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Coast Guard buoy tender finishes 7,000-mile trip to Hawaii

  • COURTESY U.S. COAST GUARD DISTRICT 14
                                Crew members on the Coast Guard Cutter Juniper conduct at-sea training on Wednesday.

    COURTESY U.S. COAST GUARD DISTRICT 14

    Crew members on the Coast Guard Cutter Juniper conduct at-sea training on Wednesday.

The Coast Guard Cutter Juniper, a 225-foot buoy tender, has made it to Oahu to to replace the CGC Walnut.

The vessel, along with its crew, finished a 7,000-mile, 30-day trip to Oahu this morning after a 12-month “major maintenance availability” mission in Baltimore.

“The entire crew of the Juniper worked tirelessly at the Coast Guard Yard to ensure the cutter was ready for sea within only a few weeks following the conclusion of a year-long Major Maintenance Availability,” said Lt. Stephen Atwell, executive officer of the Juniper, in a statement. “We were able to sail the Juniper with an on-schedule arrival to the Hawaiian Islands, where we will ready the cutter to support operations within Oceania, ranging from conducting our primary mission of aids to navigation to combating illegal and unreported fishing activities along with search and rescue.”

The Juniper was “retrofitted with a modern buoy deck crane capable of lifting 40,000 pounds, two new small boat davits, major overhauls on main diesel engines as well as improvements to the ship’s interior spaces, thereby increasing the ship’s ability to better serve the Coast Guard’s evolving modern-day mission.”

Since September, 45 crew members have worked on the Juniper, overseeing the $21.1 million of contracted work and equipment installations that were performed at the Coast Guard Yard in Baltimore.

Previously, the Juniper was homeported in Newport, R.I., for over 24 years.

The crew followed social distancing and quarantine requirement while in Baltimore, according to the Coast Guard. Before leaving, they underwent two rounds of COVID-19 testing.

“The crew is elated to be back home in the Hawaiian Islands and be rejoined with our families for the holidays,” said Atwell. “We look forward to conducting the modern-day Coast Guard missions and supporting District 14’s objectives throughout Oceania.”

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