Both Fiercehomelandsecurity.com and Homeland Security today. have reported on the Senate’s reaction to the Coast Guard’s Five Year Capital Investment Plan, but until last night I had been unable to get much detail. I have found a one page summary, and I have to say it is profoundly disappointing.
AC&I Budget Projections (x$1000) Total Vessels Aircraft
- FY 2012 Enacted 1,403,924 642,000 289,900
- FY 2104 Request 951,116 743,000 28,000
- FY 2015 1,195,729 935,000 66,000
- FY 2016 901,042 512,000 123,000
- FY 2017 1,024,827 723,500 56,700
- FY 2018 1,030,302 739,500 45,000
While I don’t have access to the narrative that I am sure accompanied this, some things are apparent.
The “Program of Record” still stands but realization is being substantially delayed. The Coast Guard will apparently get all eight of the NSCs currently planned with #8 to be funded in FY 2015.
The long delayed Offshore Patrol Cutter Program, which had been expected to award a contract for the first ship in FY 2015, has been delayed two years with first construction to be funded in 2017. This means the first ship will likely not be completed until 2021.
The Homeland Security Today report says that the Fast Response Cutter (FRC) Program will average four a year, but looking at the out-year funding, $110M/year in FY 2015-2018, I find it hard to believe that is enough for even two per year, since the program is mature and we have been budgeting about $60M each.
There is a total of $221M in the five years for In-Service Vessel Sustainment. This will apparently fund renovation of 140ft icebreaking tugs and 225ft buoy tenders.
The Response Boat-Medium and Medium Endurance Cutter Sustainment Programs are expected to be completed prior to this planning period, and are zeroed for FY 2014-2018
Over the planning period $230M is expected to go toward the new Polar Icebreaker, but with no more that $100M in any one year, clearly there will be no construction contract until after FY2018.
There is very little in the aircraft budget. The largest chunk of the money, $152M over the five years, will go to “HH-65 Conversion/Sustainment.”
The second largest total, $76M over the five years will go to “Long Range Surveillance Aircraft (C-130H/J).” This is not enough to buy new J models, so apparently this will go for upgrades to the existing C-130Hs.
There is $16M in FY 2015 and $20M in FY-2016 for the MPA (HC-144) program, other years are zero, but totaled, this $36M is less than the cost of the last aircraft purchased.
There is $48M for Unmanned Aircraft Systems in FY-2016, but other years are zero.
$6.7M total is in FY2017/2018 for H-60 conversion.
The Commandant is making good on his pledge to keep together the procurement organization built up painfully over the years. AC&I Personnel and Management is essentially level, ranging from $110.2M in FY2012 to $119.3M in FY2018.
Investment in C4ISR continues with just under $237M planned over the five year period.
Major Shore, Military Housing, AtoN, and S&D took a big hit going from $112.9M in FY2012 to a total of $82M over the entire five year period.
CG funding diverted to Bio and Agro Defense Facility?:
Both “Fiercehomelandsecurity.com” and “Homeland Security Today” note that DHS is apparently funding a new “Bio and Agro Defense Facility” at the expense of the Coast Guard budget.
One might ask if the proposed Bio and Agro Defense facility doesn’t duplicate tasking already assigned to Center Disease Control, the Army’s bio lab at Fort Detrick, and the FDA, FBI and USDA laboratories.
And where will this new lab get its expert staff except from existing labs by offering them higher wages to induce them to move to Kansas?
There are many labs, there is only one Coast Guard and procurement of replacements have already been too long deferred.
A late note:
I have been reminded that the decision to fund long lead items for the first OPC in FY2016 and construction of the first in FY2017 was made last year and that it was published in June. So we are on schedule, relative to the revised schedule, even if the large amounts of money projected for FY2015 in the 2012 and 2013 budgets are no longer there. Hopefullly is will not take four or five years to build the OPC and we may see it earlier than 2021. In the old days we could have certainly have funded the ship at the beginning of FY2017 (Oct. 2016), and have had delivery by the end of 2019, when we have been saying the first ship would be delivered, but I remain skeptical.
The Detail Design contract is still expected in FY2015 with options for long lead time items and construction in the out years.