Page 30: of Maritime Reporter Magazine (March 2014)

U.S. Coast Guard Annual

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30 Maritime Reporter & Engineering News • MARCH 2014 for Great lakes duty, and another is ac- tually a research ship. The Great Lakes icebreaker, USCGC Mackinaw (WLBB 30), is used for servicing aids to naviga- tion on a seasonal basis. She can con- duct SAR and law enforcement opera- tions, and respond to oil spills, as well as breaking ice in the winter months. The 3,500-ton, 240-ft. Mackinaw is based at

Cheboygan, Michigan, and can break ice up to three feet deep.

The 17,000-ton Healy is an ice capable research ship and a medium duty ice- breaker able to break ice 4.5 ft. thick at three knots. The two 13,000-ton Polar class ice breakers are the most power- ful in the world, but the Coast guard has only been able to keep one operational in recent year. USCGC Polar Star (WAGB- 10) was placed in a caretaker status in 2006, but has now been overhauled, re- fi tted with a new propulsion plant, and supported Operation Deep Freeze in the

Antarctic during the 2013-2014 season.

USCGC Polar Sea (WAGB-11) was ac- tive until 2010, and scheduled to be de- commissioned after the return of Polar

Star to service. “The 38-year-old Polar Star, the world’s most powerful non-nuclear heavy icebreaker, has returned to active service and recently completed opera- tions in the Antarctic in support of U.S. national security interests,” said Papp. “And we have begun the process of de- veloping and analyzing the requirements to design the nation’s next heavy ice- breaker.”

A new icebreaker construction pro- gram is needed. The Coast Guard is in the preliminary phase of a new, heavy polar icebreaker acquisition project. But until a replacement is available the Coast

Guard may opt to overhaul Polar Sea and keep her in service.

The “black hull” workhorses are the unglamorous buoy tenders and other auxiliaries that tend aids to navigation, conduct law enforcement, pollution con- trol, and search and rescue missions.

The Coast Guard has 16 multi-mission 225-foot Juniper-class seagoing buoy tenders (WAGLs). The lead ship, US-

CGC Juniper (WLB 201) entered service in 1996. The 225s displace about 2,000



USCG Cutter Sapelo and the Royal

Netherlands Navy Offshore Patrol Ves- sel HNLMS Holland search Caribbean

Sea waters for bales of contraband jettisoned by Dominican drug smug- glers.

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