OCSNCOE Unit Emblem (silhouettes of a self-elevating MODU, an OSV and an offshore wind turbine over a silhouette of the United States with the U.S. Coast Guard mark (i.e., racing stripe) in the background).Outer Continental Shelf National Center of Expertise (OCSNCOE)

JACK ST. MALO during offshore construction with attending OSV and Floatel VICTORY. C-ENFORCER underway with water cannons flowing. SEVAN LOUISIANA underway when initially entering the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. Platform GINA off the California coast. Block Island windfarm with attending CTV. SPARTAN 151 dockside in Seward, AK.



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What are U.S. Coast Guard NCOEs?

National Centers of Expertise (NCOEs) were initiated in 2007 as part of the Marine Safety Enhancement Plan and documented in a string of ALCOAST messages, culminating with ALCOAST 131/09 which established expectations for all NCOEs. The purpose of the NCOEs was formally established in law with the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2010, H.R. 3619, Section 521 that amended Title 14 of the U.S. Code, Chapter 3 by adding paragraph 58 [section was renumbered to 313 by Pub. L. 115–282, §104(b) (Frank Lobiondo Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2018)]. See the U.S. Code text below.

There are currently four inspections-based NCOEs (five were initially established) under the Office of the Travelling Inspection Staff (CG-5P-TI), under the Assistant Commandant for Prevention Policy (CG-5P):

There are two NCOEs that are under the Office of Investigations and Casualty Analysis (CG-INV) (see the Winter 2015 edition of the Proceedings magazine for articles containing additional information on investigations NCOEs):

  • Investigations NCOE (INVNCOE), based in New Orleans, LA
  • Suspension and Revocation NCOE (S&RNCOE), based in Martinsburg, WV

Additional Centers of Expertise

  • Blue Technology Center of Expertise (BTCOE) is designed to educate industry, academic and government partners about Coast Guard missions and technology requirements and to facilitate integration of state-of-the-market tools and capabilities in support of the service’s operational mission needs and resides under the Assistant Commandant for Acquisitions (CG-9).
    • BTCOE is located on the campus of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, CA
    • Establishment authorized by the Coast Guard Blue Technology Center of Expertise Act, part of the Save Our Seas Act of 2018 (Pub. L. 115-265)

Title 14, U.S. Code, Section 313

§313. Centers of expertise for Coast Guard prevention and response
   (a) Establishment.-The Commandant may establish and operate one or more centers of expertise for prevention and response missions of the Coast Guard (in this section referred to as a "center").
   (b) Missions.-Any center established under subsection (a) shall-
      (1) promote, facilitate, and conduct-
         (A) education;
         (B) training; and
         (C) activities authorized under section 504(a)(4);

      (2) be a repository of information on operations, practices, and resources related to the mission for which the center was established; and
      (3) perform and support the mission for which the center was established.

   (c) Joint Operation With Educational Institution Authorized.-The Commandant may enter into an agreement with an appropriate official of an institution of higher education to-
      (1) provide for joint operation of a center; and
      (2) provide necessary administrative services for a center, including administration and allocation of funds.

   (d) Acceptance of Donations.-
      (1) Except as provided in paragraph (2), the Commandant may accept, on behalf of a center, donations to be used to defray the costs of the center or to enhance the operation of the center. Those donations may be accepted from any State or local government, any foreign government, any foundation or other charitable organization (including any that is organized or operates under the laws of a foreign country), or any individual.
      (2) The Commandant may not accept a donation under paragraph (1) if the acceptance of the donation would compromise or appear to compromise-
         (A) the ability of the Coast Guard or the department in which the Coast Guard is operating, any employee of the Coast Guard or the department, or any member of the Armed Forces to carry out any responsibility or duty in a fair and objective manner; or
         (B) the integrity of any program of the Coast Guard, the department in which the Coast Guard is operating, or of any individual involved in such a program.

      (3) The Commandant shall prescribe written guidance setting forth the criteria to be used in determining whether or not the acceptance of a donation from a foreign source would have a result described in paragraph (2).

Note: See 14 U.S.C. 313 for additional information, including the statutory notes for the GLCOE and BTCOE.