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A New Coast Guard Icebreaker Is a Decade Away. A Lawmaker Says That’s Too Long.

...To get up to speed, the Navy could join the Coast Guard's icebreaker acquisition program to provide ship design oversight and production management. It took this step in the early 2000s when the Coast Guard began its national security cutter program, according to a defense expert with the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments in Washington, D.C. "The National Security Cutter program was originally managed by the Navy ... the Coast Guard didn’t really have the acquisition wherewithal to manage a large ship program like that," Bryan Clark said. "They hadn’t run a big acquisition program since they acquired the Hamilton class, which was like 30 years before." By teaming up, the Navy can use money from its shipbuilding account to fund an icebreaker as a noncombatant ship, then transfer the program to the Coast Guard later, Clark said. The Coast Guard doesn't have access to that pot of Defense Department overseas contingency operations money, but Military Sealift Command does, so they can be the Coast Guard's partner.

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