The New York Times is reporting that, in a Speech today, the President will call for new icebreakers for the Coast Guard including accelerating the one currently planned and for additional icebreakers beyond that.
“The aging Coast Guard fleet is not keeping pace with the challenge, the administration acknowledged, noting that the service has the equivalent of just two “fully functional” heavy icebreakers at its disposal, down from seven during World War II. Russia, by contrast, has 41 of the vessels, with plans for 11 more. China unveiled a refurbished icebreaker in 2012 and is building another.
“Mr. Obama will propose speeding up the acquisition of a replacement icebreaker that had been planned for 2022, setting a new date of 2020, the White House said. He will also propose that planning begin on the construction of new ones, asking Congress to provide “sufficient resources” to fund them.”
Hopefully these WAGBs and the rumored additional National Security will move the perception of what is a normal AC&I budget closer to a realistic level.