The Coast Guard’s National Security Cutter (NSC) program is giving up $16 million in acquisition funds as part of reprogramming actions underway at the Department of Homeland Security to pay for various immigration enforcement actions.
The reprogramming documents, which were linked by NBC News, show that $24.4 million in Coast Guard acquisition, and research and development funds are being transferred to pay for more detention beds for apprehended illegal migrants and related transportation needs.
The NSC program suffers the largest of the transfers within the Coast Guard’s account, including $9.9 million for “mission critical Post Delivery Activities” for the 10th and 11th ships, which are currently in construction by shipbuilder Huntington Ingalls Industries [HII] and slated for delivery in several years.
The reprogramming says the PDA funding is “necessary to make the cutters ready for operations” and that the two ships will eventually need to make up the transfer.
Another $6 million is being transferred from the program that was originally planned to be spent on Structural Enhancement Drydock Availability for the second NSC, the Waesche, which was commissioned in 2010, and PDA for the ninth NSC, the Stone, which is scheduled to be delivered in fiscal year 2021.
The Coast Guard is “assuming additional risk by lowering the funding available for antecedent liabilities associated with these items,” the reprogramming says of the funding transfers away from the Waesche and Stone.
The Coast Guard said in a statement that the that DHS “worked closely with the Coast Guard to identify potential funding sources that would have the least impact to current frontline operations and ongoing recapitalization efforts. However, as with any funding reduction, there are impacts to several programs. Reductions to PC&I are primarily from efficiencies in maturing acquisition projects, although there is a reduction to cutter post-delivery activities that will need to be recovered in a future budget year to maintain operational timelines.”
The PC&I account is essentially the Coast Guard’s acquisition budget and stands for procurement, construction and improvements.
The transfer also includes $800,000 related to infrastructure upgrades as several homeports for the NSCs and Fast Response Cutters. The document says these transfers will introduce risks that will eventually will need to be recovered.
In the research and development account, $1.4 million is being transferred from a pilot program in the Pacific Ocean related to maritime domain awareness. The reprogramming says $3.6 million remains in the appropriation to complete the project.
The transfer also includes $3.3 million from the service’s Logistics and Information Management System (LIMS), which is aimed at creating a central database for maintenance and supply chain efforts. The reprogramming says this will delay the development of LIMS.
The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency is parting with $4.3 million from its acquisition account, specifically related to the classified DOMino cyber security program managed by Raytheon [RTN]. The reprogramming represents unanticipated savings in the program.
The reprogramming says that if CISA were to keep the savings, they would go toward “supporting multiple agile engineering efforts currently taking place on the DOMino engineering task order. Should the funds be transferred out, CISA does not expect any measurable operational impact or increase in risk to” its customers that receive cyber security protections as part of the National Cybersecurity Protection System, which is better known as EINSTEIN.
Customs and Border Protection is giving up $39.1 million from its operations and support account in favor of ICE’s detention needs. The reprogramming says these funds will be partially made up through more demand on customs inspection fees.
The Transportation Security Administration is losing $23.8 million from its operations and support account to fund ICE’s needs.
In its statement, the Coast Guard said “The men and women of the Department of Homeland Security work together with one shared mission to secure our nation’s homeland and protect Americans from threats by land, sea, air, and in cyberspace. Congress provides DHS with the authority to reallocate funds with the appropriate Congressional oversight and, each year, the Department undergoes a routine process to assess the resource execution of programs, review emergent requirements, and address leadership priorities.”
Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-Calif.), the chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security, said in a statement in response to the reprogramming action that she “strongly” disagrees with the transfer of funding to ICE for more detention beds and hearing facilities “to support the Administration’s inhumane Migrant Protection Protocols program.
Roybal-Allard also highlighted “urgent funding needs” elsewhere in DHS, including Coast Guard procurement and the EINSTEIN cyber security system.
She also indicated that the relationship between Congress and DHS is fraying.
“I urge acting DHS Secretary Kevin McAleenan to work with me and my colleagues on the Appropriations Committee to restore the partnership we once had in support of the Department’s many important missions,” she stated.