Coast Guard Cutter Juniper (WLB-201) has made it to Oahu Saturday morning following a twelve-month Major Maintenance Availability mission in Baltimore.
The crew traveled 7,000 miles on the 225-foot buoy tender over the course of 30 days to reach Oahu.
“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. “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 is set to replace the CGC Walnut and was retrofitted with a modern buoy deck crane capable of lifting 40,000 lbs, 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.
The 45 crewmembers aboard Juniper have worked around the clock since September, overseeing $21.1 million of contracted work and equipment installations at the Coast Guard Yard in Baltimore. The Juniper was previously homeported in Newport, Rhode Island, for over 24 years.
The crew was required to follow strict social-distancing and quarantine requirements while in Baltimore in accordance with Coast Guard and CDC health protection policies. Prior to departing, the crew completed two rounds of COVID testing to prevent any infections while at sea. The crew successfully completed a 5-day Ready-for-Sea assessment by Coast Guard inspectors and prioritized navigation fundamentals and damage control proficiency for the 30-day transit home.
“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.”