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Question: During the Subcommittee's March 4" hearing on the President's Fiscal year 1999 Budget request, Representative Coble asked the Commandant a question about the low number of Coast Guard Reservists, and their ability to man the Coast Guard's port security units. Admiral Kramek responded that he had sent a letter to the administration stating that the Coast Guard needs 12,300 reservists to man its port security units in case of a total military mobilization.

Please provide the Subcommittee a copy of this letter.

Answer: There is no Administration-approved report that indicates that the Coast Guard requires 12,300 Selected Reservists. However, the Coast Guard study, A Unique National Security Asset: Roles and Missions of the Coast Guard Reserve, initiated at the request of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) indicates that the Coast Guard would require 12,293 Selected Reservists under a scenario of two Major Theater Wars and a domestic emergency.




Statement of the Fleet Reserve Association

submitted to the
House Subcommittee on Coast Guard

and Maritime Transportation

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Pursuant to the requirements of House

Rule XI, the Fleet Reserve Association has

not received any federal grant or contract during the current fiscal year or either of the two previous fiscal years.


Mr. Chairman and distinguished members of the Subcommittee: The Fleet Reserve Association (FRA) wishes to express its sincere appreciation for the opportunity to present its position on the

Fiscal Year 1999 Coast Guard Budget.

The FRA was founded in 1922 and now represents nearly

160,000 active duty, reserve, and retired members of the Coast

Guard, Navy, and Marine Corps. In recognition for its work on personnel issues so important to the men and women serving in our Nation's uniformed services, the association was granted a Federal Charter by Congress in 1996. In keeping with the Associa

tion's mission, personnel issues are the focus of this statement.


The United States Coast Guard provides invaluable service to

our country and offers a tremendous return each year on the taxpayer's investment. Although largely unnoticed and often unpublicized, these services include saving thousands of lives and assisting tens of thousands in distress; saving and protecting billions of dollars worth of property; preventing drugs from entering our country; intercepting illegal immigrants; maintaining over 50,000 aids to navigation; performing merchant ship inspections and licensing 36,000 merchant mariners. In addition, the Coast Guard is active in responding to thousands of water pollution reports and supervising hundreds of oil and chemical spills.

Because of this tremendous service to our country, FRA

strongly supports full funding of the Coast Guard at the level

requested by the Administration in its FY 1999 Budget – plus an increased appropriation beyond the budget request. It is noteworthy that the FY 1999 request does not fully support the $125 million required for pay raises, cost of living in eases and other statutorily mandated increases above the FY 1998 enacted appropriation. Therefore, a shortfall of $68 million must be absorbed by the Coast Guard an unrealistic proposal for an agency that has already streamlined to its smallest force strength since 1965. Members of the Subcommittee are respectfully reminded that parity with DOD is of utmost importance in the areas of pay and benefits, and that requiring the Coast Guard to pay for increased active duty pay hikes, retiree cost of living adjustments and other increases from operations and maintenance accounts is counterproductive and degrades the Coast Guard's ability to provide services critical to the American public.


Increased operational commitments following the final phase of personnel reductions implemented by the Commandant's "streamlining" initiative are resulting in high personnel tempo. Many personnel are working in excess of 80 hours per week to meet mission demands. The Coast Guard is also 1,000 personnel below authorized active-duty manpower levels, and 800 short in the Reserve component. Therefore restoration of $18.4 million to the military pay account is critical since that reduction was imposed due to the slow hiring and last year's below end-strength levels.

The Coast Guard faces increasing challenges in its efforts to recruit qualified personnel due to aggressive, well-financed and focused efforts by private industry and the Department of

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