During the hearing, Adm. Papp provided an oral statement on the FY 2012 budget request where he gave committee members a snapshot of Coast Guard operations from the past week. Examples included: managing vessel traffic on the St. Marys River in Michigan, conducting anti-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden, rescuing workers from an oil platform fire in the Gulf of Mexico, interdicting a semi-submersible vessel carrying cocaine in the Eastern Pacific Ocean, and repatriating migrants picked up in the Straits of Florida. He concluded the thought with the following observation:
“These missions protect U.S. national interests – and they’re missions that only the Coast Guard has the authority, competency and capability to do. No one else can do what we do. Our homeland is safer and more secure because Coast Guard men and women perform them so ably. But what concerns me is that our aging fleet of cutters and aircraft continue to cost us – both in dollars and mission performance. It is vital that we protect our waterways by sustaining front line operations while continuing our recapitalization efforts.”
Click here to read Adm. Papp’s written testimony.