Skip to main content

tv   Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Schultz Testifies on 2020 Budget Request  CSPAN  April 5, 2019 3:30am-5:10am EDT

3:30 am
relevant today than ever. no government money supporting c-span. coverage rtisan provided by c-span and it's your unfiltered view of government. so you can make up your own mind. >> the commandant of the coast card outlined strategic priorities of the military branch and told lawmakers that coast guard readiness is eroding. he and maritime officials are testifying about the president's 2020 budget request. this senate transportation subcommittee is an hour and 40 minutes.
3:31 am
support over 4.6 trillion dollars in annual economic activity and almost $650,000 american jobs. it is a hugely important part of our economy. and very important that is the global mary time industryer involves and grows that federal regulations and oversite evolve n lockstep with that growth.
3:32 am
today we hear from admiral schultz, admiral busby, the maritime administrationed a mins administrator and michael corey, chairman of the federal mary time commission on how to support this change and growth. the varied missions of each industry contribute to the safety, national security and economic growth of our nation. congress has given the coast guard a wide range of missions, very wide as the admiral certainly knows from search and rescue, ice breaking, mary time environmental protections to port security, drug interdiction. international crisis response and readiness to support the department of defense operations. admiral, as i mentioned you yesterday, i happened to catch a -- a episode of "the deadliest catch" on the discovery channel a couple of nights ago and it was about our coast guard heroes
3:33 am
who do incredible work. not just alaska but all over the world. increasing human activity in the arctic, violence, terrorist and drug trafficking in the caribbean basin, central america and central mexico demand an increased coast guard presence at home and increasingly around the globe. these pressures push the limit of the services fleet as well as its personnel. the extended lapse in appropriations only serve to exacerbate that pressure. it was unacceptable to me and many members of the nat that the women and men of the coast guard, a branch of the u.s. military were left unpaid for the dangerous work they do securing our country, while all the other service members were being paid. i along with a number of our colleagues are working on legs that would protect the coast
3:34 am
guard should another such lapse occur. and admiral, we want to work with your team on that. >> the maritime administration plays a key role in securing our national security. the maritime security program for example provides a stipend for 60 u.s. flag vessels which operates commercially during peacetime but are on standby during war or national energy. insuring that the spram appropriately managed and funded is critical to sustaining both the health of the u.s. domestic mary time industry and to secure the logistic supply line for global military operations in. addition to the msp, she runs a number of security level programs such as the voluntary see modal agreement. visa and the national reserve fleet which increastcludes the ready reserve fleet just to name
3:35 am
a few. these programs and ships provide the critical unsung infrastructure that our nations relies to have security operations and economic development the life blood behind those programs are the marners that nt u.s. clues flag fleets this group of specialized seamen are not growing as fast as the previous generation is retiring. which poses a challenge to policymakers in the industry. the federal maritime commission establish demd 1961 as an independent federal agency responsible for the ocean-born transportation of the united states. the bipartisan committee of five commissioners. u.s. mary time law, monitors the sivet of ocean carries, terminal operators and others. sense its inception, that f.m.c.
3:36 am
has worked to insure that northern foreign groups and pose an uncost on american earnser or american consumers of imported good. this sub commit is willing to work to insure the success of these missions and adequate resources are needed to insure that this occurs. with that i want to thank our witnesses for being here today. i now recognize senator marky for any opening statement he may have. >> thank you, mr. chairman, thank you for this hearing. thank you chairman wicker for your leadership on these issues. and our ranking member of the full committee. a vibrant, safe, mary time industry is essential for
3:37 am
maintaining america's economic excellence and military might for decades to come. and here's why. america's domestic maritime industry supportings 154 billion dollars in total economic output. and 16 billion in tax revenues every year. and supports nearly 650,000 highway secure jobs. insurance america has the cablet to mobilize the military overseas. deployments, building military ves sls on american shores. it's a great simple formula and equals a better prepared more capable military. and a more competitive dynamic committee. massachusetts, the base state has always known this and we thank each of you who are testifying for your roles in insuring that we are today as
3:38 am
strong as we have ever been. before but maintaining our maritime does not come without challenges. ing to refer to what chirm sullivan spoke about. -- faithful military members were forced to work without pay. according to the coast guard only 30% of the personnel had enough emergency savings to cover one month's worth of expenses. that is not acceptable. that is not sustainable. to fulfill our nation's maritime safety, security and stewardship. and that is something that senator sullivan and i agree with. and i -- and i support 100% his
3:39 am
sentiments that we pass legs to make sure that it never happens again, the coast guard does not receive their pay when there is a government shutdown. so we -- we have to work together to insure that that does happen this year. ar key part of the mission that you have is interdicting drugs on the high seas. maritime drug trafficking remaining an epidemic. with thousands of drugs pouring into our country every single year. while the coast guard has become increasingly successful at interdicting these drugs in le ent years, they did not meet requirements from last year. safety is another critical challenge as fishing is still the most deadly profession in america. while congress has empowered the coast guard to provide training and training for fisherman
3:40 am
safety. the actual distribution has been problematic, harming the programs' lifesaving goals. and further, the nation's maritime academies support and protect federally owned training vessels. but they may not have the research needed to these floating maritime classrooms which are senseable for preparing the next generation of marners. >> as we hear from the city's charged to promote the strength of our mary time industry, i look forward to exploring opportunities to insure members of the coast guard i granted the same privileges as the other members of our military. enforce the drug enforcement efforts. address challenges with allocating federal resources for depishermen. safety train and research -- fishermen, safety training and research. it's their mission to support
3:41 am
federally owned vessels at mary time academies. thank you, mr. chairman for this very important hearing. >> thank you, senator marky. we are honored to have the chair of the full conference committee. and the ranking member of that committee. so i want to offer both of them an opportunity to make opening statements at this hearing as well. chairman wicker. >> and i'll speak very briefly because we're here to hear the witnesses. thank you, senator sullivan and senator marky as the subcommittee chairman says i held a ntwell and meeting with the full committee. then it was industry stakeholders. today it is federal agencies who are supporting maritime safety security, and competitiveness. so this is a great opportunity or us to expand on our tasks
3:42 am
ahead to discuss agency budget priorities, implementation of provisions enacted in last year's coast guard mary time administration and the reauthorizations as well as legislative proposals for forthcoming reauthorizations of these agencies. i'm struck by how much consensus their is between the opening statement of the chair and the ranking member. and i will take half a moment to echo what they've said about the coast guard and the fact that they absolutely should be treated as other uniform services are. one would hope we would never have another shutdown that we've learned our lesson finally. but you never know. clearly we're -- we are in nison in feeling strongly that
3:43 am
it's unacceptable not to treat our coast guard service members the same as we do the other services. admiral shults, admiral busby, mr. corey, we look forward to your testimony. >> senator cantwell. >> mr. chairman i appreciate that we have 17 different coast guard units across the state of washington. definitely want to hear from our witnesses. i'm going to submit my statement for the record. >> >> great, thank you. as i mentioned the three distinguished witnesses for this hearing today -- admiral shorts, mike busby, the administration of the maritime administration. and the honorable michael corey chairman of the federal maritime commission. you will each have five minutes
3:44 am
to deliver an opening statement and a longer written statement will be included into the record if you so desire. admiral schultz we'll begin with you, sir. >> good morning. general sullivan, chairman wicker and ranking member cantwell from the full committee. members from the committee it is an honor to testify before you. a and i ask that the reported be submitted without our >>. please accept my profound thanks for your unwaivering support here on the committee and the subcommittee including the operation and the funding that came with the 2008 hurricane supply mental funds. these the ready relevant of coast guards, the nation and the public deserve and expect. yet our work is not done if you attack just one thing for my testimony this morning, i ask that you remember redyness.
3:45 am
we the united states coast guard must be ready. ready to push our maritime borders 1500 miles away from our shores ready to include the economic activity that flows across the system on an annual basis. ready to support the combat and commanders across the globe. ready for the next hurricane season which is right around the season. ready to put our cyber authors to use as we adoopt 21st threats. without question, building a sustaining prediness is my top priority. we're at a tipping point of sorts. after almost a decade of near flat light, coast guard readiness is eroding. you don't like the department of defense. the coast guard is nondefense discretionary spending. we continue to find ourselves on the outside looking in when it comes to material operations and support plus ups. in 2017, 2 department of defense
3:46 am
received funds while the coast guard increased a 4% coast guard. every year we probably spend out $1 billion in support of the combat and commanders. it has not changed in more than 18 years. as an example of our growing, defense portfolio, he is supporting the endo pacific in the south china see and forcing u.s. actions. protecting and advancing the u.s. interest. though, we strive for relentless resilience, our purchasing power has declined. >> fe we continue to do that including short infrastructure, we will lose the fighter from evolving threats. >> sbess spite these challenges i am extremely proud of the
3:47 am
coast guard's contributions. in 2018 as part of the department's security strategy and joining the task force -- h, our aveyathes metrics our naunl security cutters have . ceeded performance we have 25 capable off-shore patrol cutters. that won't be the backbone of -- leet in the polar je
3:48 am
regions. it's in our national interest to be there to enhance maritime this ess and do it in competitive area. a refresh of our arctic strategy from 2013. in the high latitudes presence qualls influence. two weeks ago we had the polar star returned from it. 105 day trip to replenish mcmertle sound. the crew did amazing things to putting divers in the ice y waters. they're fighting a fire in the incinerator space. >> i am proud of the cruise. breakers. ice new ice breaks could not come fast enough. thank you for the first polar security cutter. finally, i appreciate the administration's support for a
3:49 am
number of initiatives that invest in our greatest strength, our people. they represent tangible investments toward the mission ready total workforce. critical investments into our cyber operations built on capabilities that facilitate the 5.5 in the water ways. a dollar invested in the coast card, is well spent. thank you. and i look forward to your questions. >> thank you, admiral. there's a strong birne agreement on a number of your points but particularly as it relates to the ice breakers. so we're focused on that admiral? >> ranking member marky and kant well-. good morning and thank you for inciting me to testify today on the maritime administrations contributions to insuring the safety, security, and competitiveness of our nation. congress recognized long although that a row boast u.s.
3:50 am
marine is critical to national defense and demoastic and foreign congress. yet, today our nation relies on an aging fleet of u.s. government owned ships to provide surge and capacities in times of conflict or crisis. and a shrinking pool of qualified american marners which are critical to our long-term national and economic security. specifically the average age of the government owned vessels of the ready reserve force which provides the capacity is more than 44 years old. we have struggled to maintain readiness levels across that fleet. to address these needs the president set the 2020 budget. " $352 million to maintain the r.r.f. recapital zpation of strategy.
3:51 am
acquiring an converting used vessels an building new vessels in u.s. shipyards. along with the rrf, the defense department relies on privatey owned u.s. flag ships to deploy and sustain u.s. forces in times of crisis. and to carry dodd cards in peacetime as well. however, of the approximately 5,000 large motion commercial vessels operating around the world today, only 180 fly the u.s. flag. of those only 81 vessels operate exclusively in international trade. this -- this is one of the reason why you should provide stipend to 16 useful ships. a long time deployment is so critical. the president's budgets request a fully counted amount.
3:52 am
congress also joked about the preference and the jones act that insures us for the american marners. it provides an important layer of security by insuring that vessels navigating u.s. coastal and inland waters operate with documentation in an american crew. it supports the majority of the critical ship building. maintenance and industrial for fair capacity. >> to supply the ranks, we rely on the merge academy at king's point and our six-state mary time academies or smplets m.a.'s. they have 225 merchant marine officers who with their unlimited licenses and service commit commitments. a president's f.y.-20 budget"
3:53 am
anyone to maintain the highest standards of marner education and training. the state academy graduate approximately 900 merchant marines. unlike the u.s.. they could receive mest of their see time. several of which are attend of their service lives. we appreciate congress's recent funding of our training sift replacement program. the president the 2020 budget" $242.3 million for the state aexad mis including funding for the new training vessel. finally port infrastructure would help our port meet ro-jebbed growth and trade volumes. and the f.y. 19 consolidated
3:54 am
appropriations act. will help improve the safety. er fishtsi and reality of the coastal sea pors. in addition the $20 million enacted for small grant perhaps and the $7 million for the highway projects are essential or sustaining or growing industry. i appreciate this subcommittee's conned support for the maritime industry. and i look forward to your questions and i request that it would be entered into the record, sir. >> chairman corey. >> good morning, chairman sullivan. ranking member marky and kant well-and senators. thank you for the opportunity to discuss the federal maritime commissions fiscal year 2020 funding railroad. i'm accompanied by two of my
3:55 am
leagues. they joined us in january following their senate confirmation. and we're glad to have them aboard. >> we welcome all the commissioners here, thank you. >> the commissioner is meeting with stakeholders. last year, the committee on commerce was instrumental in passing the frank beyond low coast guard act of 2018. this act broadnessed the commission's authority to carry out its mission, to protect yourself in public. and we're working to implement the various parts of that legs. congress did not assign to the committee a national security role, america's economic security does rely on a competitive and efficient ocean transportation system. >> to carry out that directive, the commission administer as focused antitrust regime taylored to the ocean liner
3:56 am
industry. continually mon, to cooperative oirpgsnal agreements and marine terminal operate tors. these collaborative business greementses allow the ocean carriers to achieve operating efficiencies and cause savings. we closely monitor the agreement parties. this is activities together with of improper, ns clussive or anti-competitive behind ors. >> we have a compliance system that is constantly involving to respond to changes in agreements. the industry and the marketplace. >> compared to prior years that witness service changes to the ocean transportation services market, 2018 was a more stable period for industry. there have not been further
3:57 am
consolidations among the top tier of ocean carriers. there remain as surplus of ocean capacity in the marketplace is highly competitive. suggesting that cargo shippers will don't benefit from lower flat rates offered by the ocean carriers. >> is to get our international maritime organization's main date. o. sulpher fuel or exhaust stact strippers to remove it from bunker fuels. the man dane begins in january 2020. and estimated implementation and industry wide compliance cost run as high as 15 billion dollars a year. normally ocean carriers will try to pass these added direct cause to shirps. the commission is monitoring this to insure that cost do not
3:58 am
vie laint the shipping act. an harm u.s. ex-portes and consumers. >> commissioner rebecca dye is leading an examination with in assessing their attention in the charges. hese are fees. carlosshippers contain. a container is not returned to an ocean carrier within an agreemented peer. the commissioner dies and will present her recommendations to the economy by september. regarding our budget, the committee is an agency with a specialized mission requiring a small but highly skilled work forgs. we are requesting $28 million to support 128 full time in the fiscal year 2020. >> shithely more than 24 million of this request goes to salaries
3:59 am
an office ramps. all other expenses associated with operating the agency such as information techology. and outsoirsed travises. and it's been a ref $4 million. i'm proud of the work that they perform every day. and the contribution our agency makes towards insuring competition and integrity for america's ocean supply chain. werle grateful for the support of this committee and its members. i'm happy to answer any questions about the f.m.c. . >> without objection. thank you, chairman khouri. >> admiral buzby, small
4:00 am
shipyards, in addition to the big ones throughout the country, like the catalyst marine engineering in seward, alaska, or the other alaska shipyards are a vital part of local community pus also play an important part for our overall economic and national security. can you speak about the impact that increased funding has had on the ability of the small ship yards grant program to meet some of these needs? >> yes, sir, thank you, mr. chairman, for your question. that is a great program. it helps many shipyards every year. had $20 million to disperse. we were able to help 29 different ships. >> do you look at trying to increase that or is that a number you think is appropriate? admiral buzby: we're grateful to whatever the congress passes to us.
4:01 am
we have lots of -- a lot more applications for those grants than we're able to actually support. senator sullivan: admiral schulz, i appreciate the great work you are doing and i commend you for it. i think you are doing a fantastic job. i appreciate your visits to alaska. i think our state has benefited from those. i know you visited the shipyard and have seen the firsthand great work being done up there. a provision that tried to address this issue you and i've been working on for quite a while, pretty good-sized shipyard that has a huge impact on southeast alaska. it makes a lot of sense for the coast guard to do its maintenance of their rather than
4:02 am
-- maintenance up there rather than sending ships back down to california. there's a regulation, as you know, that we've been looking at that is -- has an unintended -- we had language in the coast guard bill last year that we thought addressed this. evidently, i was just recently informed that some of the da's chess -- dhs bureaucrats or whatever didn't see it that way, which is an enormous frustration of mine, you get language put in that members of congress agree to and pass and you have bureaucrats coming back and saying maybe it doesn't work. can i get a commitment from you, and i know i'm going to get it because you have already committed to working with my staff and d.h.s., i'll be hauling into my office whoever is making these decisions saying, really? we changed the law and you are still not good to go with it? to once again put this issue to rest which makes strategic sense for the coast guard, for the
4:03 am
cost of maintenance, for your biggest district, district 17, and yet somehow the bureaucracy here in d.c. wants to continue to drag its feet on that. can i get your commitment on that, admiral? >> absolutely. we did recently get guidance from the department. you have my commitment to work with your staff on the language. staying consistent with the rules that consisted i anticipate we will have some work with geographic restriction in this calendar year 2019 that the alaska shipyard should be able to be competitive for. but you have my commitment to continue to work on language that accomplishes the committee's objectives here. senator sullivan: thank you. it's a huge frustration of mine. and more importantly my constituents. i want to talk about ice breakers and the polar security cutter. i got reports, and i'd like you to provide more details, that when the polar
4:04 am
star was out, i've been there i've been on that ship, the men , and women on that ship do a great job. but holy cow, that is really, really old ship. i think it was commissioned in the early 1970's. analog technology. was that fire that was on he -- was on the ship when it was deployed risky? how long did that take to put out? and my view is, nobody wearing the uniform of the united states military should be deploying on a ship that's that old and that risky and yet here we are, men and women of the coast guard are doing a great job in that regard but can you talk a little bit about that? and the urgent, urgent need, and the risk to life and limb, of the members of the coast guard who deploy on that ship. can you talk about that? and how dangerous was that fire that, you know, we had on that ship? a fire on a ship is normally a very, very scary thing.
4:05 am
admiral schultz: chairman irk -- i appreciate the question. absolutely. first off, the funding that comes in the 2019 appropriation, to get after procurement of the first security cutter is absolutely an exciting time for the coast guard. senator sullivan: and you remember the ndaa has authorization for six. admiral schultz: and based on the studies, our intention, i talked about a six for one strategy. a minimum six ice breakers, three that are what we call polar security, and the one, the one is imminent, i anticipate an award in the next 30 days with the detailed design and construction for that first security cutter. that's an exciting time. we intend to build a great ship that initial ship would essentially be conduct capacity to replace the polar star. the polar star has been in a cycle where she has 100, 130 days down range deployment to replenish. as i mentioned in my oral statement, mcmurdo is at a critical
4:06 am
recapitalization. they are relying on the star being there to deliver materials so they can take the ice station to the next level of sophistication and capacity. the polar star had some challenges. we're going to invest $15 million as proposed in this budget. we're trying to do a four-year, multiyear, to keep star and bridge the gap. i'm confident we can fill that a gap. i have to make the decision as the service cheap senior , operations commander, can i send people to the start every year. the fire on any ship, i'm a sailor, that's one of your biggest concerns. it was about 90 minute the crew donned the self-contained breathing apparatus. we had navy and coast forward -- coast guard divers on board with a dive chamber. we put them in arctic water to put a patch on the shaft while shipmates inside the ship crafted tools in their own
4:07 am
machine shops, climbed into 30-degree bilge water and fixed the shaft backing. the risk is if one breaker go down, the nation is left with zero heavy breakers. we're at an exciting time on this first polar security, we're off to the races with an award here soon. hopefully ships follow here to build out united states capability and capacity for the arctic region and antarctic region. senator sullivan: tell the men and women who did that heroic work we thank them and we're trying to make it so they don't have to deploy on a ship that risky. senator markey. senator markey: thank you very much mr. chairman. in massachusetts, we had 2,300 coast guard members forced to work without pay. that's a lot of people. and their fellow service men and women were continuing to receive compensation. across the planet. and from my perspective it had to have an impact on morale and
4:08 am
on recruitment. and i just don't think it's right, again, aisle going to -- again, i'm going to come back to this subject that the coast guard is treated any differently than the army, the air force, or the navy or the marines. and again, i look forward to working with chairman sullivan on making sure that that never happens again. my question to you, sir, is did the shutdown affect morale? and knowing that many of your personnel were actually overseas at the same time, serving, with the army, the air force, the marines, the other branches. what was the impact of having the coast guard be left behind in terms of being compensated? admiral schultz: ranking member markey, thank you for the question.
4:09 am
thank you for the opportunity during the shutdown to come in and speak with you about the impacts. i would say where we are today, working backwards here, we're about 75%, 80% reconstituted in terms of our ability. one of the big hallmark dates for us is in the beginning of hurricane season, 1 june. you'll have a ready coast guard to respend to storms. there are some things that are difficult to recover. we delayed periods where we do maintenance on small boats, depot level maintenance. cutter scheduled dockside, some of that moved to the right youch -- some of that moved to the right. you play catch-up. in an organization struggling on the readiness front. in terms of our people i'd say a couple of things. i'm proud of the men and women who sthade watch during the shutdown. they stayed focus with the d.h.s. at the border, the secret service. the men and women stood the watch and did what they signed up to do for the nation. our men and women take an oath
4:10 am
and they honored that. morale, we saw a couple of things. it was tough but the folkses did stay mission focused. leadership tried to keep their heads in the game. they knew folks were working on their behalf. they do want to see parity. we are an armed force. i think that's indisputable. it's written in law. we saw the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff weigh in about the coast guard issue and the other service chiefs. in terms of impact on morale, we as saw some tremendous outpouring of support from the nation. there are some parts of the nation that understand the coast guard and i think it rayed our -- it raised our visibility. if there's any silver lining in a difficult sitch it may be the fact that people across the country, people in your state were doing remarkable thicks to support the men and women in uniform from food pantry, i guess -- i went on the offensive about the unacceptability of men and women of the coast guard standing in food lines and food
4:11 am
pantries. the outpouring was tremendous. our families who got in front of cameras, not seeking cameras but cameras were put on them, they stayed focused on their spouses. we try to stay out of politics and stay on task. senator markey: i agree there shouldn't be politics in this issue. your personnel should be fully paid the same as every other branch of the service. again, you were right there, right with the u.s.s. constitution, our oldest ship is right there in boston harbor, we're very proud of our maritime history but we also understand the incredible sacrifice all of the people who have served our country and protect our coastlines have provided over the years and let me move to you, if i could, admiral buzby. i would love to get to the issue of the maritime vessel funding issue. the t.f. kennedy was launched over 50 years ago.
4:12 am
can you tell us how important it is for us to fully fund a program that ensures that you have the best facilities to train the next generation of personnel? admiral buzby: we are laser focused on ensuring we have the best training facilities for all our midshipmen, our state academies and at kings point. the replacement of kennedy, the 53-year-old kennedy and the 57-year-old empire state at new york maritime are our two top priorities. the $600 million that have been appropriated for the nsmv program will go to replace those two ships straight away. our acquisition strategy is set, will we're well along in the process, we expect to actually be awarding contracts for the
4:13 am
vessel construction manager within the next four or five weeks. we're well along in the process. we expect to be awarding contracts for the vessel construction manager probably within the next four, five weeks. >> that's great news. i thank you again for your service. thank you, mr. chairman. ms. fischer: thank you. as you know, the recent flooding in nebraska has had a devastating impact on my state. on march 15, 2019, the coast guard issued a waterway closure to all vessel traffic on the missouri river between st. joe and omaha. can you provide an update on the impact of flooding in the missouri river on vessel traffic and also do you have a sense of how long a waterway closure may be necessary along the river? >> senator, i thank you for the question. first and foremost, our eighth district commander working through our sector command, upper ohio valley, upper and lower miss, they have a very key role working with other waterway stakeholders. the army corps, the commercial interest.
4:14 am
and those are generally negotiated conversations about what are the water levels, what is the currents and to give you an update, i'd like it come back to give you a real snapshot today. i don't have a current snapshot today. the flood levels are unprecedented. and we're watching that closely. i think we're looking at weeks yet before we see the waters receding here to normal levels. so that will remain a very dynamic situation. our men and women that stand the watch there in the heartland are absolutely focused on balancing the competing interests of economics and industry with safety. we obviously walk a fine line there. but we want to err on the safety side and keep commerce flowing. that's absolutely two sides of the same coin for us, ma'am. ms. fischer: thank you. if could you get that information for us. mr. schultz: yes, madam chairman. -- ma'am. we'll get you a current snapshot. ms. fischer: administrator buzby, you've spoken about the need for the jones act.
4:15 am
i agree that the jones act is critical for the united states' defense needs. can you describe for the committee what impact the elimination of the jones act would have on the ability to activate a sea lift if called upon by the department of defense? mr. buzby: thank you for the question, senator. i would say it would have a devastating effect. on our nation's ability to deploy our forces and then sustain them overseas. our armed forces move via the merchant marine, plain and simple. without the jones act, which, not just the vessels, but primarily the mariners that operate jones act vessels, we would be dead in the water. we wouldn't be able to take this nation to war. ms. fischer: thank you very much. chairman khouri, i continue to hear from shippers that ports, particularly on the west coast, are experiencing congestion that results in delays in delivering orpiking up containers from terminal facilities.
4:16 am
-- delivering or picking up containers from terminal facilities. these delays frequently result in charges being assessed on the shippers by the ocean carriers or by the terminals that increase the shipping costs. can you tell me what if anything the commission is doing or looking at doing to address these concerns? mr. khouri: yes. thank you, senator. first, port congestion, resulting container cargo delivery delays are it indeed a continuing issue. congestion delays, further results in the charges that you mentioned to shippers for the containers' use of ground space at the marine terminal and then detention charges by the ocean carrier to the shipper for extra use of the container. there are multiple causes for port congestion that we are seeing today. recall back for just a minute the fall of 2014 and 2015, west coast port congestion. if i may, there was little to
4:17 am
hide the fact that labor and management were in the middle of contract discussions and, to be diplomatic, port labor productivity had dropped off substantially. that is not the cause of today's container port congestion. without trying to rank or prioritize the contributing factors, the list includes, one, cargo surges as shippers try to anticipate and move cargo in front of announced tariff increase deadlines. two, most recently, accelerated shipments in front of the annual chinese new year holiday and then their factory closures. three, larger ships are moving into the u.s. trans-pacific routes, resulting in surges of containers arriving at the terminals at l.a., long beach, oakland, seattle, tacoma. next we have a continued problem with chasy availability.
4:18 am
in particular, chasy shortages at one terminal, while there may be excess containers in another, and then further disruption when, as an example, an ocean carrier requires its containers to be placed on a particular brand of chasy. and last, growing reports and complaints that the appointment systems that were introduced in l.a. and long beach last year are simply not working as advertised. a shipper ask instead week, can -- a shipper asked me this week can , the f.m.c. just mandate a master gray chasy pool for all chasies in l.a., long beach, san pedro bay? the answer is no and i do not mean to suggest that congress should give us such overarching and overreaching authority. ms. fischer: i'm sorry to interrupt. i'm running out of time. so what are you doing about it? mr. khouri: all of these issues are being sorted through and addressed by the commissioner's
4:19 am
fact finding investigation that process has brought together the industry stakeholders from across the spectrum. they're meeting today. but this is one of a multiple number of meetings. four areas have been identified as opportunity for development. one is standard and transparent language, two is clear, simple and accessible billing and dispute resolution processes. three, standard evidence that will be relevant to resolving these disputes. the billing disputes. and consistent notice to the cargo interest of container availability to pick up at the marine terminals. her report will be due september of this year and we will provide the -- you and the committee that report as soon ases available.
4:20 am
-- as soon as it is available. ms. fischer: thank you. thank you, mr. chairman. ms. cantwell: thank you, mr. chairman. i thank you and the ranking member, senator markey, for holding this hearing. i feel like the subcommittee is in good hands with two stewards of very broad maritime state interests. i thank my colleague from nebraska for bringing up this very important freight issue. i think in the ever evolving asian market and the pana max developments, that we cannot be at a stand still when it comes to moving freight and the challenges that we face in moving it cost effectively is something we just continue to need out if time and energy into to get those products throughout the united states into asian markets. i'm going to focus my attention, if i could, on -- thank you for the coast guard, the mission that the coast guard must meet is i think 11 different areas and obviously you do it with the most minimal budget. so we appreciate the service of the coast guard and you.
4:21 am
i could ask about -- i like the fact that the coast guard is modernizing its work force, which you mentioned in your opening testimony. thank you for that. you're on the cutting edge of family leave policy. would love to talk to you about would love to talk to you about -- i'm going to focus my attention on two questions. no surprise. our arctic and icebreakers. and as we continue -- and i hear your commitment this morning, upgrading in the budget proposals more resources for an icebreaker fleet. but i'm just -- i still don't know what we need to do and this is my question, do we need to do more here in the nation's capitol to document the major transformation that the arc tick passage is going to provide for shippers?
4:22 am
and do we have everything we need from the i.m.o. to make that route, you know, successful and a coordinated function with what other nations are doing? i have since -- there are many alaskan natives that live in washington state. i have had the chance to visit with many of the alaska native corporations and it's amazing to me to find that they are being called on by the russians and the chinese and they're making major infrastructure investments in alaska. i think that's good for alaska and that's good for the united states. but it does raise the question, where is the united states in making this infrastructure investment for a north pole passage of cargo container that is going to be a new opportunity for us in the united states? so, do we have all the information necessary to successfully convince our nation of the scale of this investment that's needed, and on the i.m.o. level, do we have
4:23 am
that level of investment in understanding with other nations about that route? mr. schultz: thank you for the question. i believe we're in sort of a different paradigm today. i mentioned we're going to roll out an update to our arctic strategy, our outlook here at the end of the month. there is a national strategy, arctic strategy, coming out of the white house in the near future. department of defense and navy strategies. i think we are having the conversations much more so today than in previous years. what has changed in the arctic? we talk about a peaceful arctic, safety, security, type focus. we're now having a conversation about a competitive arctic. china's been up in the arctic here. 70% of the last seven, eight years, with their research vessel. they're up there obviously intentionally doing some -- potentially doing some research and they have other interests here. they're paying attention to what we do as a nation here, as we field, through the
4:24 am
department of defense, fighters. so i think it is a competitive space. i talked in my opening statement about presence equals influence. we have to project sovereignty. today we're up there with the healy on a sporadic basis. it is our medium or research vessel. she was up there in the fall supporting noaa, national science foundation, that naval reconnaissance, n.r.o. but that's science type work. we really just need a more continued presence up there. this first polar security cutter starts the conversation. most of that capacity will go to the antarctic. so the conversation would be on additional -- ms. cantwell: we're going to look with very vigilant eyes on that competitiveness report. because we feel like -- i personally feel like we should be doing more quickly and maybe for the record, you know, the 2010 bill required vessel operators to complete a safety and stability training course. and i know that the coast guard -- i want to know when you're going to begin that rulemaking process. obviously the heartbreaking
4:25 am
sinking of the destination is at least it looks like the incident is requirements for safety may have helped in that situation. so when will we get this rulemaking? mr. schultz: if i can get back to you specific data, i don't have that here. obviously maritime safety is a primary constant, 228-year mission for the united states coast guard. i'd like to get back to you with a firm date on that. i don't have that here. ms. cantwell: i may submit further questions on the destination and that issue. thank you, mr. chairman. mr. schultz: thank you, ma'am. >> thank you. senator blumenthal. mr. blumenthal: thank you, mr. chairman. and thank you for holding this hearing. thank you all for being here, commandant, i'm particularly pleased to welcome a connecticut native and a graduate of two of our best schools, the coast guard academy and the university of connecticut.
4:26 am
and thank you to the men and women who serve with you in the coast guard. i wonder if you could update us as to efforts which we have discussed in the past involving possible discrimination based on either gender or race at the coast guard academy. i know that you have thought to counter and address that problem and i'd like you for the record to update us because i think that those kinds of failings could have an impact on our national security. the coast guard is essential to our national security and i think you agree with me that any kind of discrimination ought to be addressed, thwarted, stopped. mr. schultz: senator, absolutely. across the united states coast guard, including the academy,
4:27 am
we strive to have an environment where it is supportive of people of all -- of both genders, of all cultural backgrounds, all experimental backgrounds. we are a better united states coast guard when we're a more diverse coast guard. that is all about inclusivity. you'll hear me talk about being a more incluesive coast guard -- more inclusive coast guard or coast guard more representative of the nation we serve. we've had some challenges up there in new london. we had a whistleblower case here recently. we protect whistleblowers in the coast guard. the d.h.s. inspector general sent their report to secretary neilsen who forwarded that to me. we have acted on each and every recommendation in that report. we still have a little bit of ground to close on some training updates to make sure our supervisors are better trained on bullying and harassment type policies and that will be wrapped up here in the next month or so. but we take that very seriously. the superintendent is fully committed. we have an eclipse weekend coming up. it's going on this week.
4:28 am
some of your house colleagues, i believe, congressman courtney will be attending some of those events. we're look at our equity. we have an equity mindset at new london to make sure if you're a female cadet, if you're an african-american cadet, hispanic, asian-pacific islander, you have the same opportunities to excel. the environment is embracing all.
4:29 am
i think you committed that there would be some kind of town hall or public events that would give you or others in the coast guard an opportunity to voice some of the positions that you just had taken. mr. schultz: we're working with the local chapters of the naacp. we have much -- we have expanded the local relationship here, inviting them into meetings. i sent the vice commandant up there a couple weeks ago to meet with the faculty senate individually. he met with a wide cross-section of the faculty. i was up there for the cadet annual leadership address. we're taking these issues head-on. the difficult conversations are the absolute necessary conversations we have and we will not shy away from those. , younoticed your testimony
4:30 am
said in your words the coast guard is appropriately positioned in the department of homeland security. discussion, ime do not know if it has been raised here, about the positioning of the coast guard most especially after the issue with payment of the coast guard, which i found absolutely abort. -- abhorrent. youke it, your word, that think the coast guard is appropriately positioned, but i wonder whether there is any somehow considering changing the statute so that that absence of pay never
4:31 am
happens again, so that at least termsper -- at least in of other organizational issues -- the postcard is dean -- coast guard to be a branch of our armed services and it certainly is. about questionr and your words of support. i would say this, sir. service, fifth armed the only located outside the department of defense, find ourselves in a different of budget. terms we are nondiscretionary in the department at large. i would like to see a broadening of conversation, security, nonsecurity conversation, because that would roll dhs in the same conversation with dod
4:32 am
because we are a contributor to national security. i believe we are appropriately positioned within the department of homeland security. we are a law enforcement agency so it creates some unique challenges. tni committee put out the pay our coast guard parity act. some safety measure here, legislative safety measure, something in the defense authorization act that linked us to the other armed services might be the artful way to make sure the fifth and smallest armed service is not left on the sidelines. where there to be another shutdown and a decision that the coast guard and dhs is outside of the conversation, there is a linkage here. i would let -- i would like this
4:33 am
to not happen to the men of the fifth armed service. >> i appreciate that you are approaching this issue so thoughtfully. you have before you two members of the armed services committee and we can consult with you on some of your ideas in greater there but i really feel is a difference between the defense function that you otherm and a lot of the law enforcement functions that are the work of the department of homeland security, which may be unrelated to defense, or even security. i think we need to resolve some of these issues, not only for the sake of the coast guard. you may be the fifth, the smallest -- i don't know if you are the fifth, you are one of them, but no less important than any of the other armed services.
4:34 am
situation anomalous we need to address. >> there is a portion of the coast guard operating funds that comes from defense readiness. we are trying to have a conversation, that number has been static since 2001, no cost-of-living adjustment. contributions have swelled from the 340 number of 18 years ago to almost $1 billion, so there is a righteous conversation that we would welcome the opportunity to inform. >> admiral, i think you intainly see the commitment the interest in a bipartisan way to address this issue and i think working closely with you and your team, you have our commitment to continue to work on the congress committee and
4:35 am
armed services committee, which number of us sit on both of, as senator blumenthal mentioned. i wanted to ask a bit more of a specific question, admiral schulz. on the issue of safety with regard to our maritime and fishing industry, it is clear that is one of your most important missions. a regulatory task force was set up by the coast guard in response to the presidential is orderf order -- executive 13 777. a majority portion of america's fishing fleet resides in the northwest arctic area off the coast of alaska. our fishing industry met with the wonderful men and women of the united fishermen of africa, ufa as we call them.
4:36 am
-- alaska, ufa as we call them. things they thought on the front we could work on to streamline regulations, and they are still awaiting a response from the it relates to this regulatory reform initiative. can i get your commitment to have a high level member of the tost guard meet with the ufa discuss these regulatory streamlining requests they put forward about two years ago? >> chairman, yes you can. >> thank you. look forward to following up on that. there was an earlier question by senator fischer i want to throw out to all three of you, on the importance of the jones act, not only with regard to our economy and national security, but
4:37 am
securing our borders, protecting homeland. i want to open up to the witnesses on your views on that. like we have good debates in the congress, there are attempts to get red of the -- act -- get rid of the -- act. a lot of other countries, certainly china, korea have their own version of the jones act, much more stringent. that is something i would like you to consider, if you can give your sense from your perspective of the wisdom of getting rid of as the koreanarly shipbuilding industry will not say, sure, we will have this, no problem. chinese do not even think about it. they are an authoritarian regime and they are all about taking care of their own shipbuilding industry and maritime. ,hat would be the wisdom
4:38 am
national security, economic security, competition globally, of getting rid of the jones act which rears its head occasionally? you are the experts in the industry and i would like to open up to any and all of our witnesses. topic that i love to speak on passionately because i believe it's so important to our country. >> misunderstood a lot of the times. if you can comment on this international component, it is not like other countries. 98 other countries have a law similar to our jones act. >> i did not know what was that high. >> a recent study revealed that. there are so many aspects of where the jones act impacts our economic and national security.
4:39 am
the operators of our jones act fleet that plugged the waters the waters- plod every day, they are invested in the waters and they are our countrymen. they know when normal -- what normal looks like and they know when something is out of sort. they will say something if they see something. you cannot say that about a foreign operator in our waters. i have no equity, no reason to want to report. those watersy every day. they are members of our community and they will say something if they see something. >> great point. chairman cori? -- khouri? >> i grew up>> in the u.s. flag fleet inland.
4:40 am
i have the opportunity after law school to work in this precise area, worked on trying to put trades -- trades in france, germany, venezuela, throughout the paraguay river and one ofonesia, the most interesting to move call on grand canal in china. on the grand canal in china. i have some experience in dealing with those rules with many countries, and they are tough. they are not receptive to foreigners coming into their area. wouldn't that be a bit of a
4:41 am
unilateral disarmament if we got rid of our jones act? relative to 98 other countries. >> my next point is i never have understood the simplest fundamental point that with the thousands of miles of u.s. coastline and all of the business that we have here, why would we unilaterally disarm ?urselves not trying to make a comment about their seamanship or anything else. >> any comments you want to make. >> for nearly a century, the jones act has been the law of the nation and we are held to the. there are implications to national security. any conversation about revisiting the jones act should look at the national equity, the stakeholders, and these should be considered.
4:42 am
it has been in place a long time and the commissioner has spoken to the other points. >> senator martin? englandabout 10% of new fishermen have been through safety training, yet the fishing increaseaining will the number, save lives, save the coast guard millions of dollars in search-and-rescue costs. these were appropriated money in 2017. grants are only being allocated for the first time this year, that is the first problem. last year's coast guard authorization act reduce the federal share from 75% to 55 -- 50%. delays, sudden changes, loss of federal funding shakes the faith of the grant
4:43 am
applicants in the program. senator sullivan and i are looking into a legislative fix that needs help in implementing the solution. as you commit to working with senator sullivan and me on fixing this problem and renewing trust? >> absolutely. inhave a shared interest safety on the water and our fishing industries. you have my commitment. >> thank you. i am working on legislation to complete a program providing federal assistance to hoppers infrastructure improvement. structurefor improvement. protecthink that could federal vessels and support the education of our mariners? upgrading speaking to
4:44 am
our academy? >> the academies and where the training ships are. >> certainly, the owners of those vessels, certainly the new vessels we will be sending to the academies, we are highly interested in making sure they have secure burrows for these national assets. it is very important to us. >> if i can come back to you, andral schultz, on naloxone drug addiction and the training we need to make sure there is in fact a rapid distribution of naloxone, and the knowledge as to how to use it, would you talk about how that impacts your that you are protecting? >> yes, sir. narcan at ourd
4:45 am
point of operation units. we want to protect the men and women out there. fentanyl, and derivatives of fenton now are very dangerous. the dust could pose a risk to our men and women doing frontline law enforcement. if we encounter a fishermen and distress, we have a chance to offer assistance. we are continually looking at where we should position ourselves as an organization within this national crisis. >> do you think the coast guard should expand the process -- practice of training personnel in terms of the use of this technology? >> we are training our folks that are carrying it currently. we will have to work your staff to understand your intent. >> i would love to talk about drug interdiction in general,
4:46 am
coming into our country. fentanyl largely comes in through mexico from china. they use our mail system to send it into our country, but we also know there are huge flows of cocaine that come up from south america and other places, that just exacerbating our epidemic of drug addiction in our country. can you step back a little bit and give us your overview of this drug problem and the interdiction strategies which you want to implement, and any other resources you might think you need, because it is imperative that we just have all hands on deck, so to speak, to fight it? >> thank you for the question. work in thwarting illicit
4:47 am
drugs coming to the united states is prominent -- predominantly against the cocaine threat. colombia, 90 5% heading north comes out of columbia. colombia was on track to eradicate many hectares of cocaine for years. they were marching columbia out of a 52 year insurgency with the fark. they started spraying coca plants. is more cocoa than there has been ever before in columbia a than ever before in columbia. there is a clear testament they are stepping into say interdiction is a key part. we at the coast guard are
4:48 am
partnering with the u.s. southern command. i am a force provider. when you look at the cocaine threat, 85% of the drugs in the were transits through the oceans. cocaine is generally not coming directly to the united states. 85% in the eastern pacific ocean , 15% from the western caribbean to the eastern caribbean. the majority of our coast guard efforts are in that eastern pacific transit zone. i will roll it up into a three year statistic. in the last three years, we removed one point 4 million pounds of cocaine and brought 1800 smugglers to the u.s. criminal justice system for prosecution. we have a cycle for success and when we bring the drug smugglers , they are getting a stiff
4:49 am
sentence, but there is some give and take. if they give some intelligence that completes the cycle. 80% to 85%ibility on of those drug movements in the eastern pacific. >> what do you mean by you have visibility? >> we have intelligence derived from multi-sources. aboutls us knowledge on 85% of vessel movements. it is mostly noncommercial, fishing vessels, low-profile vessels. multi-action,ast, open type boat. we have visibility on those and resources to action about 25% or 30%. it is a capacity conversation. >> you can see 95% of ultimately what is trying to get into our country. it frome about 85% of
4:50 am
its point of departure. it is not directly coming to the united states. make their generally first stop in the central american corridor in mexico. it is most vulnerable to our interception. than all more drugs other agencies combined on an annual basis. that is the place to get it. there is a conversation about capacity. congress and the administration have been very supportive. we need to keep our foot on the gas. maritime patrol aircraft, congress continues to support us with long-range aircraft. we had funding in the last --ple of years to field scanned ego units and security cutters is a gap filler.
4:51 am
, with yourh that capacity. >> there are some studies that say you can have 15 to 17 major cutters or combatants to take a bigger bite. >> how many do you have? ships on a daily basis -- four ships on a daily basis. we are committed to this western hemisphere problem set. i committed multiple airplanes and helicopter. we throw just about everything i can at that. >> i appreciate that. in this modern era as we fully understand the drug epidemic in our country, the number of people who die every single year, for example, i am going to
4:52 am
go to fentanyl. 2000 diede, almost last year in massachusetts. >> cocaine first time use is up for many. cocaine relates with that no. it is -- fentanyl. it is an epidemic. it is a clarion call as a nation. >> we have moved on and massachusetts from cocaine and tooin and prescription jugs -- drugs to fentanyl. if people were dying across the whole country at the same rate that are dying in massachusetts, it would be 100,000 people year. that would be two vietnam wars a year, that is the rate at which they are dying in massachusetts, one million people over 10 years. cocaine is a feeder that gets
4:53 am
people set up for ultimately the cocaine being laced with fentanyl, which from the drug dealer's perspective, is much revenue because they can make so much more because fentanyl is so inexpensive. what you are doing is really, from my perspective, from a security perspective, this subcommittee's name, goes right to the protection of the people in our country. we appreciate what you do on a daily basis with the coast guard, but you are telling us you need more resources. you are saying that military itself has to dedicate more resources to this mission, to be able to provide an interdiction of these drugs that are ultimately intended to make their way up into the united states of america. more about the
4:54 am
resource gap that exists, given the fact that you are able to see it as it is beginning its trip up to our country, but unfortunatelyh limited resources to be able to deal with the actual problem in thes of how it can allude dragnet that we set up and ultimately make it to our borders. for me, it is our top issue from a security perspective. too many funerals, too many people dying. youru could just go to perspective in terms of whether or not the chinese might start to use our shipping lanes to bring fentanyl into our country as well. the prophet is just so high. >> that is a good question.
4:55 am
this countert narcotics business for 36 years and it is a very adaptive adversary. when you squeeze one part of the supply chain, they morph their behaviors to another. they are still working through the mail system. we are working with the u.s. mail service and looking at new technologies and how to define that. thatve a flag officer looks at precursor chemicals and how they are shipped across the oceans, many to mexico. they are used in commercial applications and edit is difficult to call them up. there is an international partnership component that goes with this. about two thirds of the activities in the eastern caribbean are enabled with a partner nation contribution. we have intelligence. we don't have the capacity. >> we don't have the capacity,
4:56 am
it is a very important sentence for us to hear. far many more americans will die from that than any threat from won'tng-un or from -- i go down the whole litany, but all the stories on the front page above the fold, talking about security risks, pale in comparison as a threat to the risk of the people of the united states and what we are putting into that fight to try to reduce the jeopardy to those families. we thank each and every one of you for your service. >> i am going to end with two additional questions. admiral busby, this is a broader question. we are working on reauthorizing the fast act. there has been some interest in a maritime supply title that wooded hands -- that would enhance current programs like
4:57 am
the port development program, marine highway program, and i would like your views on that. has not been there enough attention -- and this is mark kind of commerce, armed services committee -- commerce -- more kind of commerce, armed service committee on strategic from the perspective of meeting the needs of the military. i am sure you were quite familiar with the one strategic port in alaska, the port of anchorage, which is very strategic not just for the supplies and economic vitality our veryate, but also large military footprint in alaska which is growing. 100 generationer based fighters in alaska over
4:58 am
the next couple of years because of our strategic location. so can you comment on that as well? i know there is ongoing litigation. my view, i haven't been involved in it, we need to resolve that relatively soon because of the importance of that port to the entire state and to the country's national defense. can you comment on both of those issues that fall under your purview? first on the fast act and then on the strategic ports. >> thank you, mr. chairman. we at the maritime administration and the department view the shoreside with equal equation interest and importance because all the ships sailing around and carrying whatever goods they are
4:59 am
carrying have to land those goods. that is where the true intermodal-ism occurs in our country, when the ships transferred to rail two trucks to maritime highways, and all that needs to function together not only in that local area and that port, but how it plugs into the larger national supply chain. earlier, pointed out with the larger ships coming in, with the uptick in maritime traffic that we expect to see, our ports need to be modernized, need to become more efficient, and those connectors are not optimized for the large loads that are starting to come in when 22,000 all of a sudden discharges a very large number of containers. that quickly can clog a road network or even a rail network. so to the extent that we can focus on those, you're going down the road and programs that
5:00 am
help us help maritime sports -- ports and terminals get more efficient, i think that's an important thing to keep track of. in terms of strategic ports, obviously we pay particular attention to those because they have that military aspect, 17 strategic ports, anchorage of course being one of them. we have to rely on those to move our armed forces. so it gets back to that -- the notion that there's a very distinct commercial aspect to our nation being able to go to war. it starts and flows through those ports on commercial merchant ships to the front. so that whole part of the equation has to be there and has to be working correctly as well. >> thank you. again, you have a lot of members on this committee that straddle both armed services and the commerce committee, which i think is important. and for coast guard, but also
5:01 am
for mirad, like i also mentioned, we're building up the military in alaska. that port is about 90% of all the imports and supplies for the whole state come through that port. i know there's ongoing litigation. i'm hopeful we're going to be able to get to a spot where we can resolve that and then build up that port in a way that secures it, not just on the economic side for my state, but importantly for mirad and the armed services perspective, the military component, with the buildup of our military forces, missile defense, f-35's. expeditionary troops, the coast guard. we're building up in alaska in a significant way. my final question, commandant. i just wanted to mention, again, you guys do such great job. your men and women do heroic work on the search and rescue coverage, but it's a lot to cover.
5:02 am
as you know, district 17 i think is bigger than the rest of the country combined, some enormous area of coverage. we're working together on the recapitalization program to get more assets to alaska in terms of ships and aircraft. the c-130-j's are en route to kodiak, which is great addition. but i was informed recently that major cutter hours, as well as aircraft hours, are down when compared to previous years with regard to coverage of the bering sea and the alutian islands. i don't know if that's true. maybe you have a view on that. is that a maintenance challenge that's predicating that? if it is true, or is there something else contributing to the reduction of hours in that really important area, particularly as it relates to fisheries and coverage for safety? >> first and foremostings thanks
5:03 am
-- foremost, thanks for your support and the question. we have a ship every calendar day covering down in the bering sea, and last year we fell short on that on two days. six months into this year, as we start the first month of this last six months of the year here, we lost about two weeks of major cutter coverage when the monroe went down, the high endurance cutter, that's approaching a half century in service. we had an unexpected casualty that left her in charter for an extended period. we try to bring another ship for another part of the year. i think we brought the stratten up. we are absolutely committed to that coverage factor. that's been the tradition in the last recent years. when we have a gap we also try to mitigate that with aviation assets to make sure we still have situational awareness, we can respond. what we're seeing as we field these fast response cutters,
5:04 am
they have the ability to cross the gulf of alaska. so these new ships we're fielding, they will bring six fast response cutters that we worked about the plan for kodiak and sitka with your support. you've been carrying the water on that. we're appreciative. we're going to put the 287 there. we'll have a significant increase in capacity. we're probably getting 1,300 hours. sophisticated command and control, better capability in terms of small boat stern watch. significantly more tonnage. much more reach. so i think you're going to see 100 additional bodies that maintain our support. there's goodness in terms of capacity that will work at fisheries that are important to you and safety in alaska with the coast guard. then the third and fourth of the patrol cutters will be destined for the kodiak of the alaska water front.
5:05 am
those are going to be 360-foot ships, high tonnage. tremendous ability to sea base with a helicopter. we intend to put scan eagle type capability on there. so you're going to see a real uptick in coast guard capacity in alaska. >> great. i appreciate it. and look forward to continuing to work on the increase in capacity. and so some of that lack of coverage this year was due to the, again -- [talking simultaneously] monroe breakdown. and then -- the tragedy -- >> that ship is increasingly difficult to maintain. availability of parts, but we're committed. we have the fleet we have until we have the replacement fleet we get. >> you have my commitment as chairman of this committee to not only fully, fully support, but help to accelerate the recapitalization of the coast guard fleet. so whatever you need, just let us know. >> thank you. >> i want to thank everybody again. it's been very informative hearing. very important positions all
5:06 am
three of you gentlemen. i think everybody's working hard and doing a good job. these are important oversight hearings for our ability to work with the agencies to understand what your priorities are, what some of our concerns are, and then work together to move forward to address both. the hearing will -- record will remain open for two weeks. during this times senators may submit additional questions for the record. upon receipt, the witnesses are respectfully requested to submit their answers to the committee as soon as they can. i want to thank the witnesses again for appearing to do. -- appearing today. this hearing is now adjourned. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2019]
5:07 am
5:08 am
>> sunday on the tv at new noonr -- on book tv at collusion, how central eak the world. join us for your phone calls and questions. investigative reporter vicky ward on the careers of jared kushner and the ivanka trump. the, ambition, corruption. interviewed by elizabeth spires. trump at some
5:09 am
point become too much of an obstacle for him that he just has to let them go? he goes back and forth on it. he was furious with them over when they misused emails because that is what he had gone after hillary clinton with. that is what he said to john kelly, can you just get rid of them? is donald trump, the president cannot pull the trigger. then he seems to forget about it. >> watch book tv sunday on c-span2. at the white house thursday, president trump and administration officials met with the vice premier of china to discuss trade. from the oval office, this is about 20 minutes.


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on