Good Day Shipmates,
There are several reasons why your Auxiliary Leadership determined that the only course of action that makes sense is to shift N-TRAIN 2024 from an in-person to a virtual event.
On 18 JAN 2024 the House and Senate passed a third continuing resolution (CR) for fiscal 2024. That CR avoided a partial government shutdown that would have occurred on 19 JAN 2024, but it will expire between 1 and 8 MAR 2024. N-TRAIN 2024 was scheduled to run between 3 and 10 MAR 2024. If Congress failed to either pass a budget or another CR before then, we would have been without funding for the scheduled C School instructors, students, and many reimbursable incidental expenses, and no active-duty members would have been able to attend. Moreover, waiting until the very last moment to cancel N-Train would be disrespectful of our members who have lives outside the Auxiliary.
Further mandating the decision now is that the deadline for cancelling N-TRAIN without a significant financial penalty from the hotel is tomorrow, 22 JAN. Whle we could have stood by and hoped that Congress would pass a budget or another CR in time, hope is rarely an effective strategy, so the decision had to be made now. Waiting to see whether Congress acted in time to hold an in-person event would have been irresponsible.
Finally, your Auxiliary is facing a severe shortfall in funding for the programs that are targeted at supporting our primary mission of protecting the lives and property of the nation’s recreational boaters, support the Coast Guard, and support Auxiliary operations. Converting from an in-person to a virtual N-TRAIN will save thousands of dollars to fund those programs.
Please standby for further information. A schedule of events, meetings, and addresses from Coast Guard Leadership will be forthcoming.
Agostino “Gus” Formato, National Commodore United States Coast Guard Auxiliary