By an Executive Order, President Clinton formally established an Interagency Task Force to review the roles and missions of the USCG through the year 2020. The impetus for the task force was the USCG's request for substantial federal investment to replace the agency's aging deepwater vessel and aircraft assets with new cutters, aircraft, sensor infrastructure, and an integrated command, control, and communications capability.
A principal usage of the task force's recommendations will be to determine the appropriate level of investment in this initiative, called the Deepwater Capability Replacement Project.
The task forces examination of USCG roles and missions will be a comprehensive one, however. The task force, which includes representatives from 14 Cabinet-level agencies and White House offices
, is charged with identifying which USCG roles, missions, and functions might be added or enhanced; maintained at current levels of performance; or reduced, eliminated, or moved to other government agencies or private organizations.
For those roles, missions, and functions which the task force recommends be retained by the USCG, the task force will provide advice as to how they might be performed most effectively and efficiently. In conducting its analysis, the task force is to assume the USCG will remain a law enforcement agency and an armed force of the U.S.
The task force is authorized to conduct its work through August 1999, unless an extension is approved by the Secretary of Transportation, and to submit a written report to the President via the Secretary of Transportation. The last such analysis of USCG roles and missions was completed in 1982. There have been four such studies since World War II.