Larsen: Deepwater Program Still in Critical Care</A

Jun 12, 2007

Washington, D.C. - The House Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation held a hearing today to receive a 120-day update from Commandant of the United States Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen on the steps he has taken to get the Coast Guard’s $24 billion Deepwater program back on course. Since Allen last testified before the Subcommittee in January, Subcommittee member U.S. Representative Rick Larsen (WA-02) has called for answers on how the Coast Guard plans to fix the troubled Deepwater program, which aims to replace or modernize approximately 90 ships and 200 aircraft used in securing our shores. Larsen released the following statement on today’s hearing:

“I share the goal that the Coast Guard's long-term recapitalization plan, Deepwater, is critical to the security of the United States. It still seems, however, to be in critical care.

“The Coast Guard will soon activate a directorate that will have responsibility for acquisition.  This is a major positive step. However, the Coast Guard currently lacks the number of acquisition professionals necessary to handle major acquisitions and has yet to demonstrate that they have an effective strategy to fill these vital roles. 

“Second, numerous reports and testimony indicate problems with the testing and certification of the secured communication components of Deepwater.  The Coast Guard doesn't address this problem in today’s testimony except to say it isn't a problem. We cannot and will not accept a "he said, he said" debate regarding these important national security elements of the Deepwater program.”