“Amid extraordinary challenges, our determination, our courage, and our common purpose remain steadfast.” The new appropriations bill provides $6.3 billion for the Coast Guard for FY 2005, an 8.6 percent ($500 million) increase over 2004, and a 66 percent ($2.5 billion) increase over 2001 levels.
As part of funding for Coast Guard programs, the appropriations bill includes $724 million for the Deepwater multi year acquisition to modernize and recapitalize the Coast Guard’s inventory of cutters, aircraft, and supporting systems. The $724 million congressional appropriation for the Deepwater Program comes to $46 million more than the president’s request of $678 million.
President Bush signed the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2005 into law on Oct. 18 during a morning ceremony in the Oval Office. The president said the bill, which provides a 6.6 percent increase in net discretionary spending for homeland security over last year’s level, represents a “… strong law that will make the nation more secure.” “Our first duty in the war on terror is to protect the homeland,” Bush said during a speech in Marlton, N.J., later in the day.
The appropriations bill provides $28.9 billion in net discretionary spending for the Department of Homeland Security, a $1.8 billion increase over 2004 and a $14.9 billion increase (106 percent over 2001 levels.)
Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge echoed the president’s emphasis on protecting the homeland during a speech to Ohio lawenforcement agencies on Oct. 15. “The attacks on our country three years ago changed everything for all of us, and yet, in some ways, changed nothing at all,” Ridge said. It is also $56 million above the FY 2004 appropriation of $668 million. “We recognize and greatly appreciate the strong support demonstrated by the Department of Homeland Security, the administration, and the Congress in advancing Deepwater’s urgently needed recapitalization of the Coast Guard,” said Rear Adm. Patrick M. Stillman, program executive officer for the Integrated Deepwater System Program. The FY 2005 appropriation will fund critical Deepwater Program initiatives
to develop network- centric C4ISR, continue development of integrated logistics support, recapitalize the Coast Guard’s aging inventory of obsolete cutters and aircraft, and modernize aging legacy assets until new platforms enter service
in future years.
by Gordon I. Peterson, Deepwater News, December 2004