Слике страница


coast guard, when the relations that must exist between them in time of war are considered, or that should prevail in preparation for the same. They are not one-man ideas, but result from an experience of 29 years in the late revenue cutter service (now the coast guard) and from discussion of conditions with officers of the coast guard and of the navy, many of whom are warm advocates of the ideas advanced. If this paper serves no other end than to arouse an interest and general discussion that may be productive of results, the aim of the writer will have been accomplished.

The arm of the public service which is now the coast guard was originally established in 1790. As it increased in size, there was added a life-saving branch, which, in the course of years, became disassociated with the then revenue cutter service and was created a separate organization; but officers of the revenue cutter service continued to be detailed as inspecting officers of the life-saving service and elevated it to a high state of efficiency.

On January 28, 1915, the President signed the act of Congress creating the “United States Coast Guard,” which unified the then existing revenue cutter and life-saving services. By the terms of the act, the coast guard “shall constitute a part of the military forces of the United States and shall operate under the Treasury Department in time of peace and shall operate as a part of the navy, subject to the orders of the Secretary of the Navy, in time of war, or when the President shall so direct." Thus the status of the coast guard is clearly defined and its officers and men are regulars in the same sense as are those of the army, navy, or marine corps; a fact that must not be lost sight of in following the subject matter of this paper. It is necessary for a clear understanding that we inquire into both the personnel and matériel of the coast guard to consider the strong and weak points of each and then to take immediate advantage of the former and rectify the latter without delay.

The PERSONNEL If we consider the coast guard with respect to the numerical value of its personnel, the service may not be deemed a large one, although 4000 men are practically the equivalent of the crews of four capital ships. We must differentiate, however, as between

[ocr errors]

mere“ numbers ” and “ force” and realize that in the coast guard there lies the potentialities for the latter and advantage taken of that fact. We may here regard the words of a noted military writer as aptly applying: “The stronger each unit is in peace, the more efficient will it become for war; hence, the vital importance of aiming at quality and not numbers.” We seek to increase the value of the coast guard as a force," therefore it will become our duty to inquire as to ways and means.

The total personnel of the coast guard, as at present organized, consists of approximately 259 commissioned officers, line and staff, and about 4000 warrant officers and enlisted men. There are also 13 district superintendents who were transferred from the late life-saving service, and hold relative rank with certain grades in the commissioned rank. They are not sea-going officers.

In addition to the personnel above noted, there are at the Coast Guard Academy, Fort Trumbull, New London, three classes of cadets and cadet engineers. All of the line officers of the coast guard and practically every member of the two junior grades of engineers are graduates of that institution, while the senior grades of engineers are largely composed of graduates of colleges or technical schools where marine engineering is specialized in. The three-year course at the academy is a rigorous one, and upon graduation the cadets go forth exceptionally well equipped educationally for the profession they have chosen. That there are few "bilgers" may be attributed to the fact that the entrance examination is difficult and strictly competitive. It is also intended to assure that the successful candidate has the necessary groundwork to warrant his graduation, providing he applies himself to his studies.

It can be confidently stated that the Coast Guard Academy is yearly graduating young men who are as competent all-round officers as are to be found in any branch of the regular service.

Due to the excellent results that have eventuated from assigning junior line officers to engineering duty and junior engineers to line duty, the commandant of the coast guard has advocated the amalgamation of the engineer corps with the line, a project much to be desired, providing it can be accomplished with harmony to the best interest of the service.

While ballistics is included in the course in ordnance and gunnery, and Alger is completed, it is unfortunate that the cadets are

Returning to a consideration of Sketch No. 13. In order to obtain the pressure drop through the boiler the joint was broken at the point indicated and the manometer end thrust into the uptake. The difference in the two levels was measured as so many inches. This apparatus was used to make certain that the pressure drop through the grates of all the boilers was the same; and that the resistance of the grate when there was no coal in the furnace should not be more than one-tenth of the entire drop. This was obtained by running the forced draft blowers and measuring the total boiler drop from the ash-pit to the uptake. The pressure in the uptake was greater than atmosphere, and that in the ash-pit greater than that in the uptake. The first test of the grates showed marked variations and it was necessary to take out or put in grate bars to make them all homogeneous. By making the grates the same it was then fixed that equal division of the “ draft” would not be prevented by them.

It may therefore be readily seen that after steaming, as the fires get dirty, the grates become more or less clogged and the pressure drop through the grates will increase. The amount of pressure drop through the fire bed itself is of course a variable quantity, so variable that accurate measure of it is nearly impossible. It is clear, though, that as the fires become dirty its pressure drop will increase and if the total pressure through the boiler remains constant there will be less and less available above the furnace for pushing the hot gases through the boiler and immediately the capacity of the boiler decreases. This large pressure drop now experienced through the grates and fire bed does not mean that the rate of combustion is high, on the contrary it is most likely to mean the opposite. It is common knowledge that if it is desired to increase the rate of combustion either (1) the fires must be worked more in order to break them up and lower their resistance, which is bad practice; or (2) more boilers must be cut in, which is good practice; or (3) the forced draft blowers must be run, which is good practice up to the point demanding more boilers, and then again at full power, which is the point where the boilers are producing all the steam the engines will take.

(In considering the cutting in or out of boilers versus the use of forced draft, the coal used to prime furnaces and cut in the boiler must be compared to the power consumption of the fans and in connection therewith the time element of operation must be

The vast majority of the older men of the station crews have been retired, leaving the men on the active list comparatively young, and among recent recruits may be found many high-school graduates; the keepers realizing that to have their respective stations pass a satisfactory inspection, the personnel must be young, active, and intelligent men.

The writer has found the men (especially those in the Fifth Coast Guard District, Sandy Hook to Cape May) to be enthusiastic, keen to adapt themselves to their new environments, and desirous of keeping abreast of their mates on board of their ships. They are either “expert " or "proficient ” signalmen, besides being a brave and hardy lot, who can face any wind or weather and stand the “racket." With training on board of ships, what a magnificient force for any emergency! The station crews are not armed in any manner. The writer is aware of instances where the men constructed rifle ranges, bought rifles and held target practice. Their ability to shoot should be encouraged and an opportunity given them to qualify as marksmen, etc.

There are now 1800 rifle clubs scattered throughout the country and their civilian members receive the encouragement of the government. Is it not a necessity that the men who in time of war would constitute the naval patrol should be given an opportunity to perfect themselves in musketry? In fact, should not machine guns, as well as rifles, be made the armament of coast guard stations ?

It is difficult to note where any logic lies in the suggestion that because the crews of the present coast guard stations were originally created for the purpose of saving life only, that now, when merged into a military arm of the government, military training should be neglected and that the men be kept in comparative, if not absolute, ignorance of arms.

Should hostilities with a maritime nation eventuate, there will be greater necessity for an adequate coast patrol by the station crews than for the purpose of patrol in the role of savers of lives, due to possible enemy activities and a restricted commerce along the coast; but if the occasion were to arise for the utilization of the crews to save life, on occasion, would there be anything to prevent their performing a humanitarian duty ? Absolutely, "No." The more versatile the men, the greater their individual efficiency and the units of which they are a part.

The pressure (draft) gage was explained to the men and put into use when cleaning fires. Such a gage when connected to the furnace will give useful information as to the condition of the fire. For instance, after a man has cleaned a fire, if the pressure drop from ash-pit to furnace is very low, he may be sure that he has his fire too thin or that there are holes in it. With hand firing a gradual increase in the drop will be noticed and will indicate the formation of clinkers.

Of course, a drop through the fuel bed is adjudged high or low only after considering it in connection with the total drop through the whole boiler. It may happen, in the same boiler, with the same coal from the same bunker, and with the same total pressure drop, that much less coal is burned and a smaller amount of steam produced on one day than on another, although the pressure drop through the fuel bed is higher on the day of smaller steam production. The fireman may wonder why this is. The explanation may be drawn out thus: When coal is taken out of the side and bottom of a bunker, the larger pieces tend to flow out first, leaving the smaller pieces and dust in the far corners, which stay there to the last until all the coarser coal has been burned. When burning the finer coal, the resistance to the passage of air through the fuel bed is greater, and this greater resistance causes a higher pressure drop, that is, a higher " draft" above the fire; simultaneously, the smaller air supply results in a lower rate of combustion and a smaller steam production,

The drop of gas pressure from one part of the boiler to another varies, naturally, as some power of the resistance offered to the flow of the gases. Thus a great drop from ash-pit to furnace indicates a high resistance in the fuel bed, and a great drop from the furnace to the uptake indicates high resistance to the flow of gases through the boiler proper (baffles leaky or out of line). This law has been determined to be similar in some respects to Ohm's law as applied to problems involving the electrical resistance of conductors. It may be stated as follows:

(a) If the resistance to the flow of gases remains constant the pressure drop through any portion of the path of the gases will have a constant ratio to the total drop from the ash-pit to the uptake. Thus, for example, if the pressure drop through the fuel bed is 0.25 inch of water when the total drop is 0.50 inch, it will be i inch if the total drop is increased to 2 inches of water.

[ocr errors]
« ПретходнаНастави »