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Hearing to Focus on Impacts of Vessel & Aircraft Maintenance Challenges on Coast Guard Mission Performance

September 18, 2012

Washington, DC – A Congressional hearing on Thursday will review the challenges the U.S. Coast Guard faces maintaining its aging and increasing maintenance-prone vessels and aircraft, and how those challenges have impacted the Service’s ability to meet mission performance goals.

The Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation, chaired by U.S. Rep. Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ), will receive testimony from the Coast Guard and GAO.

When efforts to replace the Coast Guard’s aging vessels and aircraft began in the late 1990s, technical, design, construction, and budget problems led to considerable delays in the delivery of new and refurbished assets. Currently, the Service does not expect to complete its recapitalization of legacy assets until the mid-2030’s, approximately ten years behind the 2004 baseline schedule.

In the meantime, the Service’s legacy vessels and aircraft are either approaching, or have exceeded, their planned service lives. The age of the legacy assets, coupled with increased operations tempos, have led to increased rates of failure among the assets’ parts and major systems. This, in turn, has increased scheduled and unscheduled maintenance costs and reduced patrol hours which have negatively impacted operational readiness and mission performance. In a recent report, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) found systems critical to the operation of the legacy vessels have been increasingly prone to mission-degrading casualties.

The Coast Guard has implemented several strategies to improve the condition of its legacy fleet, reduce maintenance costs, and mitigate the impact lost operational capacity is having on its missions. The Subcommittee will examine the challenges mentioned above and the steps taken by the Service to address them. For more information about the hearing, click here.

WHAT: Hearing of the Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation, U.S. Rep. Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ), Chairman:
“The Challenges of Maintaining Legacy Assets Pose to United States Coast Guard Mission Performance”

WHEN: 2:00 p.m., Thursday, September 20, 2012

WHERE: 2167 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
A live webcast of this hearing will be available here

• Rear Admiral Ronald J. Rabago, Assistant Commandant for Engineering and Logistics, United States Coast Guard
• Mr. Stephen Caldwell, Director, Homeland Security and Justice Issues, Government Accountability Office

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