Word has been rampant this week that the Office of Management and Budget is considering massive cuts to the U.S. Coast Guard’s already anemic budget. This is one of the worst ideas any administration from either party has come up with in decades, and there are several reasons why. In fact the idea is so bad, that word barely broke before a group of 23 U.S. Senators ( almost 25%) signed a letter asking that the cuts be reversed. Such a step by so many senators so early in the process is almost unheard of ! In their letter they stated in part,
““We urge you to restore the $1.3 billion cut to the Coast Guard budget, which we firmly believe would result in catastrophic negative impacts to the Coast Guard and its critical role in protecting our homeland, our economy and our environment,”
Some of the specific reasons this is such a bad idea include,
The Coast Guard is a vital cost effective multi mission agency. The Coast Guard has 11 statutory missions mandated by Congress, This missions span National Defense, Law Enforcement and Homeland Security. The fact is most of the time these missions are conducted by the same people facilities and equipment simultaneously. It is the Coast Guard’s ability to multi-task vital missions which makes it so cost effective. It also helps explain why further cuts would be so disastrous.
The Coast Guard’s capital ships and planes are rusting away. The Coast Guard’s Acquisition Budget alone has already been cut 40% between 2010 and 2015. Much like its much larger cousin the U.S. Navy too many of its ships are already serving past the end of their service life even after maintenance designed to extend their service life. This endangers the life of every Coast guard member that we ask to serve us in these outdated ships and even buildings. In their letter the group of 23 senators even point out that these cuts will likely lead to an expansion of the “ice breaker gap.” In others words there will be an eeven longer period of years where the U.S. will have NO large ice breaking capability. The need for this function is increasing with the reduction in the polar ice cap, not reducing and certainly not going away.
Moves us backward on Immigration Control Our current president campaigned hard on reducing illegal immigration. In fact part of the supposed rational behind these cuts is to finance the wall at the U.S. Mexico border. However these cuts show a severe lack of understanding, or commitment on the issue of immigration. The Coast Guard including the port Security Teams etc. have a leading role in preventing illegal immigration. Hardening the target against illegal immigration by building a wall at the U.S./Mexico border will force those involved to attempt to find another way in. This makes the Coast guard’s contributions in the area of immigration control more vital than ever, not less so. In fact a strong argument can be made that the border wall, and Coast guard anti-immigration efforts are and must be part of the same strategy and must both be funded accordingly.
Puts Drugs on the Streets. The Coast guard is thought of as a sea going service, and for good reason. However there is not a street in America it does not protect. The service’s drug interdiction efforts alone take tons of drugs of American streets every year. Cut the funding and those drugs will go straight back on our streets. The link between the international drug cartels and funding international terrorism also cannot be ignored. By cutting the Coast Guard’s budget not only do we put drugs on our streets, but bring better funding to groups around the world who would bring violence to our door steps !
The Coast Guard is an easy target for budget cuts because most Americans give it little thought. That is partly intentional. The better the Coast Guard performs its 11 statutory missions the less we should have to thing about it. However because of the reasons above an others we need to defend OUR Coast Guard against those who would slash its budget after it has already been slashed so much, so many times.
Robert A. Crutchfield was granted the rank of Admiral, Texas Navy by the Governor of Texas in 1986 at the age of 24. He served as a staff officer in the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary from 1990-1995. He has also served as Chairman of the Republican Party of the Sixth State Senate District of Texas. Later he was a local board member with the U.S. Selective Service System. He also is a Life Member of the Navy League of the United States.
BOSTON – The Coast Guard is scheduled to participate in Operation Dry Water Friday through Sunday as part of a nationally coordinated effort to reduce the number of accidents and deaths related to boating under the influence.
Operation Dry Water is a year-long campaign with heightened enforcement leading up to the Fourth of July, a period known for increased boating and alcohol use.
Coast Guard boarding officers will be on the water educating boaters about the dangers of boating under the influence and detecting boaters who are impaired.
Operating a boat with a blood alcohol content of .08 or higher is against federal law, and boat operators found to be under the influence can incur severe penalties including termination of voyage, arrest, fines, and even loss of boating and driving privileges.
Boating under the influence of drugs or alcohol endangers the operator’s life and the lives of others. Alcohol can impair a boater’s judgment, balance, vision, and reaction time. Impairment can be even more dangerous for boaters than drivers because the sun, wind, noise, and motion of being on the water can intensity the effects of alcohol. Also, most boaters have less experience driving a boat than a car.
“The combination of alcohol and inexperience can be deadly,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Thomas Ciarametaro, a tactical coxswain and boarding officer at Coast Guard Station Boston. He said boating under the influence has been a factor in recent accidents in the Boston area, and continues to be a major problem nationwide.
In fact, alcohol consumption is the leading cause of boating deaths. Alcohol is also dangerous for boating passengers. Intoxication can lead to slips, falls overboard and other dangerous accidents.
BUI laws pertain to all vessels, from canoes and rowboats to the largest ships.
In 2014, 585 local, state and federal agencies participated in the 72 hours of heightened BUI enforcement. Over the three-day weekend, law enforcement contacted 146,711 boaters, made 318 BUI arrests, and issued 18,607 citations and warnings for safety violations.
For more information on Operation Dry Water, please visit operationdrywater.org.
TUCSON – Retired Air Force Colonel Martha McSally today announced her placement on the House Armed Services Committee, a committee responsible for overseeing U.S. military policy and the Department of Defense. With two major military installations in Southern Arizona and a growing defense industry presence, the Armed Services Committee represents a key assignment for McSally.
“I’m honored to serve on a committee that has such a large impact on our district and country,” said McSally. “The Armed Services Committee plays a key role in ensuring our military is ready and able to defend America, its interests, and its citizens, and with two major military bases in Southern Arizona in Davis-Monthan and Fort Huachuca, you couldn’t ask for a better assignment.”
“We’re looking forward to welcoming Martha to the committee, and we are excited about what she brings to the table,” said Armed Services Chairman-select Mac Thornberry. “With her many years’ experience serving in the military and extensive national security expertise, there’s no doubt Martha will be a strong asset to the committee, a strong leader for our country, and an effective advocate for the people she represents.”
As a member of the Armed Services Committee, McSally will have direct input on legislation affecting U.S. military policy. McSally, who retired from the Air Force as a full Colonel in 2010, served 26 years in uniform and holds two masters degrees-one from Harvard and one from the U.S. Air War College-focused on national security. She also served in two joint assignments and six deployments to the Middle East/Afghanistan for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan and led oversight of counter-terrorism missions in Africa.
McSally has declared victory in the race for CD-2 after initial counting of all ballots showed her leading the incumbent by 161 votes. Due to the slim margin of victory, an automatic recount of all ballots has been ordered and is underway.
A disturbing report coming out of Minneapolis. What is really disquieting is how many open questions remain about this individual and his work at the airport there. Note that he had no criminal record that would prevent him from working at the airport. This means that we may never be able to know how many ISIS fighters have worked, or even now are working at our ports, airports etc.
That much is bad enough. But what is even worse is how much information about airport operations, security procedures etc. was passed on to ISIS by this individual and others ? It is not possible to completely secure our ports, and airports. The continued vigilance of loyal, patriotic Americans is our last best chance. This is a war, and we are all on the front lines ! Remain alert always !
WASHINGTON, Aug. 30, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz warned that terrorists will target the West if the world does not unite to confront them. King Abdullah made the statement during a presentation of credentials ceremony held in Jeddah yesterday for new ambassadors to Saudi Arabia, including U.S. Ambassador Joseph W. Westphal.
“If neglected I’m sure they [terrorists] will reach Europe in a month and America in another month,” said King Abdullah.
King Abdullah called on the ambassadors to convey to their governments the importance of a united pledge to confront terrorism. “The evils of terrorism must be fought with force, reason and speed,” he added.
King Abdullah also underlined the sanctity of human lives which terrorists ignore. “They even kill themselves,” said King Abdullah.
King Abdullah called for the establishment of an international center to combat terrorism more than 10 years ago out of his firm belief that terrorism can be most effectively fought when nations work closely together in all areas. In 2005, Saudi Arabia hosted the Counter-Terrorism International Conference in Riyadh during which the proposal for the establishment of the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Center (UNCCT) was unanimously adopted. King Abdullah pledged $10 million to the U.N. to establish the center and, in 2011, Saudi Arabia signed an agreement with the U.N. to launch the UNCCT. Earlier this month, King Abdullah provided the center with a donation of $100 million to enhance its capabilities and effectiveness in helping countries combat terrorism.
SOURCE Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia, Information Office
Check out this article from our sister blog about how Faith Based Organizations are assisting long term disaster recovery in Alaska.
ANCHORAGE, AK (FEMA) – Faith-based organizations in Anchorage and Fairbanks are welcoming hundreds of volunteers with open arms, providing them food, transportation and shelter as they prepare for the final leg of a journey to help rebuild communities hit by last year’s flooding and ice jams along the Yukon River. Armed with a wide range of construction skills, men and women from across the country began arriving in Fairbanks on the first of June and more arrived in Anchorage starting the first of July.
The host groups are partnering with the State of Alaska and Federal Emergency Management Agency to ensure the volunteers have a local base where they receive training and orientation before heading out to the affected communities. Many are returning to continue the repair efforts they supported last summer.
“I feel really good about the volunteers coming in,” said FEMA Voluntary Agency Liaison Susie Calvert. “The churches…
View original post 311 more words
This story is being repeated all over the country. The latest chapter is spelled out in this story out of San Diego.