Coast Guard: Agency Could Better Assess Its Impact on Arctic Capability Gaps and Is Exploring Icebreaker Acquisition Options

The retreat of polar sea ice in the Arctic, as reported by the U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center, combined with an expected increase in human activity there, has heightened U.S. and other nations’ interests in the Arctic region in recent years. Growth in Arctic activity is expected to increase demand for services such as search and rescue and maritime navigation support, which can be a challenge to provide given the harsh and unpredictable weather and vast distances that responding agencies must travel to reach the Arctic. The Coast Guard plays a significant role in U.S. Arctic policy and issued its Arctic strategy in May 2013. This statement by Jennifer Grover, Director, Homeland Security and Justice, addresses the extent to which the Coast Guard has (1) assessed its Arctic capabilities and taken actions to mitigate any identified gaps, and (2) reported being able to carry out polar icebreaking operations. This testimony is based on a June 2016 U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) report. GAO reviewed relevant laws and policies and Coast Guard documents that detail Arctic plans, among other things. Detailed information on GAO’s scope and methodology can be found in the June 2016 report.

Language

  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Appendices; Figures; Photos; References;
  • Pagination: 19p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01605638
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: GAO-16-738T
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jul 18 2016 10:10AM