Defense News has an excellent interview with the Commandant. The whole interview is relatively short and to the point, only ten questions. I’ll just pick a couple of quotes to give you the flavor, but the whole thing is worth the read.
The Coast Guard is in a tough spot right now and the Commandant talks about how the budget process for each year has gotten progressively more difficult…
“So when you try to balance the recapitalization, the construction projects, keep your people, keep them adequately trained and then spend money on operations, at a certain point, you get to that tipping point where you have no other alternative other than to start cutting people or start cutting projects. And I think we’re at that point now.”
Some good news:
“We’re going to deploy Polar Star down to Antarctica to break out for the first time in many years.”
An interesting development, in response to this question, “What’s the role of the Coast Guard in that Pacific pivot strategy?” the Commandant noted the decreasing number of Navy assets in the Caribbean and Eastern Pacific and added,
“…within a few short weeks or months, we’re going to publish a Western Hemisphere strategy, which more clearly defines what the Coast Guard intends to do to make sure that our hemisphere is taken care of.”
Look forward to seeing that. At the same time I hope we don’t neglect the very substantial part of the US EEZ in the Central and Western Pacific. (Don’t suppose we could get the Navy to fund Offshore Patrol Cutters operating our of Guam.)