The Coast Guard, like the other uniformed services, is working hard to cope with a perfect storm of domestic and international challenges. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic confronted it, the Coast Guard was challenged by the need to respond to an increase in Chinese aggression across the Western Pacific, an upsurge in drug smuggling, increased illegal fishing and waste dumping, and severe natural disasters. Fortunately, the Coast Guard had initiated a program to modernize virtually its entire fleet of ships and aircraft. The linchpin of this modernization program is the National Security Cutter (NSC). To help enable the Coast Guard to meet its expanding mission space, Congress provided additional funding for additional NSCs for a total of 11 ships. In these perilous times, Congress needs to continue to help by providing full funding for a twelfth NSC. I have written about this topic here.
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