Icebreakers work by sliding up on top of polar ice, then crushing through it with the weight of their hulls. The United States has four of them — three run by the Coast Guard and one operated by the National Science Foundation — but the ships are decades old and include one, the USCG Polar Sea, that suffered a catastrophic engine failure in 2010 and has been out of service since.
Trump did not promise additional funding Wednesday, but his comments mark a show of support for a mission that Coast Guard officials have said has grown increasingly important in light of climate change, which has opened up more shipping lanes in the Arctic as ice melts. Russia — which has at least 21 government-operated icebreakers, according to a recent Congressional Research Report — devotes significant resources to the region.
Although Zukunft suggested that the Trump administration freed up money for a heavy icebreaker, the project to build one was launched with the Coast Guard’s 2013 budget request, according to the CRS report. The project received $15.6 million through 2016, and service officials have planned for a significant escalation in the project this year, with $150 million going to planning and design ahead of construction beginning in 2020.
Read the whole story from The Washington Post.
PLEASE SUBSCRIBE TO CONTINUE READING.
Your subscription is important and supports our editorial integrity and our 100% veteran writing team. Advertisers these days are afraid of being associated with controversial news outlets, like us, that take a stand. Your subscription is vital to ensuring we can continue to publish the courageous apolitical news we are known and respected for as former combat veterans.Subscribe or login