tv U.S. Coast Guard Commandant Remarks at Center for Strategic ... CSPAN October 15, 2019 9:10am-10:10am EDT
i don't think the powers at be are really looking at how much this is going to cripple our generation. every thing that's going to be -- a major financial decision in the next 20 years of my life is going to be affected by the fact that i had to pay off my student loans. >> voices from the campaign trail, part of c-span's battleground states tour. >> the center for strategic and international studies this morning is hosting coast guard commandant admiral karl schultz. he's expected to talk about the coast guard's role in maritime security. live coverage here on c-span3. >> good morning, everyone. welcome to csis.
thank you. i'm kathleen hicks. i direct the national security program here. our ceo wanted to be here this morning to welcome the commandant, but he's been under the weather, so i get to both moderate the conversation and also do that. before i begin, i just want to remind everyone that this is the fourth of our maritime security dialogue series of 2019. our maritime security dialogue is co-hosted between csis and our partners at the u.s. naval institute. and our goal is to highlight current issues and future challenges facing the navy, marine corps and coast guard. i want to thank our sponsor, huntington ingalls industries who has made this possible. today we're talking with admiral karl schultz, a commandant of
the marine corps. and i want to get right into it. we were lucky enough to have you join us in august of 2018. pete daily was the moderator for that session and here we are a year-plus beyond that, a few months beyond that when you began which was roughly may 2018. i would love to ask you to reflect a bit on where you feel the coast guard is really making progress on the key issues you're facing and where you feel like you still have significant hurdles you want to tackle. >> sure. good morning. >> good morning. >> thank you and thank you for the opportunity to be back here at csis. i took over on 1 june and here we are a year and a half later. it's been a fascinating 16 months or so here. we came in rolling into the job, i think i saw the biggest opportunity challenge ahead of
us to be the demand for coast guard services. number one priority and we really doubled down, we put out a four-year strategy, focus on readiness. a couple months after we were here in october, we put out the strategic outlook that was looking at the state of the maritime transportation system. the average citizen doesn't tie the coast guard to that. what's our role? modernizing information systems, how do you build a coast guard that can keep space on the waterfront. shipping is going to double in 2025. when we talked about it back in the summer of 2018, it was still
a notion and we're sort of hoping for that. i think we rolled out the term polar zusecurity cutter. we're off to the races. the conversation is not about the first polar security cutter, but how fast can we build additional cutters. we focus in on a 6, 3, 1 strategy. we continue to build national security cutters. we're focused on people. the biggest challenging facing my successors is really talent management. it's a competitive workplace. less than 30% of american youth, 17 to 24, eligible to serve, we have 15% women, society is about 50% women in the workplace. we're working hard on a lot of fronts. it's been a busy year.
35 days, where dhs employees went without pay. it rocked us a little bit as an armed service. it's been a pretty fascinating year. >> just to put a finer point on that. the department of defense did receive appropriations. >> starting the fiscal year on 1 october was fantastic. now through november 21st the under a continued resolution, that creates some challenges for federal agencies. coast guard not unique to others. we'll see where we go in the coming weeks. >> i want to go back over many of the things you just mentioned. >> a little bit of a teaser. >> you were able to tease all the big issues. let's start on the people side, the recuruit and retain. how is the coast guard doing? you mentioned in particular the issue of trying to attract more
women and reflect on that more broadly, what are the challenges you're facing and how is the coast guard going about -- >> let me start on the broadly. back in january 2018, if you pay attention to the armed forces, we went into a blended retirement, a 20-year, and then 50%. this blended retirement, you get 2% a year, you can withdraw after 12 years. a young marine looks around and says, hey, do i really want to continue to serve here? and we offer about a two-month kicker to keep them for four more years. it used to be yesteryear. ij i think it's a good thing for the nation. for an organization like the coast guard, which is aprin
'tis, it's something we got to pay attention to. a young, coast guard, female marine science technician down in houston who's very savvy as we become an exporter, working on the water port, got a family and shell comes along and says what's schultz paying you? they offer that smart coast guard woman 150 k to stay in place, that's challenging for us. our retention models was about 40% of our enlisted people went to 20 years, 60% of our officers. that's going to be very challenging for the coast guard. we have to have a great brand, focus on the coast, their families, the health care, we cap out at about 50% tuition assistance. it's one of those tough choices we make which is a competitive disadvantage. >> another thing you mentioned
is readiness operations. what's your sense of your readiness recovery path? are you on that path? how do you think about that -- >> one thing i didn't mention because i started with the big picture. we rolled out a women's retention study. it had been under way for a good part of the year. we were losing women in a disproportional level. you go in and get on the scale, if you find you're good for another six months. if you didn't get through that initial just jump on the scale thing, then we do body measure. we found we were discharging women threefold rate over the male counterparts. we rolled out some new body composition program, it gives you three ways to comply. it's the way you walk in, it's a modified tape and it's a new abdominal circumference and a fitness test. we put some policies in place
where -- for michael cohefor li. say we were a couple, you got four years, i got two, we go to california, what kind of decisions are you making? we're going to see let's figure out what they're going to get. if you stepped out the to have a child, it used to be -- because we have a lot of small units, you'd be away for a long time. your 25 shipmates pick up the slack. now we put a reservist behind you so you can start your family, figure out what's right there, come back to the workplace. we had a reversist came in, the unit didn't miss a beat. some of those things we're proud with. it's resonated well with our workforce and the female colleagues and we continue to march down the road there. on the readiness front, it's been a bit of a dialogue.
when the president came in back in 2016, it was national security presidential memorandum number one was how are we going to make the armed forces more healthy. i don't think this was an overt snub of the coast guard, but it was focused on dod. that's a how you pay for the stuff you deliver to the taxpayer every day. we weren't part of that conversation. we've been on about this eight, nine year flat trajectory. first is education. talking about, hey, we are an armed force. we have the same challenges, a lot of capital assets, training, retention, recruitment, those things we talked about already. we do about a billion dollars of work in support of the geographic commanders, the pentagon on an annual basis. we get the same $340 million we got back in 2001, no cost of
living adjustment in that demand goes up every year. we're trying to have the appropriate conversations inside. it's what they call a nonemergency defense fund, the background on that. if we could close that gap, i think that would really advance the readiness discussion. on capitol hill, i think our messaging has been effective. i think some of the markups show some sensitivity or awareness of what we're asking for and about those dollars to help us deliver front-line services. it's going to be a four-year focus. it's going to be on this readiness crusade. i'm going to get to all around the world. this may be an entry point into it, but modernization. can you talk a little bit about the key modernization priorities
for the coast guard, part of which i know you've already achieved beginning of. >> we took a big step about 9 1/2 years ago to modernize under a different construct, mission support, front line operational construct. and we continued to make some changes on personnel and you don't always get things 100% right. we're trying to perfect that. in terms of platform modernization, we continue to build national security cutters. the program was eight ships. congress saw fit to award three additional ships. those are great ships. they are delivering success and unprecedented fashion down there. i was looking, we have a national security cutter down range, we have the coast guard cutter into the indo-pacific region.
whether that's partnering with the philippines, the vietnamese. offshore, we awarded a contract back in september. we got a determination from the secretary here last week on the shipbuilding group had a devastating category five hurricane that hit them. and we worked through a process here and the secretary signed on this relief, it's going to go cure on capitol hill for 60 days. there's a way forward where i think it can remain viable. it allows us to put a recompete on the street in the future so that the real season for this, if it's sort of a -- it's sort of of a federal accusations pathway under extraordinary circumstances, but we think there's an urgency on fielding
offshore patrol cars. that's 70% that does the counter drug work, we're in the thick of that right now. we're going to build -- >> can i ask on that piece. how much of a delay do you anticipate in the overall fielding, if you will, of the -- >> assuming this process moves forward as proposed and signed off by the secretary, i think we cut that delay down to 10, 12 months. this gives us the chance to give the shipbuilder a chance to be successful. it gives vendors to come back to the table. we sort of spread the risk around. the risk would be national security cutters, mitigate the risk, if that doesn't go quite so well, we have another pathway to getting ships. polar security cutters, we talked about, aviation, we've got -- we're fielding -- we put five c-130js up in alaska.
we're going to put them out in hawaii. we're looking at recapitalizing our helicopter fleet. we fly helicopters more than anybody else flies. we're going to fly those 30,000-plus hours. the coast guard version of the navy sea hawk, we take afrircra from the navy and bring them down through the program in north carolina and we can get up to 20,000 total hours on those. we got a program now where we buy these new hauls and get 20,000 additional hours. we got some plans and we're looking at future vertical lift, how do we follow that but we're not hostage to not having a way forward. that's a lot of the things going
forward. we're going to start putting them over in bahrain in late 2021 to support our work over there for the commander. >> and has the story behind that modernization plan been well received. >> i think so. you take that cutter and you show it's ability, i think that -- and it can be -- it's supported halfway around the world, you look at that same cutter down there on the drug vector, we've had that cutter up there below the arctic circle and some of the non -- most extreme times of winter, that is a capable ship and i think that return on investment becomes pretty visible pretty quick there. >> let's jump out now geographically starting in east asia. so much of how the china challenge is presenting looks like a sweet spot for the united
states coast guard. it's using it's own coast guard, using fishing vessels that are part maritime militia force. last time you were here, you talked about admiral davidson putting out requests for coast guard. you mentioned the degree to which you all are tight operationally to supporting those demands from dod, how do you see the coast guard role both specifically in the asia pacific realm but maybe more generally around these state-based major challengers that are using what i would call gray zone, some people call it hybrid, approaches to take on the united states. >> from a resourcing standpoint, it's a high demand conversation. six are on the waterfront here. we're building the other ones here and exciting about getting
them out and doing missions. i think we bring something unique there. we're an organization, i think when you see the united states coast guard, it stands for model maritime governance. if you look at a lot of coast guards of the world, they mimic that with a blue stripe, but i don't think they mimic our behavior. we're not running down fishing boats in disputed areas. i think the coast guard brings that model governance, a model of restrain, really, the rules based. now you say, what do you add to the equation, the work with the dprk, we're helping vietnam build their coast guard. this is on a people-to-people basis. vietnam is going to grow their coast guard. you look at the sri lankans, defense articles, we've sent
ships to the philippines, to vietnam, security cutter, we're going things in the indo-pacific region, look at the cofa states. we sent a fast response cutter in recent weeks. that's a human-to-human interaction. most of those islands receive their gdp from fisheries, we partnered with the australians, with the new zealanders, they both had ships down there while we were there. that looks different than checkbook diplomacy. china looks across the swath of the western pacific and has different designs than we do. we bring that human-to-human alternative. i think you see a lot more of that coming.
when i talked last year, we're thinking about what do we do beyond big ships to indo-pacific. that's the other part of the conversation. we're going to put three new fast cutters in guam. when you support it with a bigger ship, that's a really potent package. just really conveys interest, concern, human-to-human partnership and i'm excited about that. >> how do you prioritize? what's the process you're using? you have limited resources, coast guard capabilities are in high demand. coast guard has the law enforcement ability to not look like, you know, big u.s. defense department asset. what are you doing to try to make sure you're hitting the highest priority areas? >> the navy, through the global
force management process requests forces. we process those. we have our internal coast guard way of meeting the capacity. what we've done a little bit recently in the past year or so is we've probably in the past pushed resources out to the areas and sort of had a model that is built on each other. they were taking a little more of an enterprise view. i think the counter drug mission, that is a campaign that will go on forever. you say, how many ships do you put against that at the expense of the other one in the indo-pacific, there's 70,000-plus deaths on the streets of america because of drugs. i think that's important. then there's the -- what kind of
couple additional coast guard ships do in the indo-pacific. we need domestic fisheries off the pacific northwest. we're taking a little more of an enterprise internal maybe global view. we have our own process, that's probably taken a little more senior leader headquarters dialogue to get to the right place on that. >> i want to end up at the arctic with this question, but beginning with the navy's re-establishment of its second fleet. has that changed in any way, the way in which the coast guard and navy are coordinating in the atlantic? >> yeah, we've been very deeply invested in a lot of venues, forums, japan, china, russia, different stakeholders, canada the coast guard, north atlantic coast guard was a little
atrophied over the years. you think about why do we bring a second fleet back. you look at what's going on here and you say there's a coast guard forum, piece of that. i got back from greenland last week and you look at the kingdom of denmark's relationship from a security standpoint with greenland. greenland's economy, fishery is about 27% of their economy. when you take out that green land block, it's 95%. russia is offering off of greenland's waters. that has them concerned. we're looking to the atlantic. i think we look -- you mentioned ending up in the arctic. but we've been very alaska arctic focused. denmark, norway, the other members of the arctic forums, i think we're broadening our
aperture into the atlanta ocean about reenergizing our partnerships, thickening those lines. >> you have a new strategy out. can you describe for folks the three -- the major thrust of it, the three lines of effort that the coast guard is pursuing how it frames up its roll. >> we talked about the arctic emerging. we know what the arctic is now a little bit and we're trying to figure out how do we operate, how do we project a sovereign presence. if you go back to that alaska arctic, china has been up there five, six of the last nine years, they're going to outpace us on ice breaking capable ships if we don't keep our foot on the gas. they're not an arctic nation. they're a self-declared near arctic state. i think secretary pompeo took the wind out of that a little bit. there's no such thing as a
self-declared state. we're up there, that line of effort is continuing to learn to operate. as i've studied the space, the conversation, my first six, eight months was getting our first breaker. you have very limited maritime domain awareness, very little communicati communications. our medium cutter is off the grid. but the work of that ship really suffers, there's no connectivity. we have to figure out how do we partner with north com. i was having a conversation about what can we do in terms of additional satellites to get after those problems and it's about continuing to build partnerships. you have the indigenous people who have their lifestyling up
there. and then you pivot to the other side of the world a little bit. a lot of the disputed water space is about the east china sea. but russia is tripling down in terms of their ice breaker investment and looking at ships coming out of asia that can cut that route. that could be lucrative and the i think the future disputed regions might been on that sea route. i think you're going to see if we build out this fleet, that might be the united states with a heavy role. they know it's in our arctic partners backyard, it's a little more ice reinforced, access to the arctic certain times of the year. we maybe looking a little more of the real capability to push into that challenge. >> give the austerity of the arctic environment, the
logistics tail, it's the perfect place to highlight areas where technical can really advance us. you mentioned the lower or bit satellites, i would imagine that 3d printing on manned systems. how much is the coast guard thinking through those aspects of how it modernizes for the future. >> i think we're always -- i think we've defined ourself here. sometimes we made a couple of missteps of what was our major capitalization. we got a little bit ahead of ourselves. probably by the scope of our budget, probably rightfully belong as a commercial off the south technology kind of organization. that's probably the sweet spot. we have a small, modest r&d budget. we're looking at those type of things. you take that counter drug mission where you're trying to surveil the eastern pacific ocean, you take the entire united states turn it on a 45
degree axis and drop it there, this is the equivalent of patrolling north america. we fielded a small unmanned system on the back of our national security cutters. hopefully by the end of next year, every national security cutter will have a scan eagle. >> mda in general? >> for counter drug. we used it up in the arctic. we're doing counter uas. we came from the general assembly in new york and under authorities that came in with the authorization act, we actually did some prototype of counter technologies on the waterfront and had a few -- took us a couple of uass and countered them here successfully. there's a leadership role for the coast guard inside the department, maybe inside of the governments. we got to look at embracing technology and base it a little bit with the scope of our budgets and our limitations
there. we look at what others are doing and say how do we bring something that the general may have there that can fly persistently for 40 hours, how do we bring that into the military framework or coast guard frameworks after the missions we're tasked with. >> i want to make sure there's time for audience questions. i'll ask one more general topic area which is not a small one. it's the homeland piece. it's the -- you've described the coast guard role before in terms of border protection as the away game -- there's been no shortage of controversy over u.s. immigration and border control policy. can you just talk a little bit about how you see the coast guards role with regard to those issues, border security and immigration and if it's changed at all in the -- in your tenure? >> if you think about pulling up a level and say coast guard defending the homeland, what does that involve?
it's the 361 sea ports. 90% of all of the economic activity in this country goes through the ports. we work with our customs protection office, counterparts there, state and local interests, but that's part of that layer of defense. then you look at the borders, illegal immigration, you got a 60 mile stretch from the bahamas into south florida. we introduced bio metrics a decade or so ago. we have folks who are leaving from puerto rico. at the southwest border, we've been supporting the department of homeland security. when you think about the inception of dhs 16 years ago, i think it was a bit of a -- the department of the defense model that goes back 70-plus years. when you brought four military services with very common culture together, that wasn't easy and you had to reinvigorate
it in the '80s a little bit. 22 different agencies in dhs that do extremely different work. i'm proud of our ability dch we've had on average about 150 people supporting border patrol in other elements at the border. >> what's that support? >> we've had some -- we walked back the operational units, we had boats on the rio grande river, good part of 18 house of representatives hours, we had folks doing support type functions that allowed border patrol agents to be on the border with their authorities and we could do some of that work that wasn't agency specific work to enable them to do that. we walked that number back to probably the mid eigh80s. it's really part of why you created the department of homeland security. it's a synchronize the various
capabilities of the department and push the capacity and there is a human crisis. i was the joint task force east director and then i was also the coast guard atlantic director. it's challenging down there. department priority and coast guard being part of that is appropriate. >> i want to leave time for the audience. i'm going to -- if i call on you, please stand, use the microphone, state your name, one question. we'll start right here. >> i'm russell king, retired federal employee, a couple years ago i read an article in proceedings on the arctic issue and it had what they called geo strategic icebergs and it was an example of a search and rescue strategic iceberg and there was
a cruise ship going from west to east through the canadian northwest passage during the summertime and everything was fine, but when they got off, there was a storm and the icelandic coast guard responded but they didn't have enough resources to save all the people. and i was wondering what does the united states do with the coast guards of other nations to cooperate on search and rescue and also i'd like to know about the northern sea route, are we considering the northern sea route at any time in the future, is it feasible for us and how would you cooperate with the russians on that? >> let me -- a lot of questions in that question. i think i would say in terms of international cooperation on search and rescue, we cooperate across the globe. from some of the technology that we embrace and do some things with military sales of capabilities, search and rescue
missions. when you're talking -- you're probably talking the northwest passage. okay. i would say search and rescue in the northern sea route not really in our geographic reach. we're looking, talking to the canadians about the northwest passage, the secretary of the navy has approached me about a possibility of a joint coast guard u.s. navy, canadian sort of northwest passage transit. that's intriguing. i was up there just recent weeks there up off of alaska and it was navy, coast guard, marines, amphibious operations, demonstrating our arctic capabilities. the northwest pass or the northern sea route, there's seasons where you could say there's less ice and more open water today. but when you have free floating ice and wind conditions, it can get pretty sporty quick.
we track the crystal for two years in a row. so you need ice breaker support through those areas. there's a lot of things still to figure out. what i will tell you, at the end of the day, there are increasing mission demands. you got, you know, otters that have resources that take their ice boats up to the arctic, more activity, walk the clock back, shell was looking at heavy investments in the arctic for deriving energy off the sea floor. now the whole oil shell business is different and they walked away from $5 billion there. but i think you'll see things re-emerge. you'll see increased coast guard requirements in the arctic. we're always looking at that. we've been forward operating from about 1 june to october with two helicopters, some humans, it gets us closer to the fight to be responsive in the
summer season up there. so there's a lot in that question. but we're absolutely leaning forward trying to look at capabilities in the arctic. when i was in greenland last year, we worked with the danish government and how do we leverage -- they're doing some novel things. we work with the national ice center here. we're trying to work with partners and derive the best capabilities and knowledge from all of our international partners. >> i have one right up here. >> hi, admiral. on the opc program, what's the process here. do you need congress to sign off on this before your new acquisition strategy can go into effect and is eastern shipbuilding on board with this abrupt change in the program.
i'm assuming you guys have been negotiating things but it was a bit of a surprise on friday. >> on the part about congress, the way the provision is written into law, it goes to the hill to sit on the hill for 60 days. it was organized around a defense capability so it went to the armed services committee. obviously not being in the department of defense, we will send that to the armed services committee because that's what the law says. we'll send it to our oversight committee. that will be commerce, science, transportation and homeland security, government affairs on the senate side. it would go to transportation infrastructure and then homeland security on the house side. we've sent it up there to our overseers as well as what the law says because it was written before the inception of the homeland security. my chief acquisition executive flew down and met with eastern shipbuilding leadership last week. when the secretary signed us
out, they've had a direct conversation. they had an ask in for relief for up to nine hulls. we informed the secretary, my recommendations as a service chief on different options, he made a decision, eastern will get a chance to go back and what we offered them was a course forward to build up to four ships and each year, subject to appropriations, they'll have to figure out where they stand on that. a lot of ground yet to plow ahead here, but it's an important for eastern to continue to build ships for the coast guard and gives us some flexibility so we're not completely wedded to just the eastern shipbuilding. it's a great yard that's doing good work. but this is their first defense article that they build. they're only a couple percentages building that first ship. we need to do the nation's bidding and give eastern a way forward to be successful. they won the initial contract and there's a lot got evenings,
a cat four hurricane, eastern doesn't own that. that's an unfortunate circumstance. i think the secretary has signed out a very viable way forward and it's got my support. eastern gets a chance to weigh in on that. >> let's take one right in the front here. >> good morning. ben warner. i want to ask, again, about a little more about the offshore patrol cutter. first, how is that program delayed with what's going on with eastern shipbuilding and you're trying to cut down the delay and how much is that going to affect that and other programs you have going on, the polar security cutter program, you've got the one you're building, but i know you want to build more and you're under pressure to get those out there because the -- the one you have
is sort of past its useful lifetime. >> i think on the offshore patrol cutter, the impacts of the hurricane, this extraordinary relief, i think we're looking at a 10 to 12 month delay on the first ship and then it kind of rolls forward about nine, ten months pathway. if you went with a straight recompete and walked away, you'll probably adding three to that first ship. in terms of a continuing resolution, you know, through november 21st, congress can do normal appropriation work. the more problematic it is for any federal agency. right now, i don't see any immediate contracting activities, contract awards that are going to be in jeopardy between now and november 21st. as you get later in the year, you've got to revisit those type of acquisitions. i'm not in a position to speak.
i'm going to be guardedly o optimi optimistic. the congress has to be in the business of getting the appropriations. >> it's worth maybe an additional question on the climate side, obviously, you know, climate affects increased needs for coast guard. how are you -- is there an analytical way that lets you think through that? how do you take into account that trajectory, the arctic is one major area, but beyond that on the homeland side, the need for disaster assistance, presumably is increasing. >> we've had a steady battle rhythm if you go back to the four or five major category 3 storms. hurricane dorian another cat 5 storm that hit the bahamas. we're an organization that's pulling forward $1.7 billion
backlog of critical infrastructure. those are old facilities. you know, 2%, 2.5% a year. we're pulling a rear stern, you know, wave behind us here of stuff that we're already delinquent on. as we do rebuilt facilities, we've got to think about, you know, those are facilities that are going to solve the nation for a half century. we've got to be thought fful. florida, places like norfolk, virginia, when you talk about sea level rise. those are places that are real visible spots where you're seeing warning signs. danish two star general over there. they're talking about places where, you know, the ice is
extended 30 miles or so into the ocean and it's receded. there's changes there. so try to inform our infrastructure, our planning to the best science available. >> very good. we'll come back. swing back through this way. we'll take one right here. >> thank you for taking my question. i'm from the radio free asia. i have a question of the coast guard's operation to support implementation about u.n. sanctions against north korea. the cutter hasn't been dispatched to it. forced to participate in stopping the ship to ship transfer. and the coast guard has updated the list of korean vessels to watch. can you explain more about this operation regarding supporting implementation of the sanctions against north korea.
do you have a plan? >> north korea sanctions and coast guard's role. >> so the way to address your question -- thank you for the question. the coast guard i mentioned sent, you know, two national security cutters. one went and came away for a five month deployment, one is over there for an equal deployment. when we send a ship, it changes its operational control to the seventh fleet and they assign the work to it. both those cutters have done sanctioned work there. i think that's, you know, we're an organization, our board search capabilities, we excel at that. we do a lot of law enforcement across the globe. i think the sanction work is right in the wheelhouse of coast guard expertise. so, we send those ships there, you know, the regional navy leadership will choose how and win to use those a little bit. i think that's a righteous appropriate mission for a national security cutter, too. as we continue to respond to
requests from the navy, we will potentially remain in that mission set over there. >> transportation institute. crs released a report on the need for the coast guard's need for more marine safety personnel. we're hearing as well that there's a shortage. given how much the coast guard does and how strained you are with the limited budget, is there talk internally of growing the coast guard fleet or how are you thinking about handling those challenges? >> that's a great question. i walk it back to the maritime commerce strategic outlook. that was a ten-year look into the playertime commerce. and we do need to grow our work force. the '20 budget adds about 25 marine inspectors. our forces command, which takes a look at the training is looking at the entire marine
inspector training system. how are we training, how are we giving them the skills to work on the waterfront that's sophisticated. i look at marine safety unit, texas city. that's a 55 person unit today. potentially in the next two or three years, you may see 200 plus go through their responsibilities. i don't think those same 55 people will be able to add that additional work. we're looking at growth, we're also looking at enhancements to their technical skills. we're taking a hard look and that's when you go back to the signs of effort on that maritime commerce strategy, the efforts has enhanced the partnership. it's getting our folks the skills we need, we're dealing with a real challenge with aging infrastructure in terms of our technology, our platform. enterprise mission platform. we need a renaissance in the coast guard. 1,000 ipads, many to marine safety professionals, they go out and do their inspection work
and then they go back and work on their findings. there's a capacity conversation there and then there's a skilled conversation. we're working on defining what are the real skill sets that's best trained to them and then the conversation of annual budgets. it's a little harder when i'm trying to get money for marine safety professionals. i think there's progress being made there. thank you. >> good morning. my name is bethany johnson, i'm with the polar institute at the wilson center. my question revolves around the
arctic and it goes back to talking about capability and the partnerships you were mentioning. mostly with the rapid pace that everything's changing up there, is there a way of moving towards approaching talks with the indigenous communities in the way of getting those capabilities put together quickly, but without overriding the native voice? >> i think that's absolutely -- the trajectory we've been on is very much working with the indigenous populations and not overrunning them with the technology and everything. it's how do you operate smartly up there and leverage technologies or help put in place those technologies and be cognizant of the folks that still do traditional whaling. we have programs where we deploy our maritime security teams up there, and they're handing out life jackets to kids. you've got young people out on boats in extreme conditions not
even with a life jacket. boats break down there like in southern california. but it's harsh when you break down there when you're at sea. we're very much not trying to run ahead of the indigenous populations so we're not seen as an overwhelming presence, we're seen at a complimentary presence to other folk whose are serving in that part of the world as well. >> we have time for one final question. we have one right over here. >> good morning. we have been talking about sea challenge and china challenge. due to the fact that china is clearly the long-term existential threat to the u.s. china has a plan to displace the united states as the first world
order. and quietly distributing manpower, both in the united states and in our allies' countries. therefore, i have two related questions. one for the allies country, as you mentioned before, naval operation in asia and endo pacific, especially in asean countries. there have been 100,000 getting into indonesia. so therefore, in the extreme way my first question is is that possible? >> what question? >> okay, is that possible that militarization of our country will be considered to prevent
china invasion. the second question is that -- >> we're only going to do the first one. >> i'll be finished in one second. at home, that any officials that deal with china, because it's our enemy, provide transcript for the military to be able to see if that's a trap for national security. thank you so much. >> so with the endo pacific, with the conversation about china -- we have a national security strategy, national defense strategy that's focused on competing global powers. i think, you know, the 800 pound conversation is china. factually, you could say the rhetoric and the actions don't correspond. initially it was the south china sea that looks like islands
where there weren't islands. there's now militarized fighter jets and weapons systems on those islands. the audio and the visual don't match there a little bit. then the behaviors as cat talked about, you know, the chinese, the maritime militia rolling up on fishermen, running them down, leaving them adrift. for the coast guard -- i won't speak to the entire whole of government problems, the coast guard, we bring an alternative. we model the behavior that coast guards across the world should model. we're about rule based order. when we talk about our work with indonesia, our work with the malaysi malaysians, our work with the vietnamese. being a neighbor to china when you're vietnam, you've got to be very pragmatic. whether you partner with the u.s., you wake up as china's
neighbor every day. how do you work with that knife edge? vietnam will work with the coast guard but they're very cautious of very clear bilateral relationships. we've got a partner on each nation's terms. we're about building their capacity to offer a competitive, competing perspective in the region. we've seen the philippine president feel the heat from his own country. there was a run down of philippine fishermen. that's not a big deal until the philippine countrymen say it's a big deal. it's our disputed waters and you're our elected leader. we need to stand for our rights. there's a finite amount of capacity to put against that. i think it fits into the endo pacific home of department of defense, you know, conversation and challenge that. and then back, again, we're under that less than lethal level. then what can we do to shore up
the relational piece? checkbook diplomacy, going in when you need a check, that's very transactional. i think these island nations, these federated states of micron micronesia. i think they value the ideals of us. we give them an exchange of subject matter expertise. team up with the kiwis, the french, the australians, now i think you're having a conversation, high level, below level stuff with our national security cutters and then human to human things. i think that's where you'll see the coast guard trying to move the needle a little bit in the endo pacific region as part of a broader united states effort hold a little bit. >> i want to thank you for your time. i hope you'll be back again next
here's a look at some of our coverage today. wilbur ross and others will talk about the administration's trade policy agenda. that will be live from the federalist society starting at 12:00 p.m. eastern. on cspan the assistance secretary of endo pacific security affairs will talk about u.s./china relations. it's hosted by the jamestown
foundation. you can follow our coverage on cspan.org or listen with the free cspan radio app. follow cspan as congress returns to capitol hill today after a two-week recess. with house committees working on impeachment inquiries against president trump, legislation to lower prescription drug costs, and curbing the outsourcing of u.s. jobs. and the senate continues work on the president's executive and judicial nominations, including air force secretary nommy, barbara barrett. watch live gavel to gavel coverage of the house on cspan and the senate live on cspan 2. online on cspan.org or listen live on the go using the free cspan radio app. sunday night on q&a. american university distinguished professor of history, allen kraut looks back at policies on managing immigration. >> i would argue that the
current wave of nativism of anti-immigrant sentiment, xenophobia is not different from what we've seen in the past. and while it seems to us to be peppered with acts of violence and ferocity, there have been other acts of violence. anti-immigrant riots in the period before the civil war, anti-immigrant riots in the 1880s. there have been a lot of moments in american history when the anti-immigrant sentiment has been translated into true ugliness. >> watch sunday night at 8:00 p.m. eastern on cspan's q&a. up next, a house panel looks at school safety and gun violence. a parkland shooting survivor was among those testifying. we'll hear from a father of a student killed at the