Navy Ships Recommissioned as Coast Guard Cutters
By JO1(SW) Jason McKnight - Navy Compass
Editor's Note - Normally Jack's Joint does not reprint recent news articles but this one will be an exception. - Jack
Friday, October 08, 2004
“The Coast Guard has had to radically change the way it defends our nation, but it has the expertise and experience necessary to do this job,” said Commander, Navy Region Southwest, Rear Adm. Jose L. Betancourt.
Betancourt said the Navy-Coast Guard partnership has always been strong and the Navy is always looking for ways to enhance it.
Commander, Coast Guard Pacific Area Vice Adm. Harvey E. Johnson, Jr. said the Coast Guard will continue the ships’ tradition of excellence as they are integrated into the cutter fleet.
“To the nation, this transfer demonstrates our government’s commitment to ensuring our national security,” said Johnson. “The ships and their crews will conduct smuggling interdiction operations, enforce our laws, protect our borders and save lives.”
Coast Guard cuttermen and officers were on hand to man the ships and man the first watches as the ships were energized and placed into commission as cutters USCGC Monsoon (WPC 4) and USCGC (WPC 8) near the end of the ceremony.
Many cuttermen said the month-long turnover experience of working side-by-side with their Navy Sailor counterparts was gratifying.
“We worked well together, and some
friendships even developed over the last four weeks,” said Storekeeper 1st
Class William Miller, a new crewman on Zephyr.
Machinery Technician Fireman Israel Chavarria, of Monsoon, said he encountered no resistance from the Navy Sailors when he would ask questions about the engineering equipment.
Zephyr Chief Boatswain’s Mate Greg
Isbell said he turned down orders to be the executive officer of an
aids-to-navigation cutter when he learned that the coastal patrol ships were
being turned over to the Coast Guard.
“I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to be on one of the fastest, most capable cutters in the fleet,” said Isbell.
Description: The primary mission of these ships is coastal patrol and
interdiction surveillance, an important aspect of littoral operations outlined
in the Navy's strategy, Forward...From the Sea. The Cyclone class PCs are
particularly suited for the maritime homeland security mission and have been
employed jointly with the U.S. Coast Guard to help protect our nation's
coastline, ports and waterways from terrorist attack.
Background: The Cyclone class ships are assigned to Commander,
Naval Special Forces. Of the thirteen ships, nine operate out of the Naval
Amphibious Base, Little Creek, Va., and four operate from the Naval Amphibious
Base, Coronado, Calif. These ships provide the U.S. Navy with a fast, reliable
platform that can respond to emergent requirements in a shallow water
environment. The lead ship of the class, Cyclone (PC 1), was
decommissioned and turned over to the U.S. Coast Guard 28 February 2000. The
Navy and Coast Guard announced in August 2004 that five more will be turned over
to the Coast Guard beginning in October 2004.
Point of Contact:
Public Affairs Office
Naval Sea Systems Command
Washington, DC 20362
Builders: Bollinger Shipyards, Inc.
Power Plant: Four Paxman diesels; four shafts; 3,350 shaft horsepower
Length: 170 feet (51.82 meters)
Beam: 25 feet (7.62 meters)
Displacement: 331 tons (336.31 metric tons) full load
Speed: 35 knots (40 miles per hour; 65 kilometers/hr.)
USS Tempest (PC 2), Little Creek, Va. - to be turned over to Coast Guard
USS Hurricane (PC 3), San Diego, Calif.
USS Typhoon (PC 5), Little Creek, Va.
USS Sirocco (PC 6), Little Creek, Va.
USS Squall (PC 7), San Diego, Calif.
USS Chinook (PC 9), Little Creek, Va.
USS Firebolt (PC 10) , Little Creek, Va.
USS Whirlwind (PC 11), Little Creek, Va.
USS Thunderbolt (PC 12), Little Creek, Va.
Crew: Four officers, 24 enlisted personnel
Armament: One MK 96 and one MK 38 25mm machine guns; Five .50 caliber machine guns; two MK 19 40mm automatic grenade launchers; Two M-60 machine guns.
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