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Murkowski Criticizes Obama Administration ACUSHNET Decommission Proposal


February 25, 2010

WASHINGTON, D.C. ­ U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) t told Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano on Wednesday that she is "greatly concerned" about the Obama administration's proposal to decommission the Ketchikan-based Coast Guard Cutter ACUSHNET.

Murkowski noted that the Coast Guard covers 3.5 million square miles of ocean around Alaska and that decommissioning the ACUSHNET will make it "exceptionally difficult for the Coast Guard to meet an already challenging mission it faces in Alaska."

Murkowski was speaking at a Senate Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee hearing to consider the Department of Homeland Security's Fiscal Year 2011 budget proposal. The budget, for the fiscal year that begins Oct.1, calls for decommissioning the Medium Endurance Cutter ACUSHNET, which is homeported in Ketchikan and employs 80 crew members.

After Murkowski spoke, the chairman of the subcommittee, U.S. Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W.Va., told Napolitano that he shared Murkowski's concerns about decommissioning Coast Guard cutters without replacements to fill the gap. Along with the ACUSHNET, the administration has proposed decommissioning four High Endurance Cutters.

Napolitano was unable to elaborate on the administration's budget proposal to decommission the ACUSHNET but pledged to get back with Murkowski on the matter.


Source of News:

U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski


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