Vice Admiral James D. Hull
, Commander, Coast Guard Atlantic Area, will be the keynote speaker at the launch of the Coast Guard Cutter Alder Saturday
in Marinette, Wis.
Alder is the last of the fleet of Juniper B-class, 225-foot sea-going buoy tenders, to be built at the Marinette Marine Corporation shipyard
. The Coast Guard's Buoy Tender Replacement Project, a major acquisition to replace the WW II era 180-ft. buoy tenders, began in 1996 when the Cutter Juniper was commissioned.
Mrs. Judith Hull will serve as the ship’s sponsor and christen the vessel as Coast Guard Cutter Alder, when it is launched from the Marinette shipyard. Mrs. Hull will christen the Alder by breaking a bottle of champagne across its bow.
The primary mission of the Juniper-class seagoing buoy tender is to maintain the largest buoys in the Coast Guard’s inventory of more than 50,000 aids to navigation, while also supporting every other Coast Guard role and mission.
With a crew of six officers and 34 enlisted personnel, the Alder is scheduled to be delivered to the Coast Guard Sept. 2 and should arrive in Duluth, Minn., the cutter’s homeport, later in the month. Alder is powered by two Caterpillar diesel engines enabling it to reach speeds of 15 knots as well as break through 14 inches of ice. In addition, it is equipped with an oil spill recovery system and some of the latest technology that includes state of the art navigation, communication and security systems.
The Coast Guard’s Atlantic Area, which Hull oversees, spans 40 states and includes the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. The area comprises 4.36 million square miles of navigable water, including the Gulf of Mexico, most of the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea.
“Judith and I are very proud to welcome the last of the Juniper-class buoy tenders to the Coast Guard,” Hull said. “Alder will complete an outstanding addition to the Coast Guard’s fleet.”
The Alder’s launch ceremony will begin at 10 a.m. Central Standard Time at the Marinette Marine Corporation shipyard located on the Menominee River in Marinette, Wis.