Wednesday, March 2, 2011

ROA Member ADM Papp Testifies on Coast Guard Budget

The Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard, ADM Robert J. Papp, Jr., who is also an ROA member and Minuteman Hall of Fame awardee, testified before the House Transportation and Infrastructure’s Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation regarding the Fiscal Year (FY) 2012 budget.

This year the Coast Guard actually saw an increase of 1.8 percent over the current FY-11 Continuing Resolution level.
According to the written testimony, the Reserve Training account would increase by 2.4 percent and there would be a military pay increase of 1.6 percent. In addition, the budget would grant $20 million to rehabilitate military housing which has a current backlog of more than 40 prioritized shore facility improvement programs.

The most controversial item discussed was the proposed decommissioning of the Polar Sea heavy icebreaker, which has significant engine failures and has not been operational since June 2010. The plan would replace it with the Polar Star, which is undergoing a service life extension program and would be operational in 2013. The Commandant stated that there would be a gap, but there is already a gap and since resources are scarce it is better to invest in the Polar Star rather than the Polar Sea.

Congressman Jeff Landry (D-La.) suggested that the Coast Guard should look into leasing industry heavy icebreakers. And Chairman Frank LoBiondo (R-N.J.) expressed great concern that the Fleet Mix Analysis still has not been shared with the subcommittee, despite the request being issued more than 13 months ago.

No comments: