Citing the readiness of aging vessels, delays in getting new vessels and sequestration, the Coast Guard has generally missed its established targets for removing illicit drugs – mainly cocaine – in a 6-million-square-mile area known as the "transit zone" that it patrols, a Government Accountability Office report said.
A high-ranking U.S. Coast Guard officer told a House transportation subcommittee June 18 that the service doesn't have enough funding to modernize its fleet and support systems, making it challenging to fulfill its complex and broad mission.
Maritime security plans at three high-risk U.S. ports do not address how to assess, manage and respond to cybersecurity threats, according to a Government Accountability Office assessment of their policies and plans. While all of the ports had unique security strategies that dealt with physical security, there were very few policies and plans that specifically addressed cybersecurity, finds the June 5 report.
The Transportation Security Administration changed its credentialing policy after a convicted felon used a valid federal transportation ID card to gain access to a Virginia Navy base and killed a sailor in March, an official told the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee June 4.
The Coast Guard's expanded presence in the Arctic will be environmentally beneficial in the region, the service says in a new report.
"USCG personnel, equipment, transportation, communication, navigation and safety resources needed for oil spill response are not adequate for overseeing oil spill response in the Arctic," the National Reseach Council report says.
The Coast Guard concluded earlier this year its final phase of small unmanned aerial vehicle testing with a two week shore-side test on Virginia's eastern shore.
Vice Adm. Paul Zukunft kept his expression even and his tone modulated, humble – but Tuesday's confirmation hearing for the position of the next Coast Guard commandant still ended with the 37-year service veteran aglow from approbation. "I think you'll be a whiz right through here, you'll be out of here before you know it," promised Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.)
A bill authorizing Coast Guard discretionary spending for two years at $8.7 billion annually sailed through the House of Representatives – to the chagrin of some on the House Homeland Security Committee.
Many maritime smugglers use panga boats, 20-40 foot fishing vessels that are made of fiberglass and difficult to detect. "This, coupled with the sheer size of California's coastline, means that most panga discoveries are made either through tips or by happenstance," says a report issued by California Attorney General Kamala Harris.