A view of the Coast Guard Cutter Cypress is pictured as the vessel's crew transits from Los Angeles, California, to the ship's new homeport in Kodiak, Alaska, Nov. 12, 2021. The Cypress crew transited over 7,600 nautical miles south along the east coast of the United States through the Caribbean and Panama Canal, and North along the west coast of the United States through the Alaskan Inside Passage and to the vessel's new homeport. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Amanda Harris.

Coast Guard Base Kodiak received an early Christmas present Sunday as a new cutter sailed into port, replacing the US Coast Guard Cutter SPAR, which departed in January for the East Coast.

The Coast Guard Cutter Cypress will take over the role as a buoy tender, according to a Coast Guard news release. The 225-foot Juniper-class cutter will be responsible for maintaining navigational aids for Kodiak archipelago and the Aleutian Island chains.

“The Cypress crew looks forward to returning home to their families, serving their local Alaska community, and returning to the important work of servicing aids to navigation that support the Maritime Transportation System vital to Alaska’s robust maritime economy,” the Coast Guard stated in the news release.

The Cypress underwent an overhaul at the Coast Guard Yard in Baltimore, Maryland, and began her voyage in August. The SPAR underwent its own overhaul in February and will be re-homeported in Duluth, Minnesota.

According to the Coast Guard, the Cypress crew transited more than 7,600 nautical miles south along the East Coast of the United States through the Caribbean and Panama Canal. It then transitioned from north along the West Coast of the United States through the Alaskan Inside Passage to Coast Guard Base Kodiak.

During its transit, the Cypress visited Mayport, Florida, Long Beach, California and Ketchikan.

“The Cypress crew took full advantage of the long transit time to conduct damage control training, small boat training, engineering and navigation drills, and worked to build watch proficiency leading to 63 individual qualifications,” the Coast Guard stated. 

The Cypress was commissioned in 2001, originally stationed in Mobile, Alabama, and subsequently re-homeported to Pensacola, Florida, as the “Strong Arm of the Gulf.” 

While homeported in Florida, the cutter’s crew serviced navigational aids along 900 miles of coastline, stretching from Apalachicola, Florida, to the border of Mexico, according to the Coast Guard. 

The Cypress also conducted operations during Hurricanes Ivan, Katrina, and Rita recovering and re-establishing buoys that hurricanes had moved up to 24 miles off station. 

In 2004, the Cypress crew recovered a downed U.S. Navy Blue Angels F/A-18 Hornet 40 feet below the Gulf of Mexico following a training accident, and since then served as center point for the Blue Angels’ air shows in Pensacola until she was sent into overhaul in August 2020.

The ship’s crew also conducted oil recovery operations following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil platform spill. The Cypress and six other cutters managed to collect 500,000 gallons of oil and coordinated cleanup activities between several government and private agencies.

(1) comment


Pretty sure that is a buoy tender not a cutter.

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