Saturday, March 04, 2017

Is the Coast Guard part of the military?

Apparently not in the eyes of the Trump administration nor in the government's current organization where it reports to Homeland Security. I - and I suspect many of you - find it hard to not think of the Coast Guard as part of the military. 

While the administration is seeking an overall increase of $54 billion in the Pentagon budget, it is cutting the Coast Guard budget by $1.3 billion. "With all the success we had last year, there were over 500 events that we had great information on, but we just did not have enough planes, enough ships, to target all 500-plus events," said the Commandant of the Guard. "We are really besieged down there," he added, referencing Coast Guard operations off the coast of Colombia. In addition to its operations targeting drug smugglers and human traffickers, the Coast Guard has been in and out of the Arctic region with its ice-breaking ships, especially as Russia attempts to claim parts of the region, and its rich resources, for itself. 

"We're challenged in our ability to exert leadership when, you're the world's most prosperous nation, yet we can only seem to afford two icebreakers," the Commandant said. He said that ideally, the service would need a fleet of 3 heavy and  medium icebreakers to remain competitive. 

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