The Subcommittee on Fisheries and Coast Guard of the Senate Committee
on Commerce, Science, and Transportation conducted an oversight hearing regarding
the operational readiness, mission balance, and FY 2006 budget request
of the U.S. Coast Guard. Senator Daniel Inouye (D-HI) expressed concern about whether the monies requested in the budget would be sufficient for the agency’s many missions. Admiral Thomas Collins, Commandant, U.S. Coast Guard reviewed the Coast Guard’s recent accomplishments and plans for the future. Master Chief Franklin Welch, USCG, discussed personnel issues and the service’s high retention rate. Margaret Wrightson, GAO, testified that the Coast Guard is making significant progress with regard to improving its communications system, restructuring its field units, and enhancing readiness, but that various challenges must still be met. (HK Law).