Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Bob Papp testifies before two U.S. House of Representatives sub-committees on the USCG Fiscal Year 2014 budget request.
At both hearings the Commandant led his opening statement with a message of condolence to the victims of the terrorism attack in Boston, and described the Coast Guard’s active role in the response.
In his written testimony the Commandant stated: “Every day the Coast Guard acts to prevent and respond to an array of threats that, if left unchecked, could disrupt regional and global security, the economies of partner nations, access to resources and international trade. All of these are vital elements to our national prosperity.”
Over the last year the Coast Guard saved more than 3,500 lives, seized more than 107 metric tons of cocaine and 56 metric tons of marijuana, responded to 3,300 pollution incidents, seized 70 vessels and detained 352 suspected smugglers. Those detained smugglers included those charged with ramming a Coast Guard pursuit boat, killing Senior Chief Petty Officer Terrell Horne III .
“We will make the very best use of the resources you provide to safely and effectively conduct operations in areas of greatest risk to the nation while recapitalizing our cutters, boats and aircraft to address current and emerging threats particularly in the offshore environment,” said the Commandant. “The president’s 2014 budget sustains the most critical front line operations and sustains the most critical acquisition projects.”
The Commandant thanked committees for their support, and thanked the president and the secretary of the Department of Homeland Security for including funding of the seventh national security cutter , his top acquisition priority for the 2014 budget. National security cutters are critical for the Coast Guard to successfully execute the Department of Homeland Security’s layered security strategy and interdict threats as far offshore as possible.
“We still have a long way to go,” said Adm. Papp. “As the Department of Defense rebalances to the Pacific and maritime activity increases in the Arctic , offshore demand for Coast Guard capabilities is increasing. Our older high endurance cutters have served offshore for 50 years but are at the end of their service lives.”