Looking for information on the 2021 budget I came across “A Budget for America’s Future, Fiscal Year 2021” issued from the White House by the GAO. It covers the entire Federal budget. It is a 138 pages. It mentions the Coast Guard only three times. (No, I did not read the entire document, used the “control F” function to find them.) I have reproduced those parts below. The third was a bit of a surprise.
- In addition, the Budget includes $1.6 billion to continue the important work of modernizing the U.S. Coast Guard vessels and aircraft that patrol the Nation’s coastal borders. (page 6 or 10 of 138 in the pdf)
- In addition, the Budget includes $1.6 billion to continue to modernize U.S. Coast Guard vessels and aircraft that patrol and provide life-saving rescue missions across the Nation’s coastal borders. The Budget includes funding for a second polar icebreaker to ensure America is at the forefront of safeguarding uninterrupted, year round commercial activity, trade, and supply routes and confirming America’s leadership role in the Arctic and Antarctic. (page 56 or 60 of 138 in the pdf)
- Focuses on Sound Budgeting. The Budget proposes to shift $215 million in Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) funding for the U.S. Coast Guard into the Department’s base budget. This furthers the Administration’s goal of ensuring that the OCO request funds only temporary overseas warfighting operations and does not fund enduring operations “off budget.” (page 58 or 62 of 138 in the pdf)
The third entry caught my eye. I can only think of one significant “Overseas Contingency Operation,” PATFORSWA, which is funded by DOD. It sounds like DHS wants to terminate PATFORSWA. This might explain why the last two Webber class FRCs, which would have presumably gone to PATFORSWA, were not included in the FY2021 budget.
Depending on your degree of cynicism, other possibilities are that DHS wants to increase the total budget that they control, or that they want make CG budget look bigger when it was really money we were getting already.
The on line edition of Seapower, the Navy League magazine’s, report on the budget included something that surprised me.
The 2021 budget also proposes $35.5 million to manage retirements of old assets, including the decommissioning of two Secretary-class high-endurance cutters, two Island-class patrol boats and eight Marine Protector-class patrol boats. (emphasis applied-Chuck)
Looks like we are starting to decommission the 87 foot WPBs without a replacement in sight. For at least the last five years, I have been saying we were going to need a replacement for these in the near future, here, here, here, but I was still surprised because I have seen nothing about a replacement.
i think the OCO shift is a way to move the funds from DOD to DHS on a permanent basis. I do not believe that it is a move to get rid of PATFORSWA. The WEBBERS might be hidden in the NAVSEA budget.
Certainly a possibility but it is the following that concerns me–“This furthers the Administration’s goal of ensuring that the OCO request funds only temporary overseas warfighting operations and does not fund enduring operations “off budget.” ”
I still expect Congress may fund two more Webber class. So far none of the four funded for PATFORSWA have been paid for by the Navy.
I went and looked at the Navies Budget didn’t see anything there. Of course this budget is DOA in the House so we will have to see what they really do.
@Pat Flynn, anything for the Coast Guard would be such small change in the Navy budget it would be virtually invisible.
Marine Log has a good breakdown of “dollar amounts of the Vessels category of the DHS budget request for the USCG ” https://www.marinelog.com/news/dhs-fy-2021-budget-fully-funds-second-uscg-polar-security-cutter/
Another report on the budget, https://www.nationaldefensemagazine.org/articles/2020/2/12/budget-proposal-funds-second-coast-guard-icebreaker
Found the following interesting and a bit surprising in that it may mean more than the currently planned six icebreakers, “Coast Guard Adm. Karl Shultz in a recent interview with National Defense, said the service is considering acquiring up to six heavy icebreakers and possibly some smaller ones.”
Sounds reasonable. 6 shuffling between Artic and Antarctica, a couple for the Lakes.
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