The Manitowoc Company, Inc. launched the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter HICKORY, the twelfth ship in a series of 16 seagoing buoy tenders being built at Manitowoc's Marinette Marine subsidiary
. This 225-foot Juniper-class vessel is part of a series of contracts that were awarded to Marinette in 1993 and 1998.
"This launch marks another milestone event for both the U.S. Coast Guard and Manitowoc Marine Group," said Terry D. Growcock, Manitowoc's president and chief executive officer. "The HICKORY is the latest in a new fleet of technically advanced and highly capable buoy tenders sailing today. We expect the HICKORY and her sister cutters, also built by Marinette Marine, to serve the Coast Guard's needs for decades to come."
The launch ceremony, which took place on May 11, featured U.S. Representative Don Young (R-AK) as the keynote speaker; his wife, Lula Young
, the sponsor of the ship, performed the traditional christening ceremony. Admiral James M. Loy, Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard, also attended the launch.
The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter
HICKORY will operate from Homer, Alaska, under the command of LCDR Charles Cashin. It will have a complement of six officers and 34 enlisted personnel. HICKORY and her sister cutters now operating in both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans are equipped to perform search and rescue, law enforcement, pollution response, and domestic icebreaking missions, as well as servicing aids to navigation.
The USCGC HICKORY is named after two previous earlier Coast Guard cutters. The first, OLD HICKORY, served the United States from 1852 through 1924, was stationed on Shovelful Shoal in Massachusetts. The second HICKORY, commissioned in 1933, served her entire career in the 3rd Light House District in Staten Island, NY. She was decommissioned in 1967 after 34 years of dedicated service.
In addition to its buoy tender construction program for the U.S. Coast Guard, Marinette Marine is constructing three 310-foot passenger ferries for the City of New York and two 127-ft. oceangoing tugs for a commercial customer. In October 2001, the company was awarded an $82.4 million contract to build a new Great Lakes icebreaker that will replace the USCGC MACKINAW.