2014 Budget Request: Coast Guard

Coast Guard faces deep cuts in fiscal 2014
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Coast Guard spending during the coming fiscal year would decrease by 13 percent overall when compared to current levels and taking into account White House-projected levels of inflation, data from the Obama administration's fiscal 2014 budget proposal shows.

The deepest percentage cut in Coast Guard spending would come from the acquisition, construction and improvements budget line, the money source for the ongoing Coast Guard recapitalization effort. It would decrease from $1.476 billion to $951.12 million, a reduction of nearly 37 percent when factoring in inflation.

Money for vessels under that budget line would actually increase relative to this year's amount--but funding for aircraft would plummet by about 92 percent to $28 million, and spending on shore units, military housing and aids-to-navigation would go down by about 98 percent, to $5 million.

The budget does include $616 million for production of the seventh of eight National Security Cutters called for by the recapitalization program of record. The Homeland Security Department budget justification sent to Congress is silent on the matter of the final NSC. A Coast Guard official speaking on background said the service chose not to include future year spending projections in the justification document and won't discuss publicly for now the fate of the eighth NSC.

The budget also includes $25 million for Offshore Patrol Cutters, $75 million for Fast Response Cutters, and $3 million for Cutter Boats.

In addition, the proposal would allocate $2 million to continue survey and design activities for a new polar icebreaker.

As for the reduction in aircraft, the official said it's a necessary tradeoff made to protect the vessel account since the vessel fleet is in more dire need of recapitalization than air assets. Under the budget proposal, HH-65 helicopter modernization would receive $12 million, and long range surveillance fixed wing sustainment (HC-130H) and acquisition (HC-130J) would receive $16 million.

Also set for large cuts are reserve training, which would go down by nearly 21 percent to $109.54 million, and research, development, test and evaluation, which would go down by about 30 percent to $19.86 million.

Relatively untouched would be operating expenses, which would go down by just about 3 percent to $6.755 billion. That fund directly supports Coast Guard execution of its 11 statutory missions.

For more:
go to the DHS budget request webpage

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