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.
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U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski
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