Looks like it is official now, the the Coast Guard is seeking more than three heavy icebreakers (Polar Security Cutters), not in place of one or more of the three medium icebreakers (Arctic Security Cutters) but in addition. This presumably means we are seeking more than six polar icebreakers.
Absolutely necessary and long past due for implementation.
I wonder what they will do for crews? The CG rapidly decommissioned WAGBs in the 60s-70s, when they had 6-7, and not enough funding to man them was a major issue.
Each year in the budget, there is a line for change in the number of billets for ships commissioned or decommissioned. What I don’t see is a change in support personnel, that is probably a good thing when we are decommissioning, but not when adding ships.
Back in the 60s/70s the Coast Guard was smaller than it is now, but we had more ships and those were more manpower intensive. Then of course, we stopped doing ocean station and decommissioned 29 ships.