The U.S. Coast Guard, a component of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), conducts 11 statutory missions that range from marine safety to defense readiness. To enhance mission performance, the Coast Guard is implementing a modernization program to update its command structure, support systems, and business practices, while continuing the Deepwater program--the acquisition program to replace or upgrade its fleet of vessels and aircraft. This testimony discusses the Coast Guard's (1) fiscal year 2010 budget, (2) mission performance in fiscal year 2008, the most recent year for which statistics are available; and (3) challenges in managing its modernization and acquisition programs and workforce planning. This testimony is based on GAO products issued in 2009 (including GAO-09-530R and GAO-09-620T) and other GAO products issued over the past 11 years--with selected updates in June 2009--and ongoing GAO work regarding the Coast Guard's newest vessel, the National Security Cutter. Also, GAO analyzed budget and mission-performance documents and interviewed Coast Guard officials.
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