United States Coast Guard
Management Alert - The United States Coast Guard Discontinued the Use of Functional Firearms in DVD Simulation Training
During our ongoing audit of DHS law enforcement virtual training, we learned that the Coast Guard uses functional firearms to conduct DVD-based simulation training. We identified this issue in Coast Guard’s Commandant Instruction 3574.5C, 18 September 2014, Coast Guard Judgmental Use of Force Evaluation and observed a demonstration of this training at one Coast Guard location.
Management Alert - The United States Coast Guard Discontinued the Use of Functional Firearms in DVD Simulation TrainingExecutive Summary
During our ongoing audit of DHS law enforcement virtual training, we learned that the Coast Guard uses functional firearms to conduct DVD-based simulation training. We identified this issue in Coast Guard’s Commandant Instruction 3574.5C, 18 September 2014, Coast Guard Judgmental Use of Force Evaluation and observed a demonstration of this training at one Coast Guard location. According to testimony or policy from four other DHS components that employ or train law enforcement personnel, the use of functional firearms during video-based simulation training is prohibited within their respective components. By using functional firearms capable of firing ammunition, even if emptied of ammunition, in DVD-based simulation training, Coast Guard increased the risk of unintentional injury or death. Coast Guard concurred with our recommendation and took immediate corrective actions to discontinue the use of functional firearms during DVD-based simulation training. The recommendation is resolved and closed.Report NumberOIG-21-67Issue DateDocument FileFiscal Year2021
Coast Guard Should Prioritize Upgrades to Rescue 21 Alaska and Expand Its Public Notifications during OutagesExecutive Summary
Summary: Rescue 21 Alaska, Coast Guard’s maritime search and rescue communication system, has experienced outages resulting from antiquated equipment in Coast Guard’s District 17. Challenges and funding shortages during system acquisition caused Coast Guard to limit the purchase of new equipment for Rescue 21 Alaska, requiring District 17 to maintain existing equipment for longer than initially planned. Alaska’s winter weather conditions and remote access to communication site locations cause lengthy repair times, further exacerbating the outage impacts. The outages have prevented Coast Guard, at times, from effectively receiving and responding to distress calls from mariners. Coast Guard has made some upgrades to the Rescue 21 Alaska system to enhance distress communication availability and reliability. Although Coast Guard plans for further upgrades, outages persist. When notifying the public about the outages, Coast Guard primarily relies on a “Local Notice to Mariners” posted on their public website. However, this limits who can receive the notices, as not all mariners go to the internet to determine outage locations. Alaska mariners shared other effective methods Coast Guard could use to improve its notifications to the public when there are known VHF distress communications outages. Adequately upgrading the communications equipment and ensuring robust attempts are made to notify the public when outages occur is essential for Coast Guard to achieve its search and rescue mission in Alaska. We made two recommendations to ensure the Coast Guard is prioritizing Rescue 21 Alaska upgrades and appropriately notifying the public of outages. Coast Guard concurred with both recommendations.Report NumberOIG-21-65Issue DateDocument FileFiscal Year2021
DHS OIG Substantiates Whistleblower Retaliation Allegation against a U.S. Coast Guard Member in Violation of the Military Whistleblower Protection Act
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For Immediate ReleaseDownload PDF (141.9 KB)
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) investigated allegations that a U.S. Coast Guard member was retaliated against for making protected communications under the Military Whistleblower Protect Act, 10 U.S.C. § 1034.
The investigation found that the member made a protected communication and that several personnel actions were taken against the member after the member made the protected communication, including a negative performance evaluation that did not include a recommendation for advancement.
DHS OIG found that the member’s supervisors expressed animosity against the member and others for their involvement in the making of the protected communication, which resulted in an internal investigation. DHS OIG also determined that during the member’s counseling session regarding the performance evaluation, the member’s immediate supervisor criticized the member for making the protected communication and accused the member of having “jumped the chain of command.”
DHS OIG found, based on a preponderance of the evidence, that the member would not have received a negative performance evaluation, nor suffered other personnel actions, in the absence of the member’s protected communication.
DHS OIG provided its report of investigation to the Acting Secretary for appropriate action under the Military Whistleblower Protection Act.Oversight Area