Deepwater watch: Coast Guard Acquisition Directorate gets new leader

Rear Adm. Ronald Rábago has been named the Coast Guard’s assistant commandant for acquisition and chief acquisition officer. He replaces Rear Adm. Gary Blore, who had held those positions since July 2007.

Blore has been named commander of the Pacific Northwest District, which spans Washington state, Oregon, Montana and Idaho, said Laura Williams, a Coast Guard spokeswoman, in announcing the changes today. “It is a very busy district,” she added. Blore will assume his new responsibilities in mid-July.

The Coast Guard Acquisition Directorate’s largest and most challenging project in recent years has been the $24 billion Integrated Deepwater System procurement to replace boats and other major assets. In 2007, the Coast Guard rejected eight Deepwater patrol boats due to structural defects and took over as lead systems integrator, replacing the prime contractors in that role. Recently, a whistle-blower filed a False Claims Act lawsuit against the Deepwater prime contractors.

However, Williams said the Deepwater concerns have no bearing on the changes in command, adding that it is routine for officers in the Coast Guard to be transferred to new positions every two or three years.

Rábago previously served as the Coast Guard’s director of acquisition programs and program executive officer. His responsibilities included the Deepwater procurement. Rear Adm. John Korn will take over those posts.

Blore also served in those two posts before being put in charge of the Acquisition Directorate in July 2007.

Rábago, who graduated from the Coast Guard Academy in 1978, has served as director of personnel management, deputy commander of the Maintenance and Logistics Command Atlantic, commanding officer of the Coast Guard Yard in Baltimore, chief of the Fifth District’s Law Enforcement Branch, and commanding officer of the cutter Tampa.

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

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