The President’s requested budget for USCG Acquisitions in FY2014 was a total of $716 million, split across the National Security Cutter (NSC), Offshore Patrol Cutter (OPC) and Fast Response Cutter (FRC) programs. Both the House and Senate Appropriations Committees increased that by more than $100 million, with the House Appropriations Committee settling on $833.6 million and the Senate Appropriations Committee on $967 million.
The funding request for the NSC was $616 million, which the House decreased by $ 12.4 million, while the senate increased it by an additional 16 million, with totals of $603.6 million and $632 million dollars. Whatever compromise is reached between the two houses, the NSC is and will most likely remain the best funded of the Cutter programs.
The OPC program was the only section of the funding request to remain unchanged, and both the House and the Senate agreed with the request for $25 million. The FRC, on the other hand, had the most significant change in funding from the proposed $75 million. The HAC approved $205 million for the FRC, roughly 2.75 times the initial amount, while the SAC quadrupled it to $310 million.
The Navy ‘s funding request was not as fortuitous as the Coast Guard, with funding cuts to most programs, in addition to the ongoing effects of sequestration.
The Gerald R. Ford Class carrier procurement was cut by the Senate Appropriations Commiteee $27.3 million to $917.6 million, while the House did not.
The Zumwalt Class destroyer program procurement program was relatively unchanged, as the planed number of ships are already in the process of being procured. It currently has $231.3 million for procurement with an additional $188 million for research and development, though the House added $79.3 million to procurement funding without stating a reason. Another Arleigh-Burke Class destroyer was given a procurement budget of $1.6 billion with another $379 million to for advanced procurement on the next ship. However, the Senate Appropriations Commitee recommended an additional $100 million to help with a $304 million shortfall under the current multi-year procurement program.
Preliminary design work for the America Class amphibious ships had a requested budget of $20 million. The SAC added an additional $50 million to the program, in an attempt to forestall cost growth at it continues. No funds were requested or approved for the San Antonio Class amphibious ships.
The Littoral Combat Ship program is continuing to grow, with the SAC approving 1.8 billion for four LCS’s, and 406.4 million for further research and development. Conversely, while the Virginia Class fast attack submarines received 5.28 billion for two subs and advanced procurement on two more, their R&D budget was slashed in half by the Senate Appropriations Committee, with the aim of terminating the Virginia Payload Module program. The House expressed concern over the plan for incrementally funding one of Virginias, and added $950 million to complete funding and directs that FY2015 funds reserved for the sub should be used instead to help with shipbuilding programs affected by sequestration.
Finally, the House authorized funding for 10 of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighters, with 4 to go to the Navy and the remaining 6 to go to the Marine Corps.
The House unanimously passed the Veteran Skills to Jobs Act on July 9th, which would allow veterans to substitute their military experience for certain training and certification requirements when applying for federal licenses. The Navy League sent a letter of support for this bill to House leadership.
March 13th - Subcommittee on Military Personnel: “Impact of the Continuing Resolution, Sequestration, and Declining Operations and Maintenance Budgets on Military Personnel and Family Related Programs”
February 26th - Subcommittee on Seapower & Projection Forces
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