Dec. 4, the US Naval Institute had a seminar, “Defense Forum Washington 2014, What Does the Nation Need from its Sea Services?” VAdm Charles D. Michel, Deputy Commandant for Operations, was the Coast Guard representative on the panel discussion labeled “Sea Service Briefing.” He did a credible job of representing the Coast Guard. He also made some headlines when he said that the LCS was an excellent asset for drug enforcement, and eloquently presented a case for maritime drug interdiction.
But I would like to particularly recommend a portion of the presentation by Ron O’Rourke, who is the Congressional Research Service. He devoted the last few minutes of his presentation to the Coast Guard, beginning about minute 24:30. He does a better job of explaining the crisis in Coast Guard budgeting than I have ever seen done by any Coast Guard representative.
Looking at some of the other speakers, I learned that they have taken the program to replace the Ballistic Missile Submarine Force out of the regular navy shipbuilding budget. I think this is significant, because the effect of the SSBN replacement on the Navy ship building budget, is very similar to the effect of the heavy icebreaker procurement on the Coast Guard budget. Perhaps this might be used as a precedence for a special, separate appropriation for the icebreaker.