Commandant, “Bullish”

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Following from the Navy League magazine, “Seapower.” It is from an article, “Service Chiefs Stress Partnerships, Need to Accelerate Acquisition,” by Otto Kreisher:

Zukunft was surprisingly “bullish” on the Coast Guard’s condition, noting that his procurement budget doubled in the current year, enabling the service to expand its National Security Cutter program to nine ships, to build 58 Fast Response Cutters and upgrade its command-and-control and fixed-wing aircraft systems. He said the Coast Guard this summer would award the biggest ship construction program in its history, for the Offshore Patrol Cutters.

Nice to see the Offshore Patrol Cutters getting closer, but it has taken a long time. We should note that this summer’s award for the OPC is not that big a contract, but it is a start.

We have had one good year. Congress’ largess (it certainly was not the executive) appears due mostly (but not entirely) to Huntington Ingalls Industries’ influence. Still it does create a precedence for larger, more reasonable, AC&I appropriations. Hopefully we will see the same sort of funding in FY2017. A tenth Bertholf is a possibility, If not, maybe we can move some of the OPC funding forward. Perhaps selection of the OPC builder will give us another strong advocate in Congress. I would hate to see funding levels go back to where they were before. Even $2B annually is not really anything like generous.

Thanks to Daniel for bringing this to attention.

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