Over the past week, the San Francisco Chronicle and Washington Post reported the president's budget proposes significant cuts to the U.S. Coast Guard and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), respectively. The Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) issued the following statement in response to the current proposals to reduce Coast Guard and NOAA appropriations.
“MOAA is concerned about recently proposed budget cuts for the Coast Guard and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration,” said MOAA President and CEO retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Dana Atkins. “As the nation's leading voice for commissioned officers for all of the seven uniformed services, we believe a billion-dollar reduction from the USCG budget will significantly reduce the capabilities of our nation's armed maritime security force which handles critical domestic safety, drug interdiction, and rescue operations.”
Atkins continued: “Similarly, a 17-percent cut in NOAA's funding will severely limit important weather monitoring services that keep citizens, businesses, and the military safe from extreme weather.
We appreciate the administration's interest in strengthening our military, but the programs facing these reported cuts directly support national security.”
In conclusion, Atkins said, “We respectfully request the USCG and NOAA not be discounted as non-defense agencies; rather, consider them critical enablers to defense missions with commensurate budgets to support those missions.”