Coast Guard cutter Cuttyhunk back in service

PORT ANGELES — The Coast Guard Cutter Cuttyhunk has been put back into service after an overhaul.

“It is virtually a new ship,” said Capt. Scott Pollack during a recommissioning ceremony on Friday at Coast Guard Group/Air Station Port Angeles.

“It significantly improves Coast Guard District 13’s ability to respond,” said Pollack, the Port Angeles commanding officer.

The Cuttyhunk returned to the North Olympic Peninsula on Christmas Day after a 16-month overhaul at the Coast Guard Yard in Curtis Bay, Md.

It had left for Maryland in September 2006.

On Friday, a small crowd gathered next to the cutter to watch the brief ceremony that included the raising of the colors, reading of the orders, assumption of command and manning of the ship.

“Your time aboard will pass faster than you think, so appreciate every moment,” Pollack told Chief Warrant Officer Christopher Smasne and the 16-person crew.

The $6 million dollar overhaul of the Cuttyhunk’s engineering, communication, and navigation equipment included new generators, a fiber optic gyrocompass, advanced communications equipment, emergency power systems and almost 50 percent new underwater hull.

The upgrades were part of the Coast Guard’s “Mission Effectiveness Project.”

It is designed to replace aging systems on board select ships to improve reliability, reduce future maintenance costs, and meet required mission hours.

The project is intended to keep the 110-foot Island Class cutters efficient for an additional 15 years.

Primarily built as a law enforcement platform, the Cuttyhunk is considered a multi-mission resource used in search-and-rescue, marine environmental protection, and homeland security missions.

The Cuttyhunk is the 22nd 110-foot Island Class cutter to join the Coast Guard fleet.

It is named for Cuttyhunk Island, located off the southern coast of Massachusetts between Buzzards Bay and Vineyard Sound.

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