in the polar regions. Once we define that, then you get
to: How do you source whatever needs to be done to
meet that need? And the need is not only icebreakers.
The Coast Guard, especially in the Arctic region, has a
whole portfolio of mission requirements that we’re
going to need to meet in the future.
Coming back to the icebreaker question. … What
is the national requirement? Define that and then
there needs to be a national solution to how you
source that. Certainly, we need to keep the recapitalization effort of our major cutters and, eventually, the
Fast Response Cutter is going to replace those aging
assets. And the icebreakers would have to be dealt
with in addition to those.
Is it a concern that more money and more resources would have to go into the Arctic region?
TAYLOR: I’m not so sure I would say a concern. I’m
always going to take pause because we have an
expanding mission demand and we need to make sure
we’re positioned to address the risks that we face as a
nation in that area. And that is going to require some
additional capability, capacity, authority, whatever it
may be. And we need to look across that whole portfolio of things we can do there to make sure that we
address the risks appropriately.
So I’m not concerned, but obviously we’re looking out
to the future and I want to make sure we’re being very
mindful of those things that we need to do to get there.
Bertholf was a lightning rod for criticism. Are
you confident that you’re going to get full
funding for all eight of the requested NSCs?
TAYLOR: It’s always a question now. That’s the program
of record. We’re only funded through NSC three, so I
would hesitate to predict what the future holds. We
absolutely need it. The requirement is sound. And I do
believe that, eventually, we will see the entire complement of those cutters built.
way. When you’re doing a multiyear program that
takes a long time to build out, I think you always have
some exposure to have increased costs.
Has Congress been receptive to the idea that
the Rescue 21 program will now cost more
than $1 billion to implement?
TAYLOR: I think we’ve got a very positive dialogue. …
Some of the cost elements of that program have
increased. The access to towers, the building of towers,
those types of things have had to be adjusted along the
Is the Coast Guard supportive of Congress’
proposal that the service take over as the lead
agency for the security and transportation of
liquefied natural gas into U.S. ports?
TAYLOR: That’s an ongoing discussion right now. The
way it’s currently constructed — and we believe that’s
the right way — is there is a shared responsibility. Like
many things we do in the maritime environment, the
Coast Guard has the lead — we coordinate things —
but state, local, other federal partners and, in this case,
industry, have responsibilities as well. ■