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House committee approves FY2015 Coast Guard appropriations
Last Post 27 Jul 2014 06:31 AM by scoutdad25619. 7 Replies.
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17 Jun 2014 12:02 PM
    House committee approves FY2015 Coast Guard appropriations 

    Last week, the House Appropriations Committee (HAC) approved FY2015 appropriations for the Coast Guard. Coast Guard appropriations are included in the Department of Homeland Security appropriations bill.

    The HAC approved $8.5 billion in FY2015 discretionary appropriations (to be appropriated by Congress) for the Coast Guard, $316 million more than the budget request. The bill also identifies $1.6 billion in Coast Guard mandatory spending, including retired pay.

    Operating expenses totaling $6.8 billion are funded in the bill, about $120 million higher than the request.  The 1 percent pay raise requested for Coast Guard military personnel would be fully funded in the bill. Funding would be increased to reduce depot maintenance backlogs (+$73 million), to restore operations hours (+$15 million), and for surge counterdrug surge operations. Additional funding is included to prevent the proposed decommissioning of two High Endurance Cutters. The HAC would also restore funding for cuts to special pays (+$7.5 million).

    The bill would increase the request for acquisition, construction, and improvements by $203 million to $1.3 billion.  Funding would be increased to buy two additional Fast Response Cutters (+$95 million), to replace one HH-60 helicopter (+$12 million), and to buy one missionized Long Range Surveillance Aircraft (+$95 million).

    The bill would cut a net $10 million for unjustified cost growth in the NSC-8 program, $10 million for schedule delays to the Offshore Patrol Cutter, and $6 million due to excess carryover funding in the polar icebreaker program.

    The HAC report expressed the committee’s concern that the Coast Guard did not submit a Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) with the FY2015 budget request as required. As a result of what the Committee called the “Coast Guard’s repeated noncompliance with the requirement in annual appropriations acts,” the HAC bill would withhold $150 million from Coast Guard Headquarters offices funding until the CIP is submitted.

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    28 Jun 2014 02:32 PM
    USCG has long received the short end of the stick from House Appropriations Committee while our missions continue to broaden with increased legal responsibilities. In these times when it certainly appears nearly every single "incorporated municipality" irregardless of population have been granted marine patrol boats all of which look identical to USCG patrol boats which only serve to completely saturate the great lakes and other areas with superfluous law enforcement presence; and with landlocked villages and towns granted Armored Vehicles from DOD surplus to set up their own parochial "Dept of Homeland Security"; I am reminded once again with clarity and from personal experience U.S. Coast Guard remains the Primary Federal Maritime Law Enforcement Agency of the United States and we have always shared primary airborne smuggling interdiction ops with U.S. Customs; now CBP. From the voice of a former cop and disabled USCG Boarding Officer, it has long been my position USCG personnel directly involved in the arrest of suspect drug smugglers, fisheries seizures, or even those arrested by USCG for drinking while boating or for any other criminal offense should be transported and booked into jail by USCG law enforcement and not transferred to other agencies for the "official collar". These are all USCG Collars and they are very significant in numbers. Likewise, the seized assets; Cash, Accounts domestic and abroad, boats, Ships, airplanes should all return to U.S. Coast Guard as it does with other federal agencies before USMS holds public auctions. There is a definitive need to have our law enforcement personnel professionally recognized throughout the civilian L/E community which can only be achieved by Commandant in D.C. to authorize proper professional LEO credentials to our USCG Boarding Officers and to set into statute proper recognition and tangible credit to the results we continue to achieve every single day and night for these past 4 decades on the issue of drug enforcement/interdiction and fisheries enforcement. Decades of statistics support the argument/proposal to finally raise the status of our professional federal law enforcement officers of U.S. Coast Guard. With all we have done and continue to do 24/7 US Coast Guard would have no need to haggle with the House Appropriations Committee for basic required funds to continue our mission. We bring in more revenue to the U.S. Treasury than the house has ever appropriated to our agency.

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    28 Jun 2014 03:00 PM
    USCG has a uniformed law enforcement division we are called "USCG BOARDING OFFICERS" "MSST OFFICERS" "LEDET OFFICERS" "HITRON OFFICERS" and officers assigned to "DOG". Our "detective division" is comprised of a small but very solid and highly respected group of S/A's whom are members of OCDETC. JTTF, and very busy with counter intelligence, executive protection and national security. It's high time for Congress to give USCG proper credit for a job very well done under less than appropriate funding!
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    28 Jun 2014 05:29 PM
    /\ agree. Glad funding looks better but everything johnny just said is the best thing ive read in months.
    Take what you like and leave the rest behind.
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    09 Jul 2014 06:48 PM
    I am guessing you were not in the CG prior to 2003. If you had been, you would know that our budget is vastly improved over what it used to be. Once we became DHS, the budget started flowing. We have more than enough to perform all of our missions. What we need is for our units to stop their wasteful spending, particularly in the 4th quarter.
    You can meet the standard, or you can set the standard. It's your choice.
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    11 Jul 2014 08:14 PM
    Cooch,

    We only have more than enough to perform our mission until a year where 3 or 4 of our very old and very expensive cutters breaks beyond repair. At that point, we are in a bind. We don't have the correct funding to maintain or recapitalize assets. We are spoiled in aviation, but even then we have wasteful spending at the top tier, not the unit level. A very good exampe is the entire fleet of HC-144's that are now already being replaced by the C-27. It would be more cost effective to A) capitalize a new, coast guard specific acquisition program for all assets so that we have assets built for our actual mission and B) Allow us, at the unit level, to buy the correct tools for the job vs whatever is the cheapest. Is it cheaper to buy 25 cheap needle guns for $100/ea or would we be better served to buy 5 for $250? Our budget process is a little ridiculous in itself. And yes there is a lot of wasteful spending in the 4th quarter, but that is partially because of the way acquisitions work
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    26 Jul 2014 09:38 PM
    I am extremely well versed in how acquisitions work. More of my time is spent rejecting ridiculous requests that can't be justified, than actually purchasing needed items. Perhaps instead of CG members requesting brand new knives and cool flashlights every three months, they should invest in knife sharpeners, batteries, and replacement bulbs, and actually take care of the items the taxpayers have purchased for them. It's time to reevaluate our needs, and produce a spend plan based on those needs, rather than making spend plans simply to justify obscene budgets. There's nothing wrong with spending less, and not spending through the entire budget. I would rather give funding back at the end of the fiscal year, than spend it on wasteful items.

    And you're statement about buying the cheapest tools is inaccurate. We no longer are forced to go with lowest bidders, but instead go with best value. And I am not just talking about fourth quarter spending. This behavior happens all throughout the year.

    Money to procure new assets is already covered each year. That funding is taken off the top of the overall CG budget by headquarters. That's how we funded the FRCs and WMSL program.

    Lastly, it costs much less to piggyback on joint procurement programs where we work with other services, rather than to develop a CG specific airframe. The figure would be in the billions.
    You can meet the standard, or you can set the standard. It's your choice.
    scoutdad25619User is Offline
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    27 Jul 2014 06:31 AM
    I agree that smart spending, especially in government is the way to operate. That's how we all have to live our own lives. But I'm curious, does the ridiculous 4th quarter spending come from the "use it or loose it" mentality that most government entities operate under? That's definitely how it works on the local level. If you don't blow through your whole budget, you don't get to save it for next year, and you certainly won't see an equal amount of money for next year. It's stupid, but that's the world we live in.
    DUTY IS DOING IT, PRIDE IS WEARING IT, TRADITION IS LIVING IT. “DUTY FIRST” – CHIEF EDMUND ENWRIGHT, CHICAGO F.D. (RETIRED)
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