Twitter Facebook Google RSS
 
National Defense > Blog > Posts > Coast Guard to Send National Security Cutter to Arctic This Summer
Coast Guard to Send National Security Cutter to Arctic This Summer
The Coast Guard will be expanding its mission to the Arctic this summer by deploying one of its three new National Security Cutters to the increasingly busy region.
 
Noting that petroleum companies will begin exploring the Arctic as the ice breaks up this summer, and that the service has no shore-based infrastructure there, Adm. Robert Papp, commandant of the Coast Guard, said the Bertholf will be dispatched to patrol the region.
 
Petroleum discoveries, new shipping lanes and increased tourism in the northern seas will mean more traffic in the Arctic, he said in his annual state of the service address, which was delivered Feb. 23 on Coast Guard Island in Alameda, Calif.
 
The Fiscal Year 2013 budget proposal recognizes “the Arctic as a strategic national priority, given increasing presence and interest by other nations, the preponderance of natural resources available in this region, and increasing maritime commercial and recreational activity.”  
 
The expansion of operations in the Arctic comes during “stormy times,” said Papp, referring to the impending budget cuts.  The service is facing the loss of 1,000 personnel, he said. It is decommissioning several older ships, and closing some Great Lakes facilities.
 
“We will not allow our service to become a hollow operational force,” Papp said. He predicted later in the speech that “the Coast Guard will get smaller.”
 
The Coast Guard's budget would be reduced from $10.5 billion to a little under $10 billion. Several older ships would be decommissioned, but the service would get its wish for fully funding its sixth National Security Cutter. There is no mention in the proposal of cancelling or slowing down procurement of the seventh and eighth ships, which would complete the fleet. Two of the original High Endurance Cutters that the new ships are replacing would be decommissioned under the proposal.

There is also $8 million to begin work on a new polar ice breaker. Updating the service’s Arctic ice breakers has been a longtime goal of Coast Guard leadership. The Coast Guard once had eight ice breakers, but it is now down to one operational ship, Papp noted. There is also $6.1 million in the budget to upgrade facilities in Cold Bay and Sitkinak, Alaska, near the Bering Sea and Aleutian Chain. There are no proposals for permanent bases on the Arctic side of the state, though.

Many of the proposed Coast Guard cuts come at the expense of personnel. Some 222 headquarters positions would be eliminated, resulting in $12.7 million in savings. Almost $10 million would also come out of the recruitment accounts. The service believes it can trim an additional $56 million through management efficiencies.
 
The Atlantic has dominated Coast Guard operations for the last two centuries, Papp noted. However, the service is well positioned to assist the nation with the strategic shift to the Pacific the Obama administration announced earlier this year, he said. The first three National Security Cutters have been deployed to the West Coast.
 
“Coast Guardsmen require modern ships,” he said, reiterating what he has stated in recent speeches about the service needing to sustain the gains it has made deploying high-endurance aircraft and ships to patrol large expanses of open waters such as the Pacific and Arctic.
 
  

Comments

There are no comments yet for this post.
Items on this list require content approval. Your submission will not appear in public views until approved by someone with proper rights. More information on content approval.

Name: *

eMail *

Comment *

Title

Attachments

Name: *


eMail *


Comment *


 

Refresh
Please enter the text displayed in the image.
The picture contains 6 characters.

Characters *

  

Legal Notice *

NDIA is not responsible for screening, policing, editing, or monitoring your or another user's postings and encourages all of its users to use reasonable discretion and caution in evaluating or reviewing any posting. Moreover, and except as provided below with respect to NDIA's right and ability to delete or remove a posting (or any part thereof), NDIA does not endorse, oppose, or edit any opinion or information provided by you or another user and does not make any representation with respect to, nor does it endorse the accuracy, completeness, timeliness, or reliability of any advice, opinion, statement, or other material displayed, uploaded, or distributed by you or any other user. Nevertheless, NDIA reserves the right to delete or take other action with respect to postings (or parts thereof) that NDIA believes in good faith violate this Legal Notice and/or are potentially harmful or unlawful. If you violate this Legal Notice, NDIA may, in its sole discretion, delete the unacceptable content from your posting, remove or delete the posting in its entirety, issue you a warning, and/or terminate your use of the NDIA site. Moreover, it is a policy of NDIA to take appropriate actions under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and other applicable intellectual property laws. If you become aware of postings that violate these rules regarding acceptable behavior or content, you may contact NDIA at 703.522.1820.

 

 

Bookmark and Share