Oct 11 2018
New Cutters Are Needed to Fight Drug Trafficking, Improve National Security
WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, R-Miss., today participated in a Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries, and the Coast Guard hearing focused on recapitalizing fleets for the U.S. Coast Guard and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
Wicker questioned the Coast Guard’s Assistant Commandant for Acquisition Rear Admiral Michael Haycock about National Security Cutter ships, which are built by Huntington Ingalls in Pascagoula, Mississippi. Wicker noted that last week the USCGC Stratton, a National Security Cutter, offloaded more than 22,000 pounds of cocaine seized in less than one month in the eastern Pacific Ocean.
Wicker asked Haycock, “Can you discuss the impact these National Security Cutters have on the Coast Guard’s efforts to carry out its core missions?”
“The National Security Cutter is a tremendous asset,” Haycock said. “They are having a profound impact in curbing transnational crime by way of our counter-drug mission.”
Wicker also asked about the importance of funding for new Polar Security Cutters, which is currently being considered by Congress.
“The need for the Polar Security Cutter is greater now than it has ever been,” Haycock replied. “If we want to have year-round access to the polar regions for national security, national sovereignty, search and rescue, and any other missions the Coast Guard does – we need to keep making progress on that.”