New Cutter Arrives at its Homeport

Wednesday, December 18, 2002
The Coast Guard’s newest cutter will arrive at its homeport at Pier Papa on the old Navy base in Charleston, S.C., on Thursday. The Coast Guard Cutter Oak, a 225-ft. buoy tender, is the eleventh ship of the Juniper Class and was christened on January 26, 2002 in Marinette, Wis. The Oak and its crew left Marinette November 2 and traveled through the St. Lawrence River and down the Atlantic seaboard. The Oak and crew will join sister cutters, now operating in both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, which form a new fleet of technically advanced and highly capable buoy tenders. Lt. Cmdr. James M. Cash assumed command of the newly built cutter Oak on October 17, 2002. He and his five officers and 42 member crew’s primary mission is to maintain the largest buoys in the Coast Guard inventory. The Oak is also designed to conduct search and rescue, pollution response, icebreaking, homeland security, national defense and law enforcement operation through the Southeast United States, Guantanamo Bay Cuba, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Cash reported to this position after serving as the 30th and final commanding officer of the Coast Guard Cutter Madrona, also homeported in Charleston. He and his crew decommissioned the Madrona from service and then transferred the World War II era ship to the government of El Salvador for continued service in their navy.
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