Coast Guard Stands Ready For Challenges, Commandant Says
(February 22, 2010)
|WASHINGTON, Feb. 18, 2010 – The U.S. Coast Guard stands
ready to confront current and future challenges, said Adm.
Thad W. Allen, commandant of the service. |
Today's Coast Guard is a strong, resilient force, Allen said
during a DoDLive blogger's roundtable Feb. 16. The Coast
Guard, he said, plans to restore and refurbish some of its
aging fleet with the $1.4 billion contained in this year's
proposed federal budget.
Yet a tight budgeting process brought about by a down
economy poses potential challenges for the Coast Guard, the
“When you're operating in a constrained budget environment,
it's very, very difficult to make tradeoffs. But in this
case, we have to focus on recapitalizing and rebuilding new
ships,” Allen said. “Otherwise you create what they would
call a hollow force.”
The problem in explaining the Coast Guard's funding
requirements Allen said, comes, in part, from its national
presence across maritime domains and many agencies'
jurisdictions. While the service falls under Homeland
Security, the Coast Guard also partners in operations
involving the Defense Department and performs tasks across
every branch of the government.
The Coast Guard, Allen said, is a multi-mission organization
that performs both military and law enforcement duties.
“I think we're the exact type of agency the government needs
right now, but in a constrained budget environment we're the
hardest to explain,” he said. “We have cutters that can do a
number of missions. But they can't do them all at once.”
Consequently, Allen said, there's “an inherent
risk-management process that takes place, in how we allocate
our resources now.”
Allen thanked President Barack Obama for his support and
also thanked First Lady Michelle Obama for her work on
behalf of military families. The Coast Guard, the admiral
noted, has received $14 million to build new family housing
for its servicemembers. The proposed budget, he added, also
would support acquisition of additional cutters, aircraft,
fast-response cutters and funding to begin the design
process for the new medium-endurance cutters.
Coast Guard Vice Adm. Robert J. Papp Jr. has been nominated
to succeed Allen as the new Coast Guard commandant. If
confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Papp would relieve Allen in
“The challenges I see that are going to kind of transcend
across my tenure and Adm. Papp's tenure; pending his
confirmation are going to have to do with really clearly
defining what we do within the Department of Homeland
Security,” Allen said.
By Ian Graham|
Emerging Media, Defense Media Activity
Special to American Forces Press Service
from American Forces Press Service / DoD
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