 the Matagorda failed it's inspection (held two weeks before the letter was written), but this was not the first time that he had formally inspected the ships and if you read back through some of the other documents we see that he was on the ship just a few weeks prior to this when he documented hundreds of serious problems, that were conveniently not listed in his formal pre-acceptance inspection report mere days later.

As of the date of this second inspection report (dated 28-Oct-2005) the Matagorda still has not passed the instrumented inspection, and there are still gaping holes in the security of the the ships communication systems.

By 27-Apr-2005 the ships were still in really bad shape, and were still leaking secrets. It was so bad that the inspectors from the Navy (not the Coast Guard) stated that connectivity to classified systems was "high risk" in that the ship was known and proven to leak secrets.

The bottom line is that the Coast Guard was more interested in rushing these new ships into service so that the CG Commandant could churn up some new press releases about how wonderful his new toys were (no matter that they didn't float, and leaked secrets). At this point the Coast Guard STILL had more public relations people then TEMPEST people or engineers. The Admirals public image was obviously more important then a ship that floats, and which can keep secrets.

So here we have a Padre inspection report, which was caused by the previous inspections failing, grave flaws being covered up with waivers, and still having discrepancies. Notably missing from the inspection is the CG CTTA and that no instrumented inspections were performed at this time (as required).

This is a document where the Coast Guard CTTA essentially said "screw it, we don't care about the leaks, just activate the damn equipment, the Admiral needs his photo Op.... national security be damned". Not a very smart move, and certainly an act that injured the country and disclosed classified information.

This is a written testimony provided to the Committee by Michael DeKort that goes into his dealing with the Deepwater project while working for Lockheed. He is the first person to blow the whistle on the company when he realized that they were scamming the government.

This is the first major DHS-OIG inspection report.

What is quite notable is that the OIG said that the CG and ICGS/Lockheed obstructed the investigation, but that the Coast Guard finally relented and shared some of the documents, but not all of the relevant materials (and that Lockheed/ICGS basically told the OIG to get stuffed). Since the OIG also lacked the technical skills to perform any TEMPEST inspections themselves, all they could do is take the CG's documents which (incorrectly) claimed the ships were secure and merely republish the fraudulent reports they were given.

ICGS/Lockheed and the COast Guard senior leadership is also using this rigged OIG report to provide themselves with air cover over the delivery of screwed up ships. First they will not give the OIG the documents and access the OIG requested, and then they take the biased report and use it as an excuse about how the OIG could find any problems. Of course, shortly after this report was published the Coast Guard decided not to actually use the ships, and hauled the ships (by tugboat) to a pier in Baltimore as they were too shaken up by the OIG report. Something about the OIG pointing out that the ships were not seaworthy, and that there would be nobody to rescue to Coastguardsman when the ships went down bothered the Admiral for some reason.

This is the second DHS-OIG report, which was quite a but more damning.

As a result of this report the Coast Guard realized that their Coastguardsmen could be killed on board these ships, and that the ships were leaking secrets.

This is the report where the entire 100 billion dollar Deepwater project started coming apart for ICGS and Lockheed, and why there were, and continue to be Congressional hearings on the matter, and why a Federal Grand Jury and the Departent of Justice is spending time of the project.

Deepwater started as a 24 billion dollar project that was supposed to take 20 years, but instead morphed into a 96 billion dollar project that they were trying to speed up to only a 10 year duration. The original "burn rate" for the money was one billion dollars per year, that instead got jacked up to 10 billion per year (pork barrel politics and all).

The "new plan" was to spend the first five year of the project cranking out 19 123' cutters, two or three National Security Cutters, a host of UAV's, new helicopter engines, and several billion dollars in C4ISR systems (from June 2002 to June 2007), and then a second stage of the project they planned to blow something like 85 billion over a 5 year period (June 2007 to June 2012), with the residual balance following after that (post June 2012). By totally screwing up the 123' cutter conversion Integrated Coast Guard Systems / Lockheed essentially screwed themselves out of the larger portion of the project.

As of April 2007 the Coast Guard had paid ICGS around 2 billion dollars, but ICGS was also scrambling to get the first National Security Cutter delivered and paid for. It seems that the 123' cutters was a bit of a lost leader at roughly 8 million dollars a pop, but that the NSC and vertical takeoff UAV's (based on the NSC) was where the majority of the future profits would have come from to Lockheed in the form of [leaky] C4ISR systems. ICGS also needed the profits from the 123' conversion and helicopter upgrades to finance the VUAV and Nation Security Cutter projects until Uncle Sam took delivery of the first NSC and UAV's.

Further investigation revealed that the NSC is severely screwed up, and that it is incapable of meeting the original specifications, and is going to cost 2 to 3 times the original budget. Even if the government bails out of the project there is a plan (or some people would say, scheme) for the CG to pay off the contractor (ICGS) and abort the entire project.

An uncomfortable truth is that the NSC was primarily designed to be a launching platform for the vertical UAV's, but if they take the VUAV project (valued at 600 million dollars plus off the table) there is no reason to build the NSC. During May 2007 the Coast Guard scrapped the vertical UAV project which means that the NSC project is now a waste of money. Also, much of the communications equipment being installed on the NSC has major TEMPEST, NONSTOP, HIJACK, and other EMSEC probelms, so the NSC is going to electronically "light-up-like-a-Chirstmas-tree" when they try to transmit classified data off the ship.

Add to this the fact that the NSC has not yet (as of May 2007) passed a TEMPEST inspection, and is not capable of operating at the speeds required in the contract, and that the hull will likely buckle at a sustained speed 28 knots (some would say 25 knots). Unless this ship can operate at speeds above 25 knots for extended periods it is of little value as anything other then a recreational fishing vessel, and likely an unsafe one at that. A painful observation is that the CG was forced to remove the 123' cutters after the hulls buckled, and will likely have to pull the National (in)Security Cutters from service due to similar structural and performance problems. Hopefully these failure do not happen at high speed as the entire crew could be put at risk.

LoBiondo, Deepwater get into deep trouble

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

By Bill Cahir

WASHINGTON U.S. Rep. Frank LoBiondo in February 2001 took up a post that had little grip on the public imagination: Chairman of the House Subcommittee on the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation. Senior Republicans put LoBiondo in the job to push for added Coast Guard funding.

LoBiondo, R-2nd Dist., played the role to the hilt, especially after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, transformed the Coast Guard from an afterthought in the nation's anti-drug apparatus into a front-line homeland security organization.

LoBiondo urged House officials to provide $1 billion each year for the Coast Guard's ambitious Deepwater modernization program. With the Coast Guard itself cheering him on, LoBiondo claimed that the service's fleet of ships, some of which were 60 years old, had to be replaced.

"For the past several years, the Coast Guard has suffered from significant funding shortfalls," LoBiondo said during House floor debate on emergency spending priorities on Nov. 28, 2001. "During fiscal years 2000 and 2001, the Coast Guard was forced to reduce law enforcement operations by up to 30 percent due to insufficient funds."

The Deepwater program constituted the Coast Guard's plan to purchase 91 new ships and roughly 250 new aircraft, to upgrade or repair 49 existing ships and 84 helicopters, and to expand and improve communication capabilities along the way.

The Coast Guard ditched the traditional model employed in other defense contracts.

It determined that it would not put out each element of the plan designing and producing ships and planes, providing logistical support, identifying communications needs and assets, integrating computer systems from ship to shore, and providing support in case of mishaps to separate competitive bids.

Instead, the Coast Guard embraced a pair of contractors, Northrup Grumman and Lockheed Martin, and retained them from one company, Integrated Coast Guard Systems, that would do all of the work: design, testing, production, systems integration and quality control. The Coast Guard would serve as a detached advisor.

Six years and more than $4 billion later, the Coast Guard's attempt to replace and refurbish its fleet has become perhaps the leading cause of embarrassment for lawmakers in both parties and for the Coast Guard itself.

On April 17, Admiral Thad Allen, commandant of the Coast Guard, seized control of project from Integrated Coast Guard Systems.

As he put it in a recent letter to CBS News, Adm. Allen acted "to ensure that our Coast Guard men and women get the tools and technology they need to do their job as soon as possible and the American people get what they are paying for."

The list of Deepwater embarrassments starts with a sharp increase in costs. What was supposed to be a $17 billion project now is estimated to cost $24 billion over 25 years.

Lawmakers now say the taxpayers are getting little or no return on their money.

The Coast Guard has mothballed eight 110-foot patrol boats that Integrated Coast Guard Systems was supposed to extend to 123 feet. The extension inadvertently rendered the boats unfit for the high seas. The work produced deck cracking and hull deformation that made the ships unfit to sail.

The National Security Cutter, slated to become the 418-foot flagship of the Coast Guard fleet, also suffered from design flaws. Changes made to ensure that the boat would last the 30-year lifespan required by the Coast Guard and not suffer hull failures, effectively doubled the cost of each boat to $564 million.

New radios retrofitted on existing Coast Guard boats reportedly allowed classified data to be compromised.

And an unmanned aerial vehicle that the National Security Cutter needed to conduct surveillance, expanding its ability to patrol the seas, flunked operational tests. Integrated Coast Guard Systems chose to develop an unmanned plane with tilt-rotor capability to take off and land vertically.

Richard L. Skinner, inspector general for the U.S. Homeland Security Department, audited the Deepwater program in a report released earlier this year.

In testimony prepared for Senate lawmakers, Skinner lamented "the dominant influence of expediency, flawed contract terms and conditions, poorly defined performance requirements, and inadequate management and technical oversight."

"These deficiencies contributed to schedule delays, cost increases, and asset designs that failed to meet minimum Deepwater performance requirements," Skinner said.

LoBiondo no longer heads the Coast Guard panel now that Democrats control the U.S. House; however, he still serves as a member of the subcommittee. He says Congress and the Coast Guard erred when they allowed the two contractors to supervise their own work.

"I was assured, our committee was assured, the Congress was assured that the United States Coast Guard at the highest levels ... were overseeing this in minute detail," LoBiondo said in an interview.

"They told us repeatedly both in public hearings and again privately that everything was on track, that they had their team in place, that the oversight was there. Clearly, something went wrong," LoBiondo said.

Someone other than the contractors themselves must supervise the design and acquisition of defense assets, whether they are for the Air Force, Navy or Coast Guard, LoBiondo stated.

Mary Elder, spokeswoman for Integrated Coast Guard Systems, claimed on Thursday that the Deepwater program, despite initial setbacks, finally was making positive strides.

For instance, Integrated Coast Guard Systems has finished the $355 million installation of new engines on 84 Coast Guard helicopters.

"We are building on the lessons learned from the first five years of Deepwater," Elder said.

But Michael DeKort, formerly a communications electronics technician for the U.S. Navy and U.S. State Department, has come to believe that the Deepwater contract must be canceled.

It was DeKort who, while working on Deepwater, learned that the radios Lockheed Martin had purchased for inflatable Zodiac boats meant to be launched from refurbished Coast Guard cutters were not waterproof. He doesn't believe that Lockheed Martin or Integrated Coast Guard Systems are owning up to their mistakes.

"Nobody's taking responsibility. I'm at the point now where I think you've got to boot Lockheed," said DeKort, who no longer works for the company.

Congress this week responded to the Deepwater controversy by including new oversight mandates in the emergency appropriations bill to fund combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The measure would require third-party review of major purchases for the Coast Guard fleet, and tie contractor pay to performance.

Adm. Allen has already increased third-party reviews of ship and plane designs, according to U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings, who now runs the House subcommittee on the Coast Guard. A Maryland Democrat, Cummings praises Adm. Allen for attempting to get workable results from the Deepwater program.

"Obviously, there are major problems with this contract," Cummings said. "Though I have the utmost faith in Admiral Allen, we expect results and we will require strict accountability for all decisions,"

Whistleblower alleges Lockheed official misled Congress on Deepwater

05/29/07 -- 12:36 PM
By Alice Lipowicz

A senior official at Lockheed Martin Corp. in charge of the Deepwater contract for the Coast Guard refused a meeting with one of his own division employees in 2004 to discuss shortcomings in the program’s converted patrol boats, charged Deepwater whistleblower Michael DeKort in a just-released letter to two members of Congress.

Fred Moosally, president of Lockheed Martin Maritime Systems and Sensors, also recently made several incorrect representations in his congressional testimony on May 17, DeKort claimed in the letter. A copy of the letter was posted online by the Project on Government Oversight, a nonprofit group that investigates government corruption and ethics violations.

Lockheed Martin today defended Moosally’s statements. “We have talked about DeKort’s allegations at length and we stand by Mr. Moosally’s testimony as submitted to Congress,” Lockheed Martin spokesman Troy Scully told Washington Technology.

DeKort, who once worked for Lockheed Martin but is no longer employed with the company, became a whistleblower in 2006 when he publicized shoddy work on the boats. The Coast Guard and the Homeland Security Department’s inspector general confirmed that the boats suffered hull problems and did not meet requirements.

The Coast Guard in April decommissioned the first eight converted patrol boats produced by the team of Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman Corp. The Coast Guard also announced it is taking over as lead systems integrator for the $24 billion asset modernization program and will compete future work.

In the letter, DeKorp cited several instances in which Lockheed Martin ignored internal reports that cables, encryption systems, infrared, camera and other electronics systems did not meet appropriate requirements. He also wrote that his appeals for a meeting with Moosally were rebuffed.

“In 2004, as I worked my way up the chain in order to find satisfactory resolutions of these matters I attempted to schedule a meeting with Mr. Moosally. He would not accept that request,” DeKort wrote. “I was especially discouraged at the time given not only the gravity of the issues but the fact that he was a former Navy officer — which should have heightened his sensitivity to these types of maritime safety and security issues.”

In the letter, DeKort refers to Moosally’s testimony regarding cables and whether they meet “low-smoke” requirements; specifications for infrared systems; and extreme temperature requirements for materials used in construction, among other systems.

For example, Lockheed Martin allegedly submitted requests for waivers from extreme temperature requirements, stating that the initial eight 123-foot patrol boats would serve in Key West and would not be subjected to those extreme temperatures, DeKort wrote.

“This is a very reckless comment and request,” DeKort wrote. “A significant number of those other 123s were destined for places that experience extreme weather. Additionally the eight boats mentioned could have been sent on duty outside of their originally intended home ports.”

Iraq Supplemental: Congress puts Deepwater under its thumb

05/25/07 -- 10:54 AM
By Alice Lipowicz

The $120 billion Iraq War supplemental spending bill passed by Congress on Thursday provides an additional $917 million for homeland security programs and also tightens restrictions on the Coast Guard’s troubled Deepwater acquisition program.

The new bill, H.R. 2206, allocates extra funds for airport security and for grants to mass transit and rail systems and shipping ports for emergency preparedness, among other programs. The new legislation provides less for homeland security than the earlier version, which President Bush vetoed.

Under the new bill, the Transportation Security Administration would receive $390 million, of which $285 million is for checked baggage explosive detection systems. Ports would be eligible for $110 million and mass transit and rail systems would get $100 million. Another $100 million is to be spent on advanced spectroscopic portal monitors.

For Deepwater, the legislation contains provisions requiring technical reviews, third-party assessments, life-cycle cost estimates and other actions as the program moves forward. The $24 billion procurement is the Coast Guard’s modernization program. The contract was awarded in 2002 to a partnership of Lockheed Martin Corp. and Northrop Grumman Corp.

Deepwater has been strongly criticized in recent months for alleged mismanagement, overspending and improper work. The Coast Guard recently reclaimed the lead systems integrator for itself and said it would compete all future task orders. The Coast Guard also is seeking a refund for eight patrol boats that were reconfigured under Deepwater because it believes the boats are structurally unsound.

Under the legislation, future task orders related to design changes must include a technical review, third-party review and independent life-cycle cost estimate. Also required is for the Coast Guard to appoint a chair of each integrated product team.

The bill further requires that the Coast Guard cannot receive $650 million in available funding for Deepwater until it performs these actions:

The bill also sets a number of other requirements for certifications and other activities.

Cuba has vast facilities, which measure many square miles each that eavesdrop upon not only the land part of the United States, but also on the U.S. Coast Guard and Navy ships that come to visit. While they have a great interest in anything the U.S. is doing, the activities of a military ships is of greatest interest to them, and thier spies live for the days when the Coast Guard gets suckered into chasing a ferret ship filled with Cuban migrants. The Cuban spies get even more excited when the Coast Guard ships enter Cuban waters, and drops off the migrants at a Cuban city or GITMO.

During 1961 and 1962 the Soviet Union initiated a lease from Cuba for huge chunks of land there they built one of the worlds most formidable eavesdropping facilities that they pointed towards the United States. In 1997 the Soviets built new eavesdropping facilities and the space they required dropped drastically over thier old Cold War requirements, and Castro reduced their yearly rent to only a fraction of what they were previously paying. The Brother Casto then leased the old (now unused) Soviet SIGINT area to countries that are hostile to the United States such as China, France, North Korea, and others. North Korea even went so far to to bring over a small fleet of ELINT/SIGINT ships, and several of their mini-submarines, and amphibious landing craft and parked them just South of Miami in a Cuban Naval port.

Press Release

Date: Mar. 2, 2006

Contact: Petty Officer James Judge
(305) 415-6683

Coast Guard repatriates 46 Cuban Migrants

MIAMI- The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Matagorda repatriated 46 Cuban migrants to Bahia de Cubanas, Cuba today.

February 20 - The crew of the Cutter Matagorda intercepted a north-bound go-fast 46 miles southwest of Key West, Fla. There were 22 migrants on board the go-fast and one suspected smuggler. Fifteen of the migrants were repatriated. The remaining migrants were transferred to Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials.

February 24 - The crew of the Cutter Spencer located a migrant vessel with 10 migrants 43 miles south of Key West. The Cutter Metompkin embarked the migrants.

Also on February 24, a Good Samaritan located a raft with four Cuban migrants aboard, 10 miles south of the Seven Mile Bridge. A rescue boat from Coast Guard Station Marathon embarked the migrants and were later transferred to a cutter.

February 25 - The Cutter Matagorda  located a migrant vessel with 14 Cuban migrants on board four miles south of Loggerhead Key. Thirteen of the 14 migrants were repatriated, the other was transferred to ICE officials.

February 26 - A Coast Guard C-130 spotted a rustic migrant vessel with seven cuban migrants on board 17 miles north of Havana, Cuba. The Cutter Metompkin embarked the migrants without incident. Six of the seven migrants were repatriated.

Once on board Coast Guard cutters, all migrants receive food, water and any necessary medical attention.

The Cutter Spencer is a 270-foot medium endurance cutter homeported in Boston, Mass.

The Cutter Metompkin and Matagorda are a 123-foot patrol boat homeported in Key West.



Press Release

Date: Oct. 2, 2006

(305) 415-6683


MIAMI - Crews from Coast Guard patrol boats repatriated 204 Cuban migrants to Bahia de Cabañas, Cuba in four separate repatriations during September. 

The migrants were interdicted at sea while attempting to enter the United States illegally.   

Highlighted cases are: 

The Carnival cruise ship Imagination located 15 migrants on a rustic vessel, Sept. 3, 16 miles north of Cabañas, Cuba. Coast Guard Cutter Padre repatriated the 15 migrants Sept. 7. 

Crews from Coast Guard Cutter Vashon intercepted a rustic vessel with 17 migrants on board, Sept. 8, 65 miles south of Key West, Fla. One migrant needed medical care and was taken to Lower Keys Memorial Hospital in Key West. Fifteen migrants were repatriated Sept. 13. One migrant was transferred to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Sept. 13. and turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials. 

Crews from Coast Guard Cutter Dallas intercepted a fishing vessel with 78 Cuban migrants on board, Sept. 23, 36 miles southwest of Pinar Del Rio, Cuba. Sixty-seven migrants were repatriated Sept. 30 by the cutter Attu and 11 migrants are pending disposition. 

While migrants are on board a Coast Guard cutter they receive, food, water and basic medical attention. 

Coast Guard Cutters Attu and Padre are 123-foot Island-class patrol boats homeported in Key West. 

Coast Guard Cutter Vashon is a 110-foot Island-class patrol boat homeported in San Juan, Puerto Rico. 

Coast Guard Cutter Dallas is a 378-foot High Endurance Cutter homeported in Charleston, S.C.


Press Release

Date: June 7, 2006

Contact: Petty Officer James Judge
(305) 415-6683

Coast Guard Repatriates 133 Cuban Migrants 

MIAMI - The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Drummond repatriated 97 Cuban migrants to Bahia de Cabañas, Cuba today; and the crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Metompkin repatriated 36 Cuban migrants Tuesday.

Within the last 48 hours 133 illegal migrants have been repatriated. Forty three of the migrants were spotted by two Customs and Border Protection aircraft on a grossly overloaded 38-foot go-fast vessel trying to enter the U.S. illegally Monday.

Customs and Border Protection interceptor boats disabled the vessel's engines and the migrants were transferred to the Coast Guard Cutter Diligence.

Also Monday, the crew of the Diligence located a rustic vessel 50 miles south of Key West, Fla., with 18 people on board. The migrants were transferred to the cutter Diligence without incident.

Since Saturday, 10 groups of illegal migrants have been interdicted and make up the 133 repatriated.

Once onboard Coast Guard cutters, all migrants recieve food, water and any neccessary medical treatment.

The cutter Diligence is a 210-foot medium endurance cutter homeported in Wilmington, N.C.

The cutter Drummond is a 110-foot patrol boat homeported in Key West.

The cutter Metompkin is a 123-foot patrol boat homeported in Key West. 


Press Release

Date: May 2, 2006

Contact: Petty Officer James Judge
(305) 415-6683


MIAMI - The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Drummond repatriated 74 Cuban migrants to Bahia de Cabañas, Cuba today.

Of the 74 repatriated, were 35 migrants located on a grossly overloaded 32-foot go-fast vessel that was trying to enter the U.S. illegally Thursday. The Coast Guard disabled the vessel's two engines, 20 miles southeast of  Islamorada, Fla. The migrants were transferred to the cutter Nunivak. Two suspected smugglers were taken into custody and turned over to Customs and Border Protection agents.

Another group of 16 Cuban migrants was also interdicted in the Florida Keys Thursday. The group was found in a home-made boat eight miles south of the Marquesas, Fla.

On April 25, a Good Samaritan located a rustic vessel with eight Cuban migrants onboard in the Yucatan Straits. The Good Samaritan contacted the Coast Guard and the cutter Dauntless was dispatched to find the vessel and embarked the migrants.

On April 24, Coast Guard and CBP aircraft located a go-fast vessel heading north in the vicinity of Cay Sal Bank, Bahamas. Two suspected smugglers and 15 Cuban migrants were onboard. The migrants were transferred to the cutter Sawfish. The two suspected smugglers were taken into custody and turned over to CBP agents.

Once onboard Coast Guard cutters, all migrants recieve food, water and any neccessary medical treatment.

The cutter Drummond is a 110-foot patrol boat homeported in Key West, Fla.

The cutter Nunivak is a 123-foot patrol boat homeported in Key West.

The cutter Sawfish is a 87-foot patrol boat homeported in Key West.

The cutter Dauntless is a 210-foot medium endurance cutter hompeported in Galveston, Texas. 


Press Release

Date: April 22, 2006

Contact: Petty Officer Gretchen Eddy

Coast Guard Repatriates 90 Cuban Migrants


MIAMI- The crew of the Coast Guard Matagorda repatriated 36 Cuban migrants to Bahia de Cabana, Cuba today while the crew of the Attu repatriated 54 Cuban migrants Friday.

All 90 migrants were interdicted by various Coast Guard Cutters patrolling the Florida Straits through out the month.

Highlighted cases are ...

April 16 - The crew of Coast Guard Cutter Drummond intercepted a rustic vessel 52 miles southwest of Marquesas, Fla., with 11 migrants on board.  The crew of the Drummond safely embarked all 11 migrants.

The crew of Coast Guard Cutter Drummond also intercepted another overloaded rustic vessel 58 miles southwest of Maquesas, Fl with 14 Cuban migrants on board.  They safely embarked all 14 migrants on board.

April 19 - The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Nunivak intercepted a rustic vessel 55 miles south of Key West, Fla., with 13 migrants on board. The crew of the Nunivak embarked all 13 migrants safely.

Crews at Coast Guard Station Marathon, Fla., interdicted and safely embarked six migrants 20 miles south of Big Pine Key, Fla.

Once on board Coast Guard cutters, all migrants receive food, water and any necessary medical care.

The Cutter Drummond is a 110-foot patrol boat homeported in Key West.

The Cutter Nunivak is a 123-foot patrol boat homeported in Key West.

The Cutter Attu is a 123-foot patrol boat homeported in Key West.

Press Release

Date: Feb. 25, 2006
Contact: Petty Officer Dana Warr
(305) 415-6683

Coast Guard repatriates 114 Cuban Migrants

MIAMI - The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Metompkin repatriated 86 Cuban migrants to Bahia de Cubanas, Cuba today bringing the calendar year total to 469 Cuban migrants repatriated.

The Metompkin crew also repatriated 28 Cuban migrants to Bahia de Cubanas Wednesday.

Migrant cases as follows for February 22 repatriation:

     *  A Good Samaritan located a rustic vessel with 11 Cuban migrants seven miles south of Marathon, Fla., February 18.  The crew of the cutter Resolute arrived on scene and embarked one female and 10 male migrants.

     *  An HH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Miami located a rustic vessel 24 miles south of Dry Tortugas, Fla., with 17 Cuban migrants on board February 18.  The crew of the cutter Padre intercepted the vessel and embarked all 17 migrants.

Migrant cases as follows for February 25 repatriation:

     *  An HH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Miami located a rustic vessel 14 miles south of Key West, Fla. with 14 migrants on board February 17.  The cutter Sawfish was diverted and embarked all 14 Cuban migrants. Thirteen migrants were repatriated.

     *  The crew of the cutter Sawfish located and intercepted a 30-foot sport fishing vessel with 14 Cuban migrants on board February 18.  The vessel stopped 26 miles south of Marquesas, Fla. and all 14 migrants were transferred to the cutter Resolute.  Thirteen were repatriated. 

     *  An HU-25 Falcon jet crew from Air Station Miami located a rustic vessel 10 miles south of Marquesas.  The crews of the Sawfish and Coast Guard Station Key West boat crew arrived on scene and embarked 14 Cuban migrants.  Twelve migrants were repatriated.  Feb. 18.

     *  The crew of the cutter Shamal interdicted a 32-foot go-fast with 48 Cuban migrants and two suspected smugglers on board 45 miles south of Marathon February 18.


The Resolute is a 210-foot medium endurance cutter homeported in St. Petersburg, Fla.
The Metompkin and Padres are a 123-foot patrol boat homeported in Key West, Fla.
The Sawfish is a 87-foot patrol boat homeported in Key West, Fla. 
The Shamal is a 179-foot patrol boat homeported in Pascagoula, Miss.         

Press Release

Date: Jan. 4, 2006

Contact: Petty Officer Dana Warr
(305) 415-6683

Coast Guard repatriates 126 Cuban migrants

MIAMI - The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Nantucket repatriated 38 Cuban migrants to Bahia de Cabanas, Cuba, today bringing the calendar year total to 126 Cuban migrants repatriated.

The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Matagorda repatriated 88 Cuban migrants to Bahia de Cabanas Monday.  All repatriated migrants have been intercepted  since Dec. 27.

Migrant cases as follows:

December 27:
  • A crew from Coast Guard Station Islamorada, Fla., intercepted 11 Cuban migrants 10 miles southeast of Eliott Key, Fla.
  • Three people were intercepted aboard a go-fast vessel 12 miles south of Marathon, Fla.  One Cuban migrant was repatriated.
December 28:
  • The crew of the cutter Padre located 16 Cuban migrants 58 miles south of Dry Tortugas, Fla.
  • A Coast Guard Air Station Miami HH65 Dolphin helicopter crew located 16 Cuban migrants 41 miles south of Dry Tortugas, Fla., aboard a homemade vessel.  The crew of the Padre intercepted the vessel and embarked all 16 migrants.
December 29:
  • The crew of the Padre located 21 Cuban migrants aboard a homemade vessel 20 miles south of Dry Tortugas, Fla.
  • A rescue crew from Station Islamorada intercepted a homemade vessel with nine Cubans aboard two miles south of Alligator Reef, Fla.
December 30:
  • 14 Cuban migrants were intercepted on a rustic vessel 20 miles south of Dry Tortugas, Fla.
  • 11 Cuban migrants were intercepted 38 miles south of Marquesas, Fla. The crew of the Matagorda repatriated 24 migrants Jan. 2.
December 31:
  • Two people were located on a homemade vessel by the cruise ship Norwegian Sun 46 miles off Key West, Fla.  One was repatriated.
  • 16 Cuban migrants were intercepted 12 miles south of Big Pine Key, Fla.  Fifteen were repatriated.
January 1:
  • 12 Cuban migrants were intercepted 45 miles north of Mariel, Cuba., and repatriated Jan. 2.

The Nantucket is a 110-foot patrol boat based at Coast Guard Sector Miami.
The Matagorda is a 123-foot patrol boat base at Coast Guard Sector Miami.
The Padre is a 110-foot patrol boat based at Coast Guard Sector Key West.

Press Release

Date: Nov. 11, 2004

Contact: Lt. Cmdr. Chris O'Neil

  Coast Guard Repatriates 79 Cuban Migrants

MIAMI - The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Metompkin repatriated 79 Cuban migrants to Bahia de Cabanas, Cuba today at 10:52 a.m.

Among the 79 were 34 Cuban migrants rescued on Nov. 5 from a grossly overloaded, 27-foot smuggling boat discovered foundering in six-foot seas about 65 nautical miles south of
Key West, Fla. 

The crew of the cutter Metompkin launched a rescue boat, distributed life jackets to all 38 people aboard and then rescued 15 women and children from the boat.  As the women and children were being transferred to the Metompkin, the migrant smuggling boat capsized, trapping two women beneath it.  The crew of the Metompkin was able to rescue 21 other Cuban migrants, but the two trapped women drowned.  Previous reports of a total of 37 migrants aboard this vessel were incorrect.

Two people aboard the ill-fated boat, the 17-year-old granddaughter of one of the deceased women, and the operator of the boat, were returned to U.S. soil.  The granddaughter is a legal resident alien and the operator, a legal permanent resident, was transferred to the custody of Customs and Boarder Protection officials and has since been released.

As to the potential smuggling venture of Nov. 5, this matter has been referred to the
U.S. Attorney's Office in the Southern District of Florida for their review and consideration.

Also among the group of 79 Cuban migrants repatriated today were 36 who were interdicted at sea on Nov. 4, nine nautical miles south of Marathon, Fla., and nine other Cuban migrants interdicted at sea on Nov. 6, 30 nautical miles south of Key West.  Two Cuban migrants associated with these incidents are awaiting transfer to officials at Guantanomo Bay, Cuba.

The Coast Guard Cutter Metompkin is a 123-foot patrol boat homeported in Key West.

Press Release

Date: Oct. 4, 2005

(305) 415-6683


MIAMI - The Coast Guard and U.S. Customs and Border Protection, alongside their partners in the Dept. of Homeland Security, have interdicted and repatriated approximately 1,335 Cuban migrants this summer in efforts to protect the lives of those attempting illegal entry into the United States, while also cracking down on the migrant smugglers who put those lives in peril.

Since June, 17 migrant smuggling incidents have occurred. Ten of which took place this past week and three of which were fatal. 

Prominent cases from this summer:

Sept. 30:  A Coast Guard HH-65 Dolphin helicopter spotted a go-fast 17 miles south of Key West at 7:28 p.m. and vectored the cutter Attu

The crew of the Attu safely stopped the smuggling vessel and embarked 24 migrants and two suspected smugglers.  The vessel and one smuggler were turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials in Key West.

The remaining smuggler was transferred to CBP officials in Key West. 

Sept. 17: What was suspected to be a migrant smuggling venture sadly became deadly as a go-fast vessel caught fire more than 40 miles southeast of Key West, Fla.

While boarding a go-fast which was later terminated for carrying fuel barrels on board, the crew of the cutter Metompkin observed another nearby go-fast vessel catch fire. A CBP aircraft observed the vessel while a seperate crew from the Metompkin launched a small boat to assist the distressed boat. On board the go-fast were several extra fuel barrels.

Both suspected smugglers of the go-fast abandoned ship. Crewmembers aboard the Metompkin were able to rescue one of the two men, and witnessed the deceased sink. They were unable to recover him.

Also that same day, 34 migrants were located on a go-fast vessel 27 miles south of Key West, Fla., by an Air Station Clearwater C-130 aircraft. Coast Guard Sector Key West was notified and immediately diverted the St. Petersburg, Fla., Cutter Pea Island to the scene.

Thirty-two of the migrants embarked the Pea Island and were repatriated, while two suspected smugglers remain in custody of Customs and Border Protection officials for further prosecution.

Aug. 24: In another tragic case, a search was suspended for 31 missing people who were reportedly thrown into the water when their 28-foot boat capsized during an apparent migrant smuggling attempt north of Matanzas, Cuba, Aug. 16.

Coast Guard aircraft and vessels combed more than 7,728 square miles after recieveing word of the tragedy following the rescue of the three survivors by the merchant vessel, Melfi Habana.

Those survivors, two women and a man, were reported to have suffered second degree burns and severe dehydration due to exposure during their five days at sea.

June 26:  A group of migrants was rescued from a go-fast after being spotted by a Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater, Fla., C-130 airplane at 12:07 a.m., 10 miles south of Sand Key, Fla. The plane’s crew vectored the cutters Matagorda and Attu to the go-fast’s location.

The vessel’s operator stopped and the crew of the Matagorda embarked 38 migrants and two suspected smugglers who were later transferred to Customs and Border Protection officials. The crew of the Attu towed the boat to Coast Guard Station Marathon, Fla.

The C –130 crew spotted a second go-fast 50 miles south of Marathon at 2:27 a.m. and vectored the cutter Decisive and a crew from Station Key West, Fla., to the scene. The vessel was stopped at which time 28 migrants and two suspected smugglers were transferred to the Decisive. The two suspected smugglers were later transferred to CBP officials.

The final group interdicted Monday morning was rescued by Station Key West when the crew found 10 migrants in a homemade vessel one mile south of Loggerhead Key, Fla., at 5:27.

June 25: A Coast Guard HH-65 Dolphin helicopter from Air Station Miami, spotted a northbound Go-Fast off the coast of Key West, Fla.

Immediately, Coast Guard Sector Key West launched small boats from both Station Key West and Station Marathon, Fla., for interception.

Once arrived on scene, the Coast Guard crews made several attempts to stop the vessel, including hailing them on marine radio via VHF-FM frequencies. Jose Gonzalez-Coca, the operator of the vessel, ignored the Coast Guard and attempted to evade the response boats, using his vessel to shoulder the Coast Guard boat.

Further attempts were made to stop the vessel, including the use of warning shots and disabling fire, which were not effective as the chase continued.

Gonzalez-Coca beached the go-fast vessel at Cook Island, Fla., where seven Cuban migrants emerged from the lower cabin of the vessel and fled the scene, later apprehended by Customs and Border Protection officials.

Gonzalez-Coca was apprehended by Station Key West's small boat crew and was taken to a local hospital where he was treated for six broken ribs obtained from beaching the vessel at a high rate of speed.

A court date has been set for Jan. 5, 2006, for the sentencing of Gonzalez-Coca, who recently pled guilty to migrant smuggling and felony aggravated assault of a law enforcement officer.

June 22: Thirty-one migrants were rescued following a go-fast chase. An HU-25 Falcon jet crew from Air Station Miami spotted the 23-foot go-fast 60 miles south of Key West, Fla., traveling at high speeds in choppy waters with 33 people on board. An HH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew deployed to Sector Key West was launched to assist.

Small boat crews from Stations Marathon and Key West were launched to intercept the overloaded vessel. Following a dangerous, high-speed pursuit, the go-fast came to a stop seven miles south of Key West where a Coast Guard boarding team noticed a semi-conscious migrant.

One of the two Coast Guard boat crews brought the injured man aboard the rescue boat and took him to Key West where he was transferred to waiting local emergency medical service personnel at the Coast Guard base.

The injured man was pronounced dead on arrival at Lower Keys Memorial Hospital. Two suspected smugglers have been taken into custody. The remaining 30 migrants were repatriated June 28.

"We need people to understand that migrant smuggling operations are every bit as dangerous as taking to the water in overloaded or unseawothry vessels," said Lt. Cmdr. Chris O'Neil, public affairs officer for the Seventh Coast Guard District. "Trying to illegally enter the United States from the maritime domain is inherently dangerous and threatens the lives of all involved."


Coast Guard, contractor at odds over fixing ship

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

By Bill Cahir

WASHINGTON Contractors working on a new flagship for the U.S. Coast Guard have used a flawed design that may curb the lifespan of the boat, and the federal government and the company have not determined precisely what must be done to assure that the new ship will remain seaworthy long after its launch, according to testimony delivered before a House subcommittee on Tuesday.

A "conflicted" U.S. Rep. Frank LoBiondo came away from the hearing convinced that he must do "a lot more homework." The South Jersey Republican said that lawmakers need to know "what problem we're buying into before proceeding."

The Coast Guard plans to take custody of its first National Security Cutter, the Bertholf, in January 2008. It expects to put the second new boat, the Waesche, into service in summer 2009. Northrup Grumman is building both of the 418-foot ships at its Ingalls Shipyard in Pascagoula, Miss., at a cost of more than $1.5 billion.

But both boats will need repairs to ensure that they do not suffer from hull failures over their planned 30-year lifespan, according to Richard L. Skinner, inspector general of the U.S. Homeland Security Department. Both will need to go back into dry dock within two to five years of delivery.

"Our concern is, what is that going to have on operational capability, and how much is that going to cost?" Skinner testified Tuesday before the House Subcommittee on the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation.

The federal government plans to buy six more National Security Cutters from Integrated Coast Guard Systems, a joint venture between shipbuilder Northrup Grumman and communications and logistics engineer Lockheed Martin. But the Coast Guard has not yet determined how to resolve the structural problems associated with the first two boats and it has not established a technical baseline for correcting the design of the next six.

"The Coast Guard needs to step back, analyze what the total costs are associated with retrofitting (ships) one and two to ensure that it meets its performance specifications and the costs associated with the design changes with (ships) three through eight plus look at the operational limitations these design changes may or may not have on their performance capability," Skinner told House lawmakers on Tuesday.

In the six years since the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, lawmakers have appropriated more than $4 billion for the Coast Guard's so-called Deepwater program, its long-term plan to buy a new fleet of ships, helicopters, unmanned aerial drones and communications assets.

But the Deepwater initiative has stumbled once already. The Coast Guard is seeking a $100 million refund from Integrated Coast Guard Systems after the venture rendered eight existing patrol boats unfit to sail. The company was supposed to extend the ships from 110 feet to 123 feet. But modifications produced hull cracking and structural flaws.

A pending House appropriations bill would provide $698 million for Deepwater next year, or $367.5 million less than lawmakers approved for 2007.

Admiral Thad W. Allen, commandant of the Coast Guard, told LoBiondo and other lawmakers Tuesday that any new ship even one that was well-designed typically would go into dry dock five years after entering the Coast Guard fleet.

The first two National Security Cutters could undergo design changes after a few years of service, Admiral Allen proposed. Meanwhile, the Coast Guard could proceed with its Deepwater purchase of the next six ships. The baseline for repairs to the first two boats could be established with design changes to the third.

Allen's plan to push ahead with a purchase of a third National Security Cutter before design issues were put to rest, and at a cost of more than $750 million per boat, gave pause to members of Congress.

"So it's possible it's possible, I didn't say probable, possible that we could end up scrapping one and two?" asked U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings, a Maryland Democrat and chairman of the subcommittee.

"Not in the vaguest realm of my imagination, sir," Allen replied.

Allen revealed Tuesday for the first time that Northrup Grumman was refusing to agree to any change to the National Security Cutter. The firm contended that it had fulfilled the terms of the contract, Allen said.

In other bad news, the Coast Guard last month ordered a halt to the development of an unmanned aerial drone the Vertical Unmanned Aerial Vehicle without which the new National Security Cutter would lose the ability to conduct surveillance in more than 44,500 square nautical miles that surround the ship.

The flagship had forfeit 76 percent of its surveillance capability even while the Coast Guard had spent $114 million for the development of the unmanned tilt-rotor plane this year alone, Skinner reported.

For information, see


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