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Document: Report to Congress on U.S. Coast Guard Icebreaker Modernization

The following is the April 22, 2015 Congressional Research Service report, Coast Guard Polar Icebreaker Modernization: Background and Issues for Congress.

  • Curtis Conway

    Icebreakers have been ignored by this federal government too long. The US Coast Guard is out of options (realistic), and some of those are not panning out very well. New Icebreakers are required now that the Arctic is heating up (pun intended). Some commonality with the existing surface fleet in engineering, communications, and support structure, particularly in the Arctic Region, should receive elevated consideration. Congress needs to get hot on this and PUSH the Coast Guard on this issue, while the USCG manages the project congress funds.

  • Secundius

    Go to the Canadian’s, Finn’s and the Swedes. They make the best Icebreaker’s in the World…

  • AdmiralLobeam

    This report simply regurgitates what has been reported over and over for decades. It’s incomplete and inaccurate. For example, it fails to even mention that the United States steel industry lost $705 million last year because the USCG lacks adequate icebreaker capability in the Great Lakes where the USCG’s newest icebreaker is deployed. The icebreaker capability in the U.S. Arctic is even worse off. Moreover – Russia has nearly 50 times the icebreaker capability of the United States and is staged to strangle NATO countries by controlling more than 50% of the world’s undeveloped oil & gas resources. The Russian Navy is disrupting the construction of a pipe line from Sweden to Lithuania right now – making one of our newest NATO allies dependent on Russia for energy. Did we “win the Cold War” for nothing my friends? As for the suggestion that we should turn to the Canadians, Finland or Sweden to obtain an icebreaker – do the research. Canada is on par with the United States when it comes to icebreaker construction. Which means they haven’t built many. Sweden isn’t much better. Finland, however is another story. Yes, 60% of the icebreakers operating today, and arguably the best, were built by Arctech Helsinki Shipyard. Russia bought them last month. If I were grading this report I’d give it a red “F”. It is a failure! Congress needs to hear the truth. But can they handle the truth?

    • Secundius

      @ AdmiralLobeam.

      And why should that be any big surprise. Every Website, I’ve seen is a Regurgitation of Something that was Said Somewhere else…

  • Ed L

    I agree with most the Coast Guard and our Navy both need Icebreakers. I would like to see at least ten new icebreakers built, Six for the Coast Guard and 4 for the Navy.