Because the Coast Guard is under the Department of Homeland Security, they were the only service impacted by the partial government shutdown at the start of the 2019. Now that the service is back on track, they’re considering their future endeavors. U.S. Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Karl Schultz says that the Coast Guard tries to make long term investments when they get the right funding.
“Not a lot of money comes our way for infrastructure. But as we get those dollars, we have to inform them with the realities. These are half-century investments. When you get the bite at the apple, you want to inform it with the best science, the best capabilities and technologies out there,” Shultz said. “A lot of this ties to our new cutters. These new cutters need new pier faces, some need new shore ties. In some cases it’s a new pier or dock altogether.”
A growing focus for the Coast Guard is the arctic. With rapidly melting ice, international activities have increased significantly in the region. Adm. Schultz says that securing operations there is vital.
“We would like the arctic to remain a peaceful domain. We see some of the competing great powers doing things with their coast guard and their maritime militias that aren’t consistent with what we talk about as norms of behavior, rule based order,” Schulz told Government Matters. “We are trying to project that and continue to inform the space. There are some challenges with communications up there and challenges with domain awareness, how do we bring partners across the whole of government in that conversation. That’s where we are hoping to go.”