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U.S. Coast Guard Rear Admiral Frederick Kenney, before the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation, "How to Improve Operations and Implement Efficiencies for the United States Coast Guard" (The U.S. Coast Guard Authorization Act for 2011)

Release Date: 
July 25, 2011

Rayburn House Office Building

Note:
Written testimony was submitted for Rear Admiral Kenney, but USCG Deputy Commandant for Mission Support Vice Admiral John Currier and USCG Deputy Commandant for Operations Vice Admiral Brian Salerno were the witnesses.

Introduction

Chairman LoBiondo, Ranking Member Larsen, distinguished Members of the Subcommittee: Good morning. I am honored to speak to you today and thank you for the continuing support you have shown to the men and women of the United States Coast Guard.

I am here today to discuss the Coast Guard's proposed legislative program.

I wish to acknowledge the Subcommittee’s past and ongoing efforts to ensure statutory parity between the Coast Guard and the other military services. Three of the four parity provisions of the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2010 – § 221 (Coast Guard housing), § 222 (Child development services), and § 223 (Chaplain activity expense) – directly enhance the quality of life of Service personnel. Mr. Chairman, while the fiscal impact of your personal intervention with regard to Coast Guard housing can be measured by the potential for more than $30 million in deposits into the Housing Fund for the benefit of military housing, the positive effect on morale cannot be overstated. On behalf of the Coast Guard's officer and enlisted corps, thank you.

Coast Guard Legislative Program

Pursuant to the Coast Guard Organizational Manual, I am responsible for directing the development the Coast Guard’s legislative program, which, consists of 13 offices and staffs at Coast Guard Headquarters and 20 legal offices at major Coast Guard units nationwide, provides legal advice to Coast Guard personnel with regard to the execution of Coast Guard missions, operations, and activities, including legal advice on the implementation and execution of the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2010. In addition, the Office, working with other Coast Guard directorates, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Administration, develops the Coast Guard's legislative agenda.

Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2010

The implementation of the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2010 continues on track. Overall—

  • The Coast Guard has initiated action on all 137 provisions of the Act for which the Service responsible.
  • The Coast Guard has identified 29 provisions that require the promulgation of regulations. The Service will incorporate 16 into existing rulemaking projects—an action that will expedite implementation. The Service is actively working on the remaining 13 projects, and the implementation of section 809 concerning transportation security cards on vessels is proceeding at a faster pace than the others. This activity is conducted under the auspices of the Coast Guard Marine Safety and Security Council, the advisory body for all Coast Guard regulatory initiatives, and I am the Chairman of the Council.

In May, the Coast Guard briefed Subcommittee staff on the Service’s progress. Of the several provisions of particular interest to this Subcommittee, I am pleased to note that—

  • Rulemaking will not be required with regard to § 602 (Vessel size limits). The National Vessel Data Center has implemented procedures to process applications for the limited population of fishing vessels that will be impacted by this section.
  • The Service will not initiate a rulemaking unique to the requirements of § 612 (Oil fuel tank protection) because they are captured within the current MARPOL Annex I rulemaking effort.

Conclusion

Mr. Chairman, thank you again for the opportunity to appear before the Subcommittee today. And, on behalf of the Coast Guard, I thank the Subcommittee for its past and continued support of the Service and its members. I am happy to answer any questions that you may have.

RDML Kenney appears before the Committee on behalf the Commandant to testify on the development of the Coast Guard’s legislative program. He neither appears nor offers testimony in his capacity as the Judge Advocate General of the Coast Guard.

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