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Coast Guard Celebrates Completion Of Service Life Extension Work On Eagle



The Coast Guard celebrated completion of service life extension work on the barque Eagle with an April 24, 2018, ceremony at Curtis Bay, Maryland. The work began in September 2014 and was carried out in four stages with breaks during the spring and summer, allowing training exercises to be held on the service’s only tallship. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

The Coast Guard marked the completion of the service life extension project (SLEP) for the barque Eagle with a ceremony at the Coast Guard Yard in Baltimore April 24. Speakers included Capt. Matthew Lake, commanding officer of the yard; Capt. Matthew Meilstrup, commanding officer of Eagle; Vice Adm. Sandra Stosz, deputy commandant for mission support; and U.S. Representative John Sarbanes.

About 400 people were in attendance at the ceremony on the dock. In his opening remarks, Lake highlighted the training barque’s importance for building future leaders in the Coast Guard. Ken King, program manager for the in-service vessel sustainment program, later said “it’s been a very challenging project, doing the Eagle SLEP in phases so as not to miss the training commitments, but thanks to a great team effort by the Coast Guard Yard, the Surface Forces Logistics Center, the product line, the Legacy Sustainment Support Unit, and headquarters, it was completed on budget and on time.”

Capt. Matthew Meilstrup, commanding officer of Coast Guard Cutter Eagle, displays a commemorative plaque during the April 24, 2018, ceremony for the completion of the barque’s service life extension work. The renovations were completed as part of the In-Service Vessel Sustainment Program. From left: Capt. Matthew Lake, commanding officer of Coast Guard Yard; Meilstrup; Vice Adm. Sandra Stosz, deputy commandant for mission support; and U. S. Rep. John Sarbanes. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

Restoration work on the 81-year-old sailing ship included complete hull and mast inspections, hull structure and shell plate renewal as well as replacement of keel rivets, berthing upgrades, redesign and replacement of the propulsion system, and rigging and mast overhauls. The work took place in four six-month phases to allow for training exercises with cadets and officer candidates during the spring and summer months. 

The 295-foot sailing ship was built in Germany and later commissioned as a Coast Guard cutter in 1946. It has 23 sails with a sail area of over 22,000 square feet. The last service life extension work on Eagle was from 1979 to 1983.

Eagle will return to New London, Connecticut, where it was based before the restoration work.

For more information: In-Service Vessel Sustainment program page