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Posts : 540
Join date : 2011-01-27

PostSubject: NEW NAVAL OPERATIONAL PLAN    Sat Jul 16, 2011 9:21 pm


On that note, I wish to take the opportunity here today to outline some details of my Government’s new Naval Operational Plan to you, and by extension, the general public, which we believe will also go a very long way in our crime fighting efforts.

We have constantly heard from a desperate Opposition that the Peoples Partnership Government scrapped the National Security plans of the previous Government because we wanted to increase the drug trade.

As I have said, one of the main aims of my Government prior to and since attaining office was to improve the safety and security of our nation.
This included protecting our shores from the illegal entry of drugs, weapons, ammunition and immigrants, all of which contribute to increased crime in our country.

What we met from the previous Government was nothing other than cosmetic plans and policies that did nothing to fight the crime scourge and only served to enhance the debt for taxpayers, by billion dollar blimps and OPVs.

As it fell to my Government to right these wrongs, both in national security shortfalls and economic mismanagement, we scrapped the OPV deal and thus saved billions of dollars which can now be used for other more critical and productive National Security assets.

That decision by the Government of Trinidad and Tobago involved guidance and agreement from highly qualified security experts, inclusive of several previous and present high ranking Officers of the Defence Force, including previous Chiefs of Defence Staff, and Officers who were assigned to the project.

Additionally, advice was acquired from many international officials, Diplomats and local and international security consultants, who also confirmed that there is and will never be a need to have such an armada of three OPVs to fight the illegal supply of drugs, weapons in an island of this size, and a more appropriate naval plan should be utilized, which is exactly what the Government is now pursuing.

We are in the process of ensuring that the money saved from the OPV deal will now be utilized in the correct manner to ensure a proper and more effective three pronged defensive naval operational plan to safeguard our country, one that is virtually impenetrable.

The new border protection and naval operational plan will involve, in its first line of defence, at least 12 Coast Guard installations strategically placed around the island, with fast patrol interceptors assigned specifically to each installation, and this will ensure that the country will now be properly secured, or locked down, which could not have been done by one OPV simply patrolling 100 miles off our East Coast, as this is not where the majority of drug and weapon smuggling was coming from.

Each installation will have two fast patrol interceptors with high speed capability patrolling 24 hours per day or in a position to be on immediate stand by.

This will ensure a rapid reaction with the crew onboard being armed and awaiting word to slip or in some cases tied off on a buoy at sea, of which there will be a specific area of responsibility for each installation to secure.

These Coast Guard Interceptor vessels will be the internal line of maritime security whereby, from the several strategically placed Coast Guard installations, they would patrol the bays, coastal areas and shore lines to 4 miles out.

In the second line of defense, these installations will be ably supported by the six fast patrol larger crafts already in service to patrol our territorial waters from 6 miles to 12 miles from our shoreline.

These boats would be assigned to the various bases such as Galeota and Tobago and they will be on patrol in their sector only and can act as a back up to the interceptors.

In the third line of defense, we will have a Long Range Patrol vessel, which would be 60–75 metres in length, much less costly, more maneuverable and adaptable to our shores than the OPVs, and hence of greater value, which will patrol from 12 miles to 200 miles from mostly the North and East Coast.

This would provide security for our Exclusive Economic Zone, and protect our resources in this zone, just outside our territorial waters.

The 360 degree radar will now finally become effective and useful, as any vessel entering our waters illegally can now be intercepted by such vessels.

The interceptors would be assigned to the Radar centre which should have the authority to vector the interceptors to any target.

There will also be communicational linkage with the relevant Police Units in closest proximity to those Coast Guard installations, and all of this communication will be under the umbrella and supervision of the National Security Operational Centre which would also be implemented shortly.

The Radar center had this and it works so if the radar is tracking a target they should be allowed to contact the NSOC and request police /Army assistance as they will be able to state where the boat will be coming ashore.

And this is where these new helicopters would be involved in the process of a multi-pronged border operational plan.

The two Augusta Westland Twin Engine multi-purpose helicopters which we have acquired today will patrol our shorelines and work alongside these Coast Guard installations and the interceptor vessels patrolling our waters as well as the 6 Fast Patrol crafts and the Long Range Patrol vessel patrolling the North and East Coast.

They will provide the powerful eyes, at day or night around our island to act as a support element for the Coast Guard in the patrolling of our borders.

The Radar center would have the capability to speak to the helicopter crew and the Coast Guard vessels so that a combined effort can be made.

This will ensure not just a major deterrent to stop the illegal drug trade and illegal entry of weapons and immigrants, but also provide the much needed assistance that our citizens are pleading for on a daily basis when our fishermen are being attacked by pirates, to vessels and crew in distress around the coastline.

The approximate cost for such a comprehensive security operational plan can cost over $1000 million dollars less than the OPVs, and still ensure greater visibility and security for the fishermen and pleasure craft users who are not presently protected and also ensure a greater deterrent for any illegal entry of vessels into our shores.

The cost for the OPV was approx. $ 800 million TT each, and this did not include several hidden costs which the taxpayers would have been burdened with which was not stated in the contract, such as fuel and sewerage lines, test firing of weapons and so on.

If our shoreline is not protected through basic coastal patrolling and surveillance, then having massive and virtual battle vessels will most certainly not do the job of the basics, which is securing our coastline.

We did not need to use an expensive sledgehammer to kill a fly.

We need fast, maneuverable vessels, to work in a specific area, all of which locks down the shoreline, in tandem with the support of these helicopters and the 360 degree radar to advise the relevant coast guard installation of a vessel approaching their Area of Responsibility, whether it be any of the installations responsible for securing all our coastlines.
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PostSubject: Re: NEW NAVAL OPERATIONAL PLAN    Wed Feb 26, 2014 2:26 pm

This article also give details why the OPVs was canceled:

A major cause of concern was that the guns were not done to specifications and whether they could be effective—it could not successfully hit a moving target unless done manually, which would not be practical on the high seas, and could only fire within a 4 km and not a 6 km radius, which was specified in the contract.

"We considered it vital that OPV 1 be demonstrated to be fully compliant with the build specification before the Government accepted the vessel, all the more so because it was first of class. BAE's reluctance to provide further trials and tests to satisfy its customer was difficult to understand," said Best.

"BAES was asking us to accept the vessel without having demonstrated any effective capability of the main armament in the mode in which it was primarily intended to be operated. We had no data on the performance of the armament and no visibility on how it would perform after the problems had been resolved.... In an e-mail to me of May 18, 2010, commenting on the letter, Captain Huggins (also of the T&T Coast Guard) observed: "It is clear that this vessel would not be able to defend itself if attacked when up against current technology.

I would not like to sound or appear facetious, but in terms of a naval vessel, our attempts of an upgrade has more or less resulted in a downgrade...we are back to using mechanical sights."

Following this, a report was done by the UK's Ministry of Defence on June 18, which observed that T&T OPV 1 had been offered up for acceptance "with a degraded combat system and a number of relatively minor outstanding issues/defects throughout the ship".

In its assessment report, the MOD surmised: "In an ideal world, the vessel should be presented for acceptance, fully completed and without any defects. However, in our experience, that is never achieved, and hence there is always a judgment to be made about whether the ship is in sufficiently complete state to 'accept' and take forward."
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