News | May 3, 2018

Air Force and Coast Guard teaming up on R&D

U.S. Coast Guard Capt. Greg Rothrock, Coast Guard Research and Development Center commanding officer, and Air Force Maj. General William Cooley, Air Force Research Laboratory commander, shake hands April 12, 2018, on Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, after they signed a memorandum of understanding between their two organizations. The agreement allows USCG RDC and AFRL to work together on tasks of mutual benefit.

R.J. Oriez/Air Force

DAYTON, Ohio – Commanding officers from the Coast Guard Research and Development Center and the Air Force Research Laboratory signed a joint Memorandum of Understanding at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base on April 12.

“RDC is very excited about this new affiliation with AFRL,” said Coast Guard Capt. Greg Rothrock, commanding officer of the Research and Development Center. “Establishing an MOU is just the start of what we see as a long-term relationship to collaborate where we can on common research that benefits both the Coast Guard and Air Force.”

The agreement paves the way for RDC and AFRL to work together on projects including 3-D printing, Arctic operations, modeling and simulation, cyber research, and satellite technology like CubeSats.

Last year, the Coast Guard deployed a Mobile CubeSat Command and Control ground network station in Alaska. Another will be deployed in Connecticut this year ahead of the Polar Scout Demonstrations in October that will be used to evaluate the technology.

The Coast Guard’s RDC is also looking at conducting persistent Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) missions in illicit drug transit zones using ultra-long range drones, according to its 2018 project portfolio.

While the memorandum of understanding specifically authorizes cooperation in research dealing with unmanned systems and simulations, it is broad enough to include any other area of mutual interest.

Reporting by Lt. Charles Clark from the U.S. Coast Guard Research and Development Center. TechLink Editor Troy Carter can be reached at