2015 Budget Request: Coast Guard

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The Coast Guard budget for the coming fiscal year would slip below $10 billion under the White House federal spending proposal released Tuesday.

The fiscal 2015 budget request allocates about $9.8 billion for the Coast Guard, an amount that would be a decline of 6.1 percent from this year – a difference that would be felt as larger inside the Coast Guard due to the effects of inflation.

Contributing to the decline is a significant proposed drop in Coast Guard spending on acquisition, construction and improvements, through which the service pays for things such as fleet recapitalization. That budget line would go down to $1.08 billion under the White House proposal, a decline of 21.2 percent in nominal dollars compared to this year. It's also 26 percent less in nominal dollars than the acquisition amount from the year before.

A Homeland Security Department budget overview says the proposed $1.08 billion would be enough to fully fund the eighth and final National Security Cutter and pay for two more Fast Response Cutters. It includes $20 million to continue design evaluation of the Offshore Patrol Cutter.

But money enough for only two FRCs could be problematic for the Coast Guard. In the past, officials there have warned that fewer than four FRCs per year causes the per-unit cost of the new ships to go up since the ship builder loses economies of scale.

Also set for a significant cut in funding is reserve training, which the White House budget proposal would decrease by 6.5 percent compared to this year, and 17 percent to last year.

For more:
- download the DHS fiscal 2015 budget in brief (.pdf)

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