Commandant Adm. Karl Schultz of the Coast Guard headlined a Navy League and Shipbuilders Council of America shipbuilding caucus breakfast on Nov. 21 in cooperation with two members of Congress, Reps. Joe Courtney (D-Conn.) and Rob Wittman (R-Va.).
The shipbuilding caucus provided a forum for members of Congress and U.S. Coast Guard, Navy, Marine Corps and industry leaders to improve awareness of the current and future state of shipbuilding.
A topic of prominence at the breakfast at the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington, D.C., was how well the Coast Guard is resourced and how the sea service — as well as the Navy, Marine Corps and U.S. Merchant Marine — is managing budgetarily in the era of uncertainty under continuing resolutions (CR) from Congress.
At the caucus breakfast, “I reiterated the theme from the [Navy League Anchors Aweigh Congressional Fly-In on Nov. 14] regarding the damage done by continuously running CRs and that this process stymies the ability for the forces to stay ahead or keep pace with our competitors,” said retired Navy Rear Adm. Sinclair Harris, a former commander of the U.S. 4th Fleet and now the civilian director of business development at the Department of the Navy. “DoD and DHS need stable budgets now and the flexibility to move resources in the direction of addressing challenges and changes in technology.”
Brig. Gen. Robert C. Fulford, Marine Commandant Gen. David H. Berger’s legislative assistant, also carried the message of the damage done to the services by CRs to another Navy League event, a “Special Topics Breakfast” the same morning as the shipbuilding caucus event. Fulford told defense industry attendees that CRs had helped to “normalize life under budget uncertainty.”