Relatively Good News in the Budget

FierceHomelandSecurity is reporting that while it appears the Coast Guard’s budget is down, it will represent a significant increase over the administration’s request.

“The Coast Guard will get a topline of $10.2 billion, a decrease of $211 million compared to the previous year enacted amount, but $463 million more than called for in White House budget proposal. For acquisition, construction and improvements, the service is set to get $1.376 billion, and to use funds to procure a seventh National Security Cutter and contract for long lead time materials for the eighth (and final) NSC. The omnibus will also fund the production of six Fast Response Cutters–Coast Guard officials have warned that an annual production rate of less than four FRCs would cause the cost of the FRC recapitalization program to rise and put in doubt the service’s ability to buy all 58 planned total FRCs.”

The news is particularly good on the on the AC&I budget, the increase there accounting for what appears to be virtually all the increase over the administration request. Keeping the acquisition programs on track, is probably the best we could have hoped for this year.
This is, I believe, a two year budget. I am curious to see what has been included and planned for the out years.
I note with some distress that the $211M drop in the Coast Guard’s “top line” represents 63% of the total decrease in Department of Homeland Security’s Budget, so the pain is obviously not being spread around equally, but if we include the acquisition of 14 new C-27Js, all in all, not the disaster it might have been.

6 thoughts on “Relatively Good News in the Budget

  1. This is a quote from the House Appropriations Committee Summary of the bill, there is some repetition but also some additional info, “Coast Guard – The bill includes $10.2 billion for the U.S. Coast Guard – a decrease of $211 million below the fiscal year 2013 enacted level and $463 million above the President’s request. The bill sustains military pay and allowances, and denies the President’s proposed cuts that would have gutted vital Coast Guard operations. Targeted increases are provided for: cutter and aviation operating hours, training, and maintenance; acquisition of the seventh National Security Cutter (NSC) and long-lead time material for the eighth NSC; six Fast Response Cutter (FRC) patrol boats; an additional C-130J aircraft; and urgently needed upgrades to family housing. The bill also allows the Coast Guard to receive a transfer of 14 C-27J maritime patrol aircraft from the Air Force.”

      • Yeah what the hell do those young Coasties need new cutters and aircraft for anyway? Oh ok! the present cutters and aircraft are old, broken down, obsolete, well past their original live expectancy, and might killed their crews. Thats all! Come on Retired! do you really think that the Coast Guard getting a few much needed new capital assets is the reason for the COLAs reduction? The Coast Guard budget even with all ” these toys” that you like to say, is a very small drop in the bucket compared with the rest of the Federal budget.

      • rlcullison, I not only just think…I know. Most CG missions are self-generated as a means of justifying its own budget, which means makes a majority of the wish list of payoffs to the defense industry you mention in your post is a want, not a taxpayer demanded need. An example of how little the public could care if we have big ships or not: sequestration happend the past year which reduced OP-Hours and the public and Congress could have cared less.

        The gravy train of “homeland security” money which will keep everyone “safe” – none of which we ever bothered to spend on cutters – is now over. The economy isn’t in the best shape, and many citizens are struggling to pay their own bills, yet we somehow think we ourselves should be immune to the challenges the public faces. The new reality is that if the CG needs new toys so bad, they need to suck it up and make some cuts (starting with all the useless sand peep and non-operational billets they have created on the beach the last 20+ years).

        Your arguement that the CG budget is a drop in the bucket as compared to the rest of the Federal government is a non-sequitor that, while plodded out and tried time and time again, has never worked at convincing Congress of anything. Great point you unintentionally make about how we have allowed our cutters and aircraft to deteriorate. Your allegation that we as an organization knowingly operate equipment and assets which “might killed their crews”, also says more about the current day CG’s view and situational application of its Core Values than any need (real or imagined). Since our mentality of never planning for recapitilization has caught up with us shows we can’t responsibly manage what we have, why should any citizen pay more in taxes or soon to be retired serving military members give up their earned retirement COLAs?

      • I believe the COLAs for all retired military were slashed. If I’m remembering that correctly, this is not a USCG issue but across all 5 armed services, and certainly the reduction in retiree COLA doesn’t “pay for” the “new toys.” First, I’m sure the dollar amounts do not align, and second, that’s not the way the budget decisions are made. The good news is that Congress is taking up this question again, and may reverse it. I hope so — Those who protect our country and citizens with their lives shouldn’t have to worry about being abused like this.

  2. This is like a person throwing a bone to a dog to keep him quiet, right. What the Air Force and Navy scrap by accident could make the Coast Guard run somewhat efficiently.

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