Coast Guard shifts communication method away from CGMS

Coast Guard member using computer

The Coast Guard is gearing up for a big change.

Beginning August 3, 2015, the Coast Guard is shifting from its traditional communication method of sending all official information via the Coast Guard Messaging System to using today’s technology for exchanging official information. After the shut down authorized personnel will have four communication methods to send and receive official information.

Because these four communication methods represent a major cultural shift in the way that the Coast Guard conducts business, all personnel must be informed and understand these changes. Although the solutions identified are being implemented and announced, programs can adopt their own processes to improve efficiencies.

C2OIX user screenThe four new methods are:

(1) Command and Control Official Information Exchange (C2OIX)

C2OIX is replacing CGMS and will be used only to exchange operational information for both classified and unclassified systems. Operational information is any message related to specific actions to execute and directly support strategic and tactical Coast Guard missions. The C2OIX system is designed to simplify the process by which messages are drafted and published, cut costs and eliminate known security vulnerabilities associated with our legacy messaging capability.

C2OIX offers two ways to view messages. The first way is to read messages on the C2OIX web application, with the option to set up messaging filters for automatic delivery to your Outlook e-mail based on keyword selections. The web application can be accessed at this link: The second way is to read messages in your unit’s C2OIX command shared mailbox (OIX-SMB-XXXX) in Microsoft Outlook. Each unit that is receiving C2OIX has been assigned an organizational administrator to assist unit personnel with establishing C2OIX accounts, assigning messaging release authority and accessing the C2OIX command shared mailbox.

Please note that COMDT (CG-761) determines which units have an operational messaging requirement, so some units will not have C2OIX capabilities. Units that did not receive C2OIX can contact COMDT (CG-761) if there are questions with this decision.

More information about C2OIX, including managing the system, assigning administrators, accessing training and policy guidance, is available on the C2OIX website.

More information regarding C2OIX Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures is also available.

(2) Administrative Official Information Exchange (Admin OIX) in Shared Mailboxes

Admin OIX is a new, standardized method for sending and receiving administrative information. Administrative information is defined as messages related to the organization of service forces, personnel management, unit logistics, individual and unit training, discipline, program changes, and other matters that are not operational.

Since administrative messages will no longer be transmitted via the CGMS, users can view administrative information in their unit’s Admin OIX command shared mailbox (CMD-SMB-XXXX) in Microsoft Outlook. For units that received C2OIX, the Organizational Administrator was assigned as the Administrator for the Admin OIX command shared mailbox. For units not receiving C2OIX, an administrator is assigned by your command. A full list of Admin OIX shared mailbox administrators is posted on the Administrative OIX portal site.

Coast Guard Portal websiteA command shared mailbox was created for all units listed under “units” in the Coast Guard Portal. If you have a subordinate unit, detached office, directorate office, or other organizational element that is not listed in CG Portal, submit a CGFIXIT ticket to set up an Admin OIX command shared mailbox.

More information on Admin OIX is available on the OIX website. The Admin OIX TTPs will be published on the Coast Guard Portal upon completion.

(3) Administrative Information on CG Portal

Until further notice, ALCOASTs and other General Messages (e.g., ALCGENL, ALCGOFF, ALCGPSC) will be posted on CG Portal’s General Messages site.

(4) Alert Warning System (AWS)

The AWS is the Coast Guard’s only authorized mass notification system. The objective of AWS is to disseminate alerts, threat warnings, and other critical information to Coast Guard personnel, maritime port partners, and key stakeholders in support of maritime security (MARSEC) level changes, Marine Transportation System (MTS) recovery, small vessel security awareness and outreach, and industry notification and outreach. Examples of AWS messages include information pertaining to weather emergencies, evacuation notices, government operating status and other critical administrative messages.

The AWS enables authorized operators to rapidly disseminate bulk targeted alerts, as circumstances dictate through multiple devices, such as email, phone, pager, fax and mobile applications. The use of the AWS is governed by a set of guiding principles that include: safety, security and administrative types of alerts that are official in nature, urgent and in compliance with COMDTINST 2080.1A.

new Coast Guard communication methods

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