RealNews

Traditional Coast Guard Duties Suffer, Study Says

Coast Guard efforts to capture drug traffickers and patrol commercial fisheries have suffered as it has turned its focus to homeland security since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, according to a study released yesterday. The declines uncovered by the General Accounting Office, the congressional watchdog agency, stoked concerns among some lawmakers that the Coast Guard might neglect its old missions as it trains its energy on securing the nation’s ports, waterways and coastal areas. At a hearing yesterday on the Coast Guard’s transition to the Department of Homeland Security, which it joined March 1, Rep. Frank A. LoBiondo (R-N.J.), chairman of a House subcommittee on Coast Guard and maritime transportation, called the GAO report “thorough and eye-opening.” “The Coast Guard’s traditional missions such as search and rescue, drug and migrant interdiction, pollution prevention, boater safety and fisheries law enforcement must be preserved,” LoBiondo said. Full Story

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