DHS budget seeks to push ahead with Coast Guard recapitalization

The Department of Homeland Security has released some initial details of its FY 2012 budget It seeks. among other things. to push ahead with recapitalization of the Coast Guard and to fund efforts to find an alternative to the "scan every box" requirements  of the SAFE Act.

Following are among some of the items of maritime industry concern.

CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION

Global Supply Chain Security Pilot: $7.5 million

Resources are requested to conduct cargo screening pilot(s) to assess alternatives to the 100 percent maritime cargo scanning as mandated by the Security and Accountability for Every Port (SAFE) Act. This will enable CBP to test alternatives to extend the zone of security beyond the physical borders, strengthen global supply chain security, and enhance CBP’s multi-layered security strategy.

Reduction to Air & Marine Recapitalization: -$48.2 million

CBP will reduce the Air and Marine acquisition program by $48.2 million. The reduction will delay acquisitions of several new and replacement platforms

U.S. COAST GUARD

Rebuild the Coast Guard
The Coast Guard’s FY 2012 budget requests $1.4 billion to continue recapitalization of cutters; boats; aircraft; Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (C4ISR) systems; and infrastructure to improve mission readiness by replacing aged, obsolete, and unreliable assets. The FY 2012 budget requests funding for 40 Response Boats and six Fast Response Cutters, as well as a sizable investment in the renovation and restoration of shore facilities. This budget also provides resources to ensure that the Coast Guard’s aviation fleet is mission-ready through the acquisition of two Maritime Patrol Aircraft, one HH-60 helicopter, and conversion and sustainment projects of multiple aircraft. Investment in Coast Guard recapitalization is the Service’s top budget priority and is essential to mission execution.

The budget provides $642.0 million for the following surface asset recapitalization and sustainment initiatives:

  • National Security Cutter (NSC) – Provides funding to complete NSC-5, including post-production activities and other production activities exclusive of the NSC production contract with the shipbuilder (anticipates $615.0 million provided for NSC-5 in 2011).
  • Offshore Patrol Cutter (OPC) – Sustains initial acquisition work and design of the OPC. The OPC will replace the Medium Endurance Cutter class to conduct missions on the high seas and coastal approaches.
  • Fast Response Cutter (FRC) – Provides production funding for six FRCs to replace the 110-ft Island Class Patrol Boat.
  • Response-Boat Medium (RB-M) – Provides production funding for 40 boats to replace the aging 41-ft utility boat fleet and other non-standard boats.
  • Medium Endurance Cutter (MEC) – Provides for operational enhancement of five MECs at the Coast Guard Yard through the Mission Effectiveness Program.


Surface and Air Asset Follow-on $50.8 million

The budget provides a total of $50.8 million to fund operations and maintenance of cutters, boats, aircraft, and associated subsystems delivered through major cutter, aircraft, and associated C4ISR acquisition efforts.

Funding is requested for the following assets:

  • RB-M – Funding for maintenance, repair, and operational costs.
  • FRC – Operating and maintenance funding for FRCs #6-8 and funding for crews #9-10. These assets will be homeported in Miami and Key West, Florida. Funding is also requested for shore-side maintenance personnel needed to support FRCs.
  • NSC – Signals Intelligence Capability follow-on and Crew Rotational Concept implementation for three NSCs located in Alameda, California.
  • HC-144A MPA – Operating and maintenance funding for aircraft #14; support and maintenance of Mission System Pallets 1–12.
  • C4ISR Follow-on – Funding to maintain more than 200 C4ISR systems deployed and delivered by the Coast Guard C4ISR Program.
  • Helicopter Systems – Funding to operate and maintain new communications and sensor systems for HH-60 and HH-65 helicopters.
  • Training Systems for Engineering Personnel – Funding to support NSC and FRC training requirements at Training Center Yorktown


Sustain Front-line Operations
The FY 2012 budget requests $67.7 million to operate new assets delivered through asset recapitalization programs and provides funding to support personnel and in-service assets.

Polar Icebreaking Program  $39.0 million
The budget requests $39.0 million in polar icebreaking budget authority. Funding will support the operation and maintenance of CGC HEALY and initiate the operational reactivation of CGC POLAR STAR. The Coast Guard will begin the transition from three to two polar icebreakers in FY 2011. With budget authority to operate the polar icebreakers, the Coast Guard and DHS will be able to fully leverage these national assets for the high latitude mission, in addition to advancing science initiatives in response to changing conditions in the Arctic.

Enhance Maritime Incident Prevention and Response
The FY 2012 budget requests $22.2 million to advance implementation of the Coast Guard’s Marine Safety Performance Plan and Marine Environmental Response Mission Performance Plan. As witnessedduring the response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, when maritime emergencies occur, Coast Guard incident responders rapidly establish and execute the Incident Command System to lead an effective, unified effort. The Coast Guard will enhance these core competencies in FY 2012 to keep pace with an ever-growing and evolving maritime industry and ensure continued proactive leadership to prevent disasters.

Marine Safety Enhancement
The budget provides $10.7 million and 105 personnel to implement the next segment of the Marine Safety Performance Plan by investing in Marine Safety Inspectors, Investigators, and Fishing Vessel Safety Examiners at Coast Guard Sectors. This initiative furthers the Coast Guard’s efforts to achieve an appropriate mix of military and civilian personnel with the necessary skill-sets and experience to perform Marine Safety inspections and investigations.

Marine Environmental Response Enhancement. $11.5 million
The budget provides $11.5 million and 87 personnel to enhance Marine Environmental Response (MER) capacity. This initiative supports the Marine Environmental Protection Mission by providing funding for a MER Incident Management and Assist Team and increasing technical expertise and strengthening MER career paths at Coast Guard Sectors and Strike Teams. This request will improve mission performance in accordance with the MER Mission Performance Plan.

Support Military Families
The FY 2012 budget includes $29.3 million to address critical housing shortfalls and improve access to affordable, quality childcare. These initiatives will ensure Coast Guard members are Semper Paratus for all hazards and all threats.

USCG FY 2012 Program Decreases include:

High Endurance Cutter (HEC) Decommissioning  -$6.7 million
The Coast Guard will decommission one HEC in FY 2012. As part of its long-term recapitalization plan, the Coast Guard is decommissioning HECs as NSCs are delivered and made operational. The average age of the HEC fleet is 43 years and these assets are failing at an increased rate resulting in lost operational days and increased maintenance costs.

PC-179 Patrol Coastal (PC) Decommissioning  -$16.4 million
The three remaining 179-ft PC vessels will be decommissioned per a January 2007 Memorandum of Agreement with the U.S. Navy. These vessels will be returned to the U.S. Navy in FY 2012.

 

February 14, 2011