B-201073.OM, DEC 19, 1980

B-201073.OM: Dec 19, 1980

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BOTH THE OFFICE OF THE HOUSE MINORITY LEADER AND THE HOUSE MERCHANT MARINE AND FISHERIES COMMITTEE HAVE INDICATED THAT SUCH EXPENDITURE MAY BE INAPPROPRIATE. THE PURPOSE OF THIS LEGISLATION IS - "TO AUGMENT THE ACTIVE COAST GUARD IN ITS HUMANITARIAN FUNCTIONS DURING EPISODES OF NATURAL DISASTER WHERE THE CAPABILITIES OF THE REGULAR FORCES ARE OVER-TAXED BECAUSE OF THE MAGNITUDE OF THE EMERGENCY.". THE HOUSE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE RECOGNIZED THAT RESERVE TRAINING FUNDS ARE USED TO TRAIN INDIVIDUALS FOR WAR AND PEACE TIME RESERVE FUNCTIONS. THE COMMITTEE WENT ON TO APPROVE AUGMENTATION TRAINING FOR PEACETIME EMERGENCIES BY STATING: "THE COMMITTEE BELIEVES THAT THE AUGMENTATION TRAINING PROGRAM IS PROVIDING FOR A VERY EFFICIENT UTILIZATION OF COAST GUARD RESERVE PERSONNEL.".

B-201073.OM, DEC 19, 1980

SUBJECT: USE OF COAST GUARD RESERVE TRAINING FUNDS FOR AUGMENTATION TRAINING (FILE B-201073; CODE 947413)

ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR, LCD/MM - WERNER GROSSHANS:

YOUR RECENT MEMORANDUM ASKS FOR OUR VIEWS OF THE COAST GUARD'S EXPENDITURE OF TRAINING FUNDS FOR COAST GUARD RESERVE TRAINING THAT DOES NOT RELATE DIRECTLY TO THE INDIVIDUAL RESERVIST'S WARTIME MOBILIZATION BILLET. BOTH THE OFFICE OF THE HOUSE MINORITY LEADER AND THE HOUSE MERCHANT MARINE AND FISHERIES COMMITTEE HAVE INDICATED THAT SUCH EXPENDITURE MAY BE INAPPROPRIATE. THE COAST GUARD, BASED ON COMMENTS BY THE HOUSE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE, BELIEVES OTHERWISE. I CONCUR WITH THE COAST GUARD.

IN 1972, CONGRESS PROVIDED THE COAST GUARD RESERVE WITH A PEACETIME MISSION BY ENACTING LEGISLATION

"FOR THE EMERGENCY AUGMENTATION OF REGULAR COAST GUARD FORCES AT TIMES OF SERIOUS NATURAL OR MANMADE DISASTER, ACCIDENT OR CATASTROPHE ***." 14 U.S.C. 764. THE PURPOSE OF THIS LEGISLATION IS -

"TO AUGMENT THE ACTIVE COAST GUARD IN ITS HUMANITARIAN FUNCTIONS DURING EPISODES OF NATURAL DISASTER WHERE THE CAPABILITIES OF THE REGULAR FORCES ARE OVER-TAXED BECAUSE OF THE MAGNITUDE OF THE EMERGENCY." S. REPT. NO. 92-1187, REPRINTED IN 1972 U.S.C. CONG & AD. NEWS, 3555, 3556

IN ITS 1980 REPORT ON THE COAST GUARD RESERVE TRAINING APPROPRIATION, THE HOUSE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE RECOGNIZED THAT RESERVE TRAINING FUNDS ARE USED TO TRAIN INDIVIDUALS FOR WAR AND PEACE TIME RESERVE FUNCTIONS. THE COMMITTEE WENT ON TO APPROVE AUGMENTATION TRAINING FOR PEACETIME EMERGENCIES BY STATING:

"THE COMMITTEE BELIEVES THAT THE AUGMENTATION TRAINING PROGRAM IS PROVIDING FOR A VERY EFFICIENT UTILIZATION OF COAST GUARD RESERVE PERSONNEL." H.R. REP. NO. 96-1193, 14 (1980).

ON THE BASIS OF THE ABOVE, THE RESERVE HAS BOTH WARTIME AND PEACETIME FUNCTIONS. TRAINING FOR BOTH FUNCTIONS APPEARS NECESSARY, AND FOY WICKER OF YOUR STAFF ADVISES THAT TRAINING PROGRAMS ARE PROVIDED FOR BOTH. THE FACT THAT AUGMENTATION TRAINING IS NOT ALWAYS WAR FUNCTION-RELATED DOES NOT APPEAR PERTINENT AS LONG AS THE TRAINING RECEIVED IS RELATED TO THE RESERVE'S PEACETIME EMERGENCY FUNCTION. THE 1980 HOUSE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE REPORT SAYS THIS IS THE CASE AND APPROVES OF THE EXPENDITURE. SO LONG AS THE TRAINING SUPPORTS A LEGITIMATE RESERVE FUNCTION IT IS PROPER. THE FACT THAT, AS AN INCIDENTAL MATTER, THE TRAINING IS CONDUCTED IN A MANNER ALLOWING THE WEEKEND RELEASE OF ACTIVE PERSONNEL IS NOT DETERMINATIVE OF ITS PROPRIETY.