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February 2, 2004

Bush unveils FY2005 budget

The Bush Administration has unveiled its FY 2005 budget request.

Go to http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget/fy2005/ for more details. If you want the item by item details start hunting through: http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget/fy2005/appendix.html --and good luck to you!

Amidst all the voluminous documentation, here are one or two maritime highlights.

First, in the department of no surprises, "in an effort to reduce corporate subsidies, no new funds for [Title XI ship mortgage] loan guarantees are requested for 2005."

That's not such good news for America's second-tier shipyards. However, over at the Department of Defense, $11.1 billion is requested to to support procurement of nine Navy ships in fiscal 2005--up from seven ships for fiscal 2004.

"Fiscal 2005 begins a period of transition and transformation for shipbuilding as the last DDG 51 destroyers are built, and the first DD(X) destroyer and Littoral Combat Ship are procured," says the Administration. "This increased commitment is further shown in the average shipbuilding rate from fiscal 2005-2009 of 9.6 ships per year.  This will sustain the current force level and significantly add to Navy capabilities."
 
$1.0 billion is requested for CVN-21 "to continue development of and to procure long-lead equipment to support this planned 2007 aircraft carrier, whose innovations include an enhanced flight deck, a new nuclear power plant, allowance for future technologies and reduced manning."
 
For new ship classes/technologies, $1.6 billion is requested "to continue development of technologies to be applied to a new generation of 21st century surface ships including DDX destroyer, littoral combat ship, CG(X) cruiser and the Maritime Preposition Force (Future) ship."

Over at the Department of Homeland Security, the Administration says that "with 95 percent of all U.S. overseas trade passing through the Nation’s 361 ports, port security is a top priority of DHS. The 2005 Budget provides a total of $1.9 billion to ensure the security of ports, including $1.7 billion for Coast Guard port, waterway, and coastal security activities, over $160 million for CBP container security programs, and nearly $50 million for port security grants through the Office for Domestic Preparedness. Funding for the Coast Guard includes a $100 million initiative to implement the Maritime Transportation Security Act, which sets security standards for certain vessels and port facilities in the United States and around the world."

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