NEW LONDON, Conn. (AP) _ A class of 248 students, the smallest in more than a decade, has arrived for the annual “swab summer” training to become students at the Coast Guard Academy.

The students will undergo an intense seven-week program designed to get them ready for their military education.

The typical class at the academy includes about 300 students. This class is the smallest since 200 entered the academy in 1999. But Adm. Robert Papp Jr. tells The Day of New London that future classes could be even smaller.

The Coast Guard faces budget cuts that could reduce the force by about 1,000 people.

The current class is the most diverse in the academy’s history. Thirty-six percent of the swabs are women, and 35 percent are minority students.


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