Coast Guard faces $295M cut under sequestration

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The Coast Guard will have approximately $295 million deducted from its budget for the remainder of the fiscal year under sequestration, according to figures from the Office of Management and Budget.

The vast majority of those dollars--$194 million--will come from operating expenses. Coast Guard officials have said they will try to minimize the reductions' effect on operation by deferring maintenance--although the Coast Guard's aged fleet depends on heavy maintenance to keep it going. Even before sequestration, the service was unable to keep the legacy fleet afloat for all the operational hours it calculates are necessary to undertake its 11 statutory missions.

The average age of the cutter fleet is between 40 and 50 years, Vice Adm. Peter Neffenger, deputy commandant for operations, told the House Transportation and Infrastructure subcommittee on Coast Guard and maritime transportation during a Feb. 26 hearing.

Neffenger also said the service will attempt to avoid cuts that would affect frontline operational capability, but acknowledged under questioning that cutter presence around South America for the drug smuggling interdiction mission will likely need to be reduced due to sequestration.

The Coast Guard will try to avoid furloughs of its civilian workforce, Neffenger said.

For more:
download the OMB Report to the Congress on the Joint Committee Sequestration for Fiscal Year 2013 that contains sequestration amounts for individual agencies (.pdf)

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