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  • CRS Report for Congress Prepared for Members and Committees of Congress

    Coast Guard Deepwater Acquisition Programs: Background, Oversight Issues, and Options for Congress

    Ronald O'Rourke Specialist in Naval Affairs

    January 20, 2012

    Congressional Research Service

    7-5700 www.crs.gov

    RL33753

  • Coast Guard Deepwater Acquisition Programs

    Congressional Research Service

    Summary The term Deepwater referred to more than a dozen separate Coast Guard acquisition programs for replacing and modernizing the service’s aging fleet of deepwater-capable ships and aircraft. Until April 2007, the Coast Guard pursued these programs as a single, integrated acquisition program that was known as the Integrated Deepwater System (IDS) program or Deepwater program for short. Since April 2007, the Coast Guard has pursued them as separate acquisition programs. These acquisition programs include plans for, among other things, 91 new cutters, 124 new small boats, and 247 new or modernized airplanes, helicopters, and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

    The Coast Guard’s proposed FY2012 budget submission proposed to eliminate the use of “Deepwater” as a term for grouping or referring collectively to these acquisition programs. The budget submission stated that “Consistent with the dissolution of Integrated CG Systems and the disaggregation of the Deepwater Acquisition into asset-based Acquisition Program Baselines, the proposed changes align projects that were formerly grouped under Integrated Deepwater Systems (IDS) with the existing authorized structure for Vessels, Aviation, Shore, Other Equipment, and Personnel and Management.”

    The year 2007 was a watershed year for these acquisition programs. The management and execution of what was then the single, integrated Deepwater program was strongly criticized by various observers. House and Senate committees held several oversight hearings on the program. Bills were introduced to restructure or reform the program in various ways. Coast Guard and industry officials acknowledged certain problems in the program’s management and execution and defended the program’s management and execution in other respects. The Coast Guard announced a number of reform actions that significantly altered the service’s approach to Deepwater acquisition (and to Coast Guard acquisition in general). Among these was the change from a single, integrated Deepwater acquisition program to a collection of separate acquisition programs.

    The Coast Guard’s management of these acquisition programs, including implementation of recommendations made by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), has been a topic of continuing congressional oversight. Additional oversight issues have included reporting of information to Congress on these programs; cost growth in, and budget planning for, these acquisition programs; a Coast Guard fleet mix analysis that could lead to changes in planned asset quantities; and execution of individual acquisition programs.

    The Coast Guard’s FY2012 budget appeared to request $975.5 million in acquisition funding for these programs, including $289.9 million for aircraft, $512.0 million for surface ships and boats, and $173.6 million for other items.

  • Coast Guard Deepwater Acquisition Programs

    Congressional Research Service

    Contents Introduction...................................................................................................................................... 1 Background...................................................................................................................................... 1

    Deepwater Missions .................................................................................................................. 1 Origin of Deepwater Acquisition Effort .................................................................................... 1 Structure of Deepwater Acquisition Effort ................................................................................ 1

    Structure Until 2007 ............................................................................................................ 1 Revised Structure Beginning in 2007.................................................................................. 2

    FY2012 Budget Proposed Dropping Use of Term “Deepwater”............................................... 3 2006 Deepwater Acquisition Program Baseline........................................................................ 4 Criticism of Deepwater Management in 2007........................................................................... 5 Coast Guard Reform Actions in 2007........................................................................................ 6 Examples of Asset Deliveries and Other Milestones................................................................. 6 Acquisition Funding .................................................................................................................. 7

    Prior-Year Funding Through FY2011 ................................................................................. 7 FY2012 Acquisition Funding Requests............................................................................... 8

    Oversight Issues for Congress ......................................................................................................... 9 Overall Management of These Acquisition Programs............................................................... 9

    Coast Guard Perspective ..................................................................................................... 9 GAO Perspective............................................................................................................... 12

    Reporting of Information to Congress..................................................................................... 13 GAO Perspective............................................................................................................... 13

    Cost Growth, Schedule Delays, and Budget Planning ............................................................ 15 Coast Guard Perspective ................................................................................................... 15 GAO Perspective............................................................................................................... 16

    Fleet Mix Analysis................................................................................................................... 20 GAO Perspective............................................................................................................... 20

    National Security Cutter (NSC)............................................................................................... 23 Coast Guard Perspective ................................................................................................... 23 GAO Perspective............................................................................................................... 23

    Offshore Patrol Cutter (OPC) .................................................................................................. 24 Coast Guard Perspective ................................................................................................... 24 GAO Perspective............................................................................................................... 25

    Fast Response Cutter (FRC).................................................................................................... 26 Coast Guard Perspective ................................................................................................... 26 GAO Perspective............................................................................................................... 27 June 2011 Press Report ..................................................................................................... 27

    Potential Options for Congress ...................................................................................................... 28 Legislative Activity in 112th Congress ........................................................................................... 28

    Summary of Appropriations Action on FY2012 Funding Requests........................................ 28 FY2012 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies

    Appropriations Act (H.R. 2055/P.L. 112-74)........................................................................ 30 FY2012 DHS Appropriations Bill (H.R. 2017) ....................................................................... 34

    House................................................................................................................................. 34 Senate ................................................................................................................................ 39

    Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Act of 2011 (H.R. 2838) ...................................... 45 House (Committee Report) ............................................................................................... 45

  • Coast Guard Deepwater Acquisition Programs

    Congressional Research Service

    House (Floor Consideration)............................................................................................. 49 Coast Guard Authorization Act for Fiscal Years 2012 and 2013 (S. 1665) ............................. 49

    Senate ...............................................................................................................................

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