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Coast Guard completes 15-month upgrades on 225-foot seagoing buoy tender


Coast Guard Cutter Aspen sits docked at the Coast Guard Yard in Baltimore during its major maintenance availability. Work on the seagoing buoy tender commenced Jan. 6, 2022, and was completed April 29, 2023. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

The Coast Guard’s In-Service Vessel Sustainment (ISVS) Program recently completed 15 months of upgrade work as part of a major maintenance availability (MMA) on the 225-foot Juniper-class seagoing buoy tender Aspen. Work was completed at the Coast Guard Yard in Baltimore, with Aspen departing June 8.

While the originally scheduled MMA work for Aspen included hull and structural repairs, an atypical deck scan identified a need for approximately 1,300 square feet of additional structural repair work for the exterior decks. The extended MMA repairs constituted the replacement of obsolete, unsupportable or maintenance-intensive equipment including updates to the buoy crane, controllable pitch propellers, boat davits and HVAC systems.

Originally homeported in San Francisco, Aspen is transiting to its new homeport in Homer, Alaska, under the command of a new crew. To minimize impacts on crews and class-wide operational availability, crews are reassigned to new cutters as work is completed on one tender and started on another.

Structural repairs and upgrades to the HVAC system and other maintenance-intensive equipment are being completed on seagoing buoy tenders to meet their intended 30-year service life expectancy. All 16 cutters in this class, commissioned between 1996 and 2004, are scheduled to complete this MMA. Aspen is the 13th cutter to receive the upgrades. Coast Guard Cutter Hickory is also currently at the Coast Guard Yard undergoing its MMA.

The ISVS Program restores mission readiness, improves reliability and reduces maintenance costs of the service’s legacy cutter fleet through two types of projects, the MMA and the service life extension program.

For more information: In-Service Vessel Sustainment Program page