Commandant Allen’s statement on Coast Guard bill

The following is a statement from Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Thad Allen:
(WASHINGTON) — “I am deeply concerned about a number of provisions contained in H.R. 2830 (Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2008) that I believe would have a detrimental effect on the Coast Guard’s ability to carry out our many vital maritime safety, security and environmental protection missions.  As the commandant, I have an obligation to the public and our Coast Guard men and women to ensure the Coast Guard retains the necessary discretion and flexibility to meet our mission demands in an often-changing, dangerous operating environment.  This bill, in its current form, does not do that.  I am also disappointed that proposals to protect seafarers who participate in the investigation and adjudication of environmental crimes and enhance our ability to prosecute alien migrant smugglers at sea were not included in the bill.  While the bill contains several provisions that would improve Coast Guard operations and mission support, I strongly oppose other provisions as written in the bill that would limit the commandant’s authority to direct Coast Guard operations and assign senior personnel to specific duties.  I look forward to continuing to work with the Congress to address each of the provisions outlined in the Statement of Administration Policy.”

By Professional Mariner Staff