Coast Guard admiral in Deepwater, then in SF

admiral-allen.jpgU.S. Coast Guard Commandant Admiral Thad W. Allen will testify tomorrow before the House Transportation and Infrastructure’s Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Subcommittee on the Deepwater program, a push to modernize and replace the Coast Guard’s aging ships and aircraft and improve command and control and logistics systems.

Four USCG cutters moored at Alameda already have been upgraded as part of the program, but Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general released a report Monday concluding that the multi-billion-dollar effort — run by Lockheed Martin Corp. and Northrop Grumman Corp. — has design flaws that have led to spiraling maintenance costs and could reduce the “improved” ships’ longevity unless corrected. That is, the refurbished cutters might not be able to take 230 days a year at sea over a period of 30 years, as the contract required.

And as if that hearing might not be a tough enough crowd, Allen will hop a flight afterward and finish the day by speaking at 5:30 p.m. in the Marines Memorial Club, 609 Sutter St. in San Francisco. It’s part of the George P. Shultz Lecture Series, co-sponsored by the World Affairs Council of Northern California; tickets cost $49 for members, $59 for nonmembers, $25 for active-duty military personnel.

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.