Friday, September 16, 2005

Are we being ignored?

CGC Cochito 87329
Originally uploaded by jimfrazier.
I posted earlier today about Deepwater. And, I've been posting for the last two-three weeks about Katrina.

And this evening I stumbled on this essay by Dr. James Jay Carafano and Alane Kochems which suggests Coast Guard's Finest Hour Ignored by Congress.

While I'm not sure Congress has ignored us...

((Don't be content with only a teaser of this post;
read more of this musing.))

... it is certainly an interesting suggestion. Published by the Heritage Foundation, they write,
In recent weeks, Americans have witnessed some of the most disturbing and tragic television in our history. Hurricane Katrina’s wake left a collage of images—loss, grieving, suffering, and devastation. There were, however, also portraits of heroism and hope—such as U.S. Coast Guard helicopters and ships rescuing victims of the storm and the floods that followed in its aftermath. So far, the men and women of the Coast Guard have saved over 33,000 people endangered by Katrina, demonstrating as they have again and again since 9/11 the importance of the many security and safety missions they perform in the service of the nation. Congress should recognize their contributions by fully funding the Coast Guard’s modernization budget.
They go on to suggest,
While the Coast Guard performed valiantly, with a more modernized force it could have done even more.
They suggest Congress isn't doing enough.

I'm not sure. I saw a letter from on of the House members from Maryland praising the Coast Guard. If I can find it again, I'll post it.

But, certainly, there is the issue that our stuff -- shore facilities, cutters, small boats, weapons, aircraft -- are falling down around us. And, there is scuttle in the agency about trying to leverage Katrina to provide financial help to Katrina.

I worked a bit today -- and need to finish it this weekend -- on a request to provide information on Deepwater assets that participated in the Katrina operations and the impact those specific assets had on the operations. I think there's a hope that the data will show the Deepwater assets worked better.

Considering we don't have any true, built-from-the-ground-up, Deepwater assets, I'm not sure there's anything we can really show. The best we can do is look at one particular flavor of the Dolphin helicopter that's gone through a Deepwater-sponsered renovation.

In the mean time, I'm hoping the COCHITO continues to protect Hampton Roads.

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