The Administration strongly opposes House passage of H.R. 2838 because it includes a provision that would require the Coast Guard to decommission the icebreaker USCGC POLAR STAR. The Administration has requested, and Congress has appropriated, funds to reactivate the USCGC POLAR STAR by December 2012 and extend that vessel’s service life for seven to 10 years. This effort will stabilize the United States’ existing polar fleet until long-term icebreaking capability requirements are finalized. By directing the Commandant to decommission the USCGC POLAR STAR within three years, the bill would effectively reduce the vessel’s service life to two years and create a significant gap in the Nation’s icebreaking capacity. The Administration supports Title II (Coast Guard and Servicemember Parity), which would promote parity between the Coast Guard and the other branches of the armed forces. The Administration looks forward to working with the Congress to improve H.R. 2838 as the bill moves through the legislative process.