The International Role of the United State Coast Guard
2167 Rayburn House Office Building
Vice Admiral Daniel B. Abel, Deputy Commandant for Operations, United States Coast Guard Written Testimony
The Honorable David Balton, Senior Fellow, Polar Institute, The Wilson Center Written Testimony
Dr. Stephen E. Flynn, Founding Director, Global Resilience Institute, Northeastern University Written Testimony
Dr. Amy E. Searight, Senior Adviser and Director, Southeast Asia Program, Center for Strategic and International Studies Written Testimony
Opening remarks, as prepared, of Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Ranking Member Bob Gibbs (R-OH) from today’s hearing:
The United States Coast Guard has unique authorities, international relationships, and service culture that make it a crucial part of our national security system.
Many may not know the wide range of capabilities and responsibilities that the Coast Guard has while it defends our homeland from foreign threats. As the only branch of the Armed Services with law enforcement authority, it plays a unique role in the Nation’s international engagement in crucial hotspots, from the Persian Gulf to the South China Sea. Most notably, the Coast Guard uses its unique access and capabilities to strengthen partner nations’ capabilities, all in support of our national interests. In other words, “presence equals influence.”
Unfortunately, increasing DOD requests for Coast Guard resources places more stress on a limited budget and other critical mission areas. The FY 2020 Operations & Support budget increased 4.4% from FY 2019. Legislation passed by the House that authorizes a further 6.4% increase in O&S funding for Fiscal Year 2021 continues to languish in the Senate. Despite these increases in funding, I remain concerned about how these increased demands will affect the Coast Guard’s funding needs, especially in light of increased competition from other nations.
I look forward to hearing from the witnesses how the Coast Guard’s international role supports our national interests, and how the Service will support this work alongside its domestic maritime missions.