06. July 2005 · Comments Off on A New Coast Guard Fleet? · Categories: Military

This from Mimi Hall at USA Today:

WASHINGTON — The Coast Guard’s ships, planes and helicopters are breaking down at record rates, which may threaten the service’s ability to carry out its post-9/11 mission of protecting ports and waterways against terrorism.

Key members of Congress, maritime security experts and a former top Homeland Security Department official say that the fleet is failing and that plans to replace the Coast Guard’s 88 aging cutters and 186 aircraft over the next 20 years should be accelerated.

“This nation must understand the dire situation in which the Coast Guard now finds itself,” says Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, chairwoman of a Senate Coast Guard subcommittee. She favors replacing the Coast Guard’s “deepwater” fleet — the ships and aircraft capable of operating far offshore — over 10 to 15 years.

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