The Coast Guard stands to receive $2.9 billion under Bush's proposal for the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1, an increase of $282 million. Ridge's office said the figure was in line with what the Coast Guard requested, based on its own cost estimates.
The funds would go mainly toward port security missions, a function that once was a small portion of Coast Guard operations but now makes up nearly 60 percent of its daily duties. The guard currently is on a heightened state of alert, and must cover 361 ports and 95,000 miles of coastline.
The Tahoma, based at New Bedford, Mass., is at sea roughly 185 days a year, interdicting drug traffic and illegal migrants from the North Atlantic to the Caribbean. It was commissioned in April 1988 and has a crew of 100 officers and enlisted personnel.
The president's budget plan also includes:
An increase of $619 million for the U.S. Customs Service, so it can finish hiring 800 new inspectors and agents for border and seaport duties and purchase high-tech equipment to speed inspections of shipments.
A $14 million increase for the Agriculture Quarantine Inspection program, to help with inspections at land border crossings and on flights into the U.S. mainland from far-flung states and territories, such as Hawaii and Puerto Rico.
—The Associated Press
First Servicewoman Killed In Afghan Campaign Is Mourned
G A R Y, Ind., Jan. 25 — Mourners today filed past the flag-draped coffin of Marine Sgt. Jeannette Winters, the first U.S. servicewoman killed since Afghan bombing began in October.
Winters' casket was carried by eight Marines in a color guard into the downtown convention center about three hours before the funeral. Winters was to be buried at Calumet Park Cemetery in Merrillville with full military honors.
Inside the convention center, dozens filed past a stage adorned with flowers, a photo of Winters in her dress uniform, and a poster by elementary school students calling her a "protecting friend."
Winters, 25, was among seven Marines killed Jan. 9 when a KC-130 tanker plane crashed in Pakistan.
Fellow Marines are proud of Winters, who was based at Miramar base in San Diego, Calif., said her platoon commander, 1st Lt. Jeni Roehlich.
"She knew she was good at her job and she wanted to go," Roehlich said. "She was very proud to serve her country. She was proud to go over there and do her job."
The Rev. David Walton, a family friend who was Winters' high school coach, said all those who died in the crash were heroes.
"I hope all of us will remember deep down in our hearts the sacrifice they made," he said. "We had this true hero around us all the time and we didn't recognize it until now. She truly is a hero. She knew the risks and she did her job without any hesitation."
Dick McCloskey, whose 25-year-old daughter, Katie McCloskey, died in the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center, spoke Thursday by phone with Winters' brother, Marine Sgt. Matthew Winters Jr.
"I just wanted [the Winters family] to know how much we as a family appreciate her sacrifice in trying to track down the people who killed our daughter," McCloskey said.
Referring to Winters' father, McCloskey said: "It's very emotional and I'm sure he feels the same way. I just want to sympathize with him for their loss. It's very much like our loss."
—The Associated Press
Flight Attendants Seek More Thorough Checks