It is on the Op-Ed/Guest Opinion page, by Susan J. Curtin who is the chair and Wes Pulver who is the president of the National Coast Guard Museum Association. Read their opinion here.
I found the Joint Explanation easiest to wade through. The Budget breakdown is found on pages 65 to 69 of the 612 page pdf.
Note in some cases I have rounded to the nearest $0.1M
Our total Coast Guard FY2019 budget is $12,015,921,000. This is $91,803,000 less than last year, but $577,720,000 more than the budget request.
The Operations and Support allocation is $7,808.2M. That is $434.9M more than last year (a 5.6% increase), and $215.1M more than requested.
I have provided information on the PC&I budget below including a complete list of line items that I was unable to provide before.
PROCUREMENT, CONSTRUCTION, AND IMPROVEMENTS (PC&I) $2,248.26M
Vessels and Boats
- Survey and design: 5.5M
- In service vessel sustainment: 63.25M
- National Security Cutter: 72.6M (Follow up on ships already funded)
- Offshore Patrol Cutter: 400M (Second of class + LLTM for third)
- Fast Response Cutter: 340M (Six Webber class including two for PATFORSWA)
- Cutter boats 5M
- Polar Security Cutter: 675M (First of class + LLTM for second)
- Waterways Commerce Cutter: 5M
- Polar sustainment: 15M (Polar Star Service Life Extension)
—-Vessels Subtotal: $1,581.35M
- HC-144 Conversion/Sustainment: 17M
- HC-27J Conversion/Sustainment: 80M
- HC-1330J Conversion/Sustainment: 105M
- HH-65 Conversion/Sustainment: 28M
- MH-60 Conversion/Sustainment: 120M
- Small Unmanned Aircraft: 6M
—Aircraft Subtotal: $356M
Other Acquisition Programs:
- Other Equipment and System: 3.5M
- Program Oversight and Managemen: 20M
- C4ISR 23.3M
- CG-Logistics Information Management System (CG-LIMS): 9.2M
—Other Acquisitions Programs Subtotal: $56M
Shore Facilities and Aids to Navigation:
- Major Construction; Housing; ATON; and Survey and Design: 74.51M
- Major Acquisition Systems Infrastructure: 175.4M
- Minor Shore 5M
—Shore Facilities and Aids to Navigation Subtotal: $254.91M
The PC&I total, $2,248.26M, was $446.48M less than FY2018, but it was $361.51M above the budget request.
R&D was cut by almost a third. This is probably a place to spend more not less.
Reserve Training disappeared as a separate line item, so I can’t tell what happened there.
Also included in the new budget is $5M for the National Coast Guard Museum
Incidentally, the total amount appropriated for the polar security program includes $359.6M (FY2018 and prior) + $675M (FY2019), or $1,034.6M, of which $20M is for Long Lead Time Material for the second ship, and the remainder is for the first ship and other program-related expenses.
With Operations and Support up more than 5% over 2018 and Procurement Construction &Improvement (PC&I) over $2B for the second year in a row, this is the kind of budget we can live with. It just needs to keep happening.
Above is the video of the Senate Subcommittee hearing for which I provided the Commandant’s prepared remarks earlier.
Participating Senators I noted were:
- Dan Sullivan, Sub-Committee chair (R, Alaska)(Lt.Col., US Marine Corps Reserve)
- Gary Peters, ranking member (D, Michigan)(LCdr. US Navy Reserve, Supply Corps)
- Bill Nelson, ranking member of the Commerce Committee (D, Florida)(Capt. US Army Reserve)(NASA Scuttle payload specialist)
- Roger Wicker, Chairman of the Seapower sub-committee (R, Mississippi)(Lt.Col. ret. USAF reserve)
- Richard Blumenthal (D, Connecticut) (USMC Reserve 1970 to 1976 discharges as Sargent)
- Brian Schatz (D, Hawaii)
- Ed Markey (D, Mass.) (Spec4, US Army Reserve, 1968-73)
- Jim Inhofe (R, Oklahoma) (Spec4, US Army, 1956-1958)
- Maria Cantwell (D, Washington)
You can also check out the original post from the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. (Same video is available there, but the meeting does not actually start on that version of the video until minute 36.) There you can also find the written statements of the other three witness who constituted the second panel. The Commandant was the sole witness on the first panel.
This was something of a love fest for the Coast Guard with repeated praise for the people and actions of the Coast Guard.
This hearing was reputedly about how the Coast Guard had been impacted by the unusually severe Hurricane season. There is not a lot new here but there were some interesting remarks.
Polar Icebreaker Contracts
The intention is to Contract for the first Icebreaker and then employ block buy for the next two (28m). To me this seems to negate most of the advantage of a block buy. I don’t believe we will or should buy one and then wait until we have tried it out before contracting for the next two. That would necessitate a delay of at least five years during which we would still have the nightmare scenario of our only heavy icebreaker having no rescue if it should break down in the ice–certainly not an impossibility even with a new ship. If we are going to contract for the remaining two before testing the first, we might as well block buy all three.
First of class is always the most expensive. If the shipyard gets a block buy they know that initial improvements in productivity can be amortized over the entire block buy quantity. In some cases, in order to win the whole project, the shipyard will cut the price of the first ship substantially knowing they will make a profit over the entire project.
If we buy one and then block buy the second and third, we have paid for improvements to the winning yard with the first contract and minimized the chances for a competitive bid for numbers two and three.
Legislation has capped DOD participation in icebreaker procurement, so the bulk of icebreaker procurement costs will come out of the Coast Guard budget.
There was a lot of discussion about the need to have the Coast Guard Authorization Bill signed into law, still not approved. You can see it here.
There was a discussion of the high cost of the Coast Guard response to the recent series of Hurricanes.
Representative Sullivan spent a lot of time, discussing and advocating for an eleven mile road from King Cove (population estimate–989) to Cold Bay, Alaska (population estimate–122) which has an all-weather airport with two runways, one 10,180 feet and one 6285 feet in length. The Coast Guard connection is that the road would minimize or eliminate the necessity for the Coast Guard to Medivac emergencies from King Cove by helicopter, which is frequently hazardous. It is a Federal issue, because the road would run through a Federal reserve. The Commandant fully supported the desirability of completing the proposed single lane gravel road as a means of minimizing the requirement for helicopter medivac.
28m Domestic icebreakers–Design work on new domestic icebreakers is expected to start in 2030. That sounds a bit late to me. Mackinaw was commissioned in 2006 so if that is what he is really talking about, that makes sense, but the 140 foot icebreaking tugs are a different story. The first for of these will be 51 years old in 2030. More than half of them have already completed in-service which was expected to add 15 years to their service life. Morro Bay, at least, is expected to reach the end of her service life in 2030, and considering how long it takes us to build a ship we really need to start the process not later than 2025.
45m Western Pacific Fisheries Protection–They have not seen much risk of Illegal, Unregulated, or Unreported fishing.
51m Inland River Tenders
56m We may need to replace the 52 ft MLBs with something larger than the 47 foot MLB sometime in the future, but their end of life is not yet apparent
58m Coast Guard Museum in New London
60m Sexual Assault in the CG
1h02m Puerto Rico/Virgin Islands continuing commitment and its effects on drug seizures and alien migrant interdiction.
1h05m Vessel homeporting
1h08 CG center of expertise, particularly in regard to clean up spills in ice and fresh water
1h16m Army Corp of Engineers dredging backlog.
1h17m Second Panel begins.
1h19m Medivac from King Cove
1h31m Mr Smithson regarding Deepwater Horizon experience, unified approach, investment in mitigation.
The team putting together the National Coast Guard Museum in New London is asking for help and they have a new “Plank Owner” program that they hope will provide some extra incentive. If you need more information, they have it available in a couple of forms, a 20 page annual report for 2015 that includes a financial statement or you can take a look at their newsletter.
Perhaps most convincing, they point out that the Coast Guard is the only military service without a National Museum. The Army has 56, the Air Force 13, the Navy 11, and the Marine Corp 5. They also have a web site: www.CoastGuardMuseum.org.