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OVERSEAS CUTTER DEPLOYMENTS
Question: In determining your priorities for cutter deployments, you evidently believe that it is more important for this vessel to be sent to Europe rather than sending this cutter to the Caribbean to fight drug smugglers. Why is a trip to Europe a more important national priority than using the ship as an additional asset to fight our war on drugs?
Answer: The Coast Guard does not consider a vessel deployment to Europe more important than assigning the cutter to counter drug operations. The Coast Guard conducts a very limited number of ship deployments to Europe, while significant efforts are expanded by myriad Coast Guard assets in counterdrug operations and border security. This is an issue of balancing requirements and maintaining expertise and currency in defense related operations. The December 1997 National Defense Panel report recommended that the Coast Guard be a role model for navies worldwide to help Commanders-in-Chief (CinC) improve regional stability. Cutter deployments to Europe are consistent with this recommendation and 14 USC 141, which directs the Coast Guard to assist the Department of Defense in performance of any activity for which the Coast Guard is especially qualified.
In consonance with the National Military Strategy, and at the request of the Department of Defense or a Unified Commander-in-Chief, the purpose of most Coast Guard overseas deployments is to expand military-to-military contacts and conduct Coast Guard-specific, military readiness and interoperational training with littoral nations whose naval missions are now less combat-oriented and more similar to Coast Guard missions.
The Commander in Chief of U.S. European Command (USEUCOM), who requested that the Coast Guard deploy a cutter to Europe and specified the countries to be visited, recognizes that the Coast Guard is an important element in USEUCOM's peacetime engagement strategy. Forward presence of naval forces provides USEUCOM the comerstone upon which to build peacetime engagement, deterrence, crisis prevention, and conflict resolution. USCG interaction with developing countries in Eastern Europe is critical to USEUCOM's engagement strategy. The Coast Guard provides forces that act as the relevant role model for European maritime nations and show those nations how to develop multimission civil-military forces vice destabilizing power projecting offensive navies. The Coast Guard has much in common with the navies of many European nations and is, therefore, especially effective at peacetime engagement.
NOAA REIMBURSEMENT OF PAYROLL COSTS
Question: Admiral Kramek, in response to questions submitted for last year's hearing, the Coast Guard stated that the cost to process an active duty payroll check is approximately $2.81 per month. The Coast Guard is paid $60,000 by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for reimbursable services at the PPC. How much does the Coast Guard charge NOAA for each paycheck?
Answer: The Coast Guard and NOAA memorandum of understanding does not require reimbursement by payment issued. The services provided to NOAA include use of personnel tracking functions in addition to payroll services. NOAA reimburses the Coast Guard for one full-time position for both payroll and personnel tracking services.
TRAVEL CLAIM COST BENCHMARKS
Question: Would you please benchmark the cost of processing a travel claim by the Coast Guard, including all costs that you would charge another agency to process one of their travel claims on a reimbursable basis, compared to the cost of processing a travel claim electronically by the Army Corps of Engineers?
Answer: The Coast Guard's cost of processing a travel claim is $12.37/claim. This is the fully loaded cost, taking into account both direct and indirect costs, including personnel, system-related overhead and associated audit functions. At present, the Coast Guard does not process costs for such external travel claims on a per claim basis. A franchising operation would have to be adjusted to account for incremental system cost increases due to the additional workload.
In preliminary meetings with the Army Corps of Engineers, they have been unable to provide similar cost data, indicating that they have not calculated their fully loaded cost per claim. In particular, neither associated systems costs nor related audit costs were readily available. As we continue to meet with the Corps we will attempt to obtain this information for comparison.
RESERVE ROLES AND MISSIONS STUDY
Question: Admiral Kramek, I understand that you recently completed a study of the Coast Guard Reserve for the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). What can you tell us about that study?
Answer: The Office of Management and Budget (OMB), asked that the Coast Guard perform a detailed study of reserve roles and missions and submit the completed report to OMB. The study identified a Selected Reserve requirement of 12,293 to meet a scenario of two Major Theater Wars and a simultaneous domestic emergency, unconstrained by budgetary considerations. The report, titled "Unique National Security Asset: Roles and Missions of the Coast Guard Reserve,” is not relevant to our fiscal year 1999 request, which is based on an acceptable level of 7,600 Selected Reservists.
Question: Admiral Kramek, why has the Coast Guard set numerical goals for each Coast Guard recruiter to make when recruiting active duty personnel, but not for reserve personnel?
Answer: The Coast Guard has not set Active Duty numerical goals for each recruiter, but assigns goals to each recruiting office based on the number of recruiters assigned and the difficulties associated with recruiting in a particular region. In fiscal year 1998, we began including Reserve goals in each recruiting office's goals.
Reserve recruiting goals are allocated so that those offices located in areas where the Reserve component is especially under-strength receive a higher goal. Due to our current emphasis on recruiting reservists, we are, for the first time, temporarily assigning a portion of our recruiting force to focus specifically on Reserve recruits. These dedicated recruiters are being assigned an individual recruiting goal. The remainder of our recruiting force is continuing to recruit for all programs.