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Coast Guard completes major maintenance availability on 12th seagoing buoy tender


Coast Guard Cutter Alder sets sail for its new homeport of San Francisco Aug. 27, 2022, following conclusion of its major maintenance availability work. Alder will also complete the underway portion of ready for sea and accomplish an operational patrol on its way to its homeport. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

Coast Guard Cutter Alder departed the Coast Guard Yard in Baltimore Aug. 27 for its new homeport in San Francisco. The Coast Guard’s In-Service Vessel Sustainment Program completed over a year’s worth of upgrade work on the 225-foot Juniper-class seagoing buoy tender as part of a Major Maintenance Availability (MMA) Program. Alder’s MMA work commenced on Aug. 4, 2021, and was completed by Coast Guard Yard personnel.

The MMA work included completion of hull and structural repairs and replacement of obsolete, unsupportable or maintenance-intensive equipment. This included updates to the machinery control system, propeller and hub assembly; renewal of the main propulsion control system; recapitalization of the aids-to-navigation crane and small boat davits; and upgrades to the heating, ventilation and air conditioning system, reverse osmosis water-making plant and refrigeration systems.

Alder is the first 225-foot seagoing buoy tender that has shifted from a freshwater homeport, Duluth, Minnesota, to a saltwater homeport in California following completion of the MMA process. This required a different coating system to be applied to the hull, which required a second dry-docking to ensure the hull was completely covered.

A special coating system was applied to Coast Guard Cutter Alder’s hull during its major maintenance availability at Coast Guard Yard because of its shift to a saltwater homeport. Coast Guard photo by Lt. Emily Kingsley.

Major Maintenance Availability activities continue at the Coast Guard Yard, where Coast Guard Cutter Aspen and Coast Guard Cutter Hickory are currently undergoing improvements. As part of a strategy to minimize impacts on the 225-foot seagoing buoy tender crews and class wide operational availability, the former Aspen crew has been reassigned to Alder and will continue to operate out of San Francisco once Alder arrives at its new homeport.   

For More Information: In-Service Vessel Sustainment Program page