Next Navy comments on why despite great support in Congress, the Coast Guard is still not getting full funding.
There are other reasons, but it is hard for our friends to advocate for full funding when essentially, we don’t know what full funding is.
The current “Program of Record” dates from 2004. The last Fleet Mix Analysis, which essentially only served to show, “Yes, we really do need the Program of Record and a lot more,” was done in 2011.
Much has changed.
- We are using the Webber class WPCs in ways not imagined in 2011.
- We still don’t have the land based UAS that were included in the Program of Record.
- Improved sensors and platforms, including unmanned air, surface, and subsurface are now available.
- The Coast Guard’s aviation fleet, both fixed wing and rotary are not what was envisioned in the Program of Record.
- The Navy’s own Maritime Domain Awareness capabilities have changed. Presumably they will share with the Coast Guard.
- Illegal Unregulated Unreported fishing has emerged as a national security threat.
- The Chinese have been using their Coast Guard to intimidate our friends and allies.
- Combatant Commanders are constantly seeking Coast Guard assistance in Capacity Building in their AORs.
In spite of these substantial changes, we have not changed our Program of Record in 17 years.
By contrast the US Navy publishes a new Fleet Plan almost annually.
Congress has repeatedly directed the Coast Guard to complete a new Fleet Mix Analysis, but they have yet to see anything beyond the one ten year old study. I don’t know who is to blame for this. Is it the Coast Guard, the Department, or the Administration(s)?
The Congress is apparently not satisfied with the frequency of Navy updates.
I think they are going to have to demand the Coast Guard present a regular report bypassing the Department.
There is no way we should go more than four years between rigorous analysis of our needs. It is essential for risk analysis by all concerned parties, the Coast Guard, the Department, the Administration, and the Congress.
Proceeding without analysis is just whistling in the dark.