Alaska’s Coast Guard Gets Funding For Aircraft, Icebreaker Work

Department of Homeland Security 2012 Funding Would Send Millions to Secure State, Nation

WASHINGTON, DC – Millions of dollars for Alaska have been included in the Department of Homeland Security’s 2012 appropriations bill that passed the Senate Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee today on a bipartisan vote, including that of Senator Lisa Murkowski – a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee.  The DHS appropriations bill now goes to the full Senate Appropriations Committee for consideration.

The bill includes $10.351 billion dollars to help fund Coast Guard operations nationwide, including two separate allotments of $18.3 million dollars for aircraft replacement.  As a member of the Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee, Senator Murkowski requested funds for two H-60 Jayhawk helicopters – one to replace the HH-60 Sitka aircraft tragically lost in a crash last year, and another to give Kodiak the full fleet the Coast Guard indicates it needs.

The bill also includes $39 million for the Coast Guard’s Ice Breaker Program, with the DHS Appropriations Committee bill “urging the Department [of Homeland Security] to move forward on fulfilling the Nation’s icebreaking requirements for the polar regions.”

“The Coast Guard’s Alaska responsibilities dwarf those of most other bases nationwide, and they deserve all the support the nation can provide,” said Murkowski. “The Gulf of Mexico has 6 different Coast Guard air stations spread from Texas to Florida to protect those waters and save lives, whereas the Coast Guard in Alaska has 2 air stations to watch over the Gulf of Alaska, Bering Sea, as well as the Pacific and Arctic Oceans.  They take pride in their work, and I am proud my subcommittee appreciates their full plate of responsibilities.”

The bill provides funding for the following items with impacts in Alaska:

Coast Guard, Overall Budget                                       $10.351 Billion, including


Coast Guard Aircraft Replacement                  $18.3 Million in general funding

                                                              $18.3 Million in emergency funding


Coast Guard Ice Breaker Program                                    $39 Million


$1.477 billion nationwide in state and local training/equipment grants, with Alaska receiving funds from:


            State and Homeland Security Grant Program               $403 Million

            Port Security grants                                                  $200 Million

            Assistance to Firefighter grants                                  $375 Million

            SAFER Firefighter grants                                            $375 Million