The U.S. Navy and the U.S. Coast Guard signed
a Memorandum of Agreement recently that will transfer the custody and operational control of four 169-foot Cyclone-class coastal patrol ships to the Coast Guard on or about Oct. 1. A fifth will be transferred at a later date.
Following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and the attacks at the Balsarah and Khawr, Iraq, oil terminals, the mission of the Cyclone-class patrol boats was re-evaluated. It was determined that they are invaluable to homeland defense, as well as to overseas port security. Though designated for naval special operations and special warfare since 2001, Navy patrol coastal ships with Coast Guard law enforcement detachments aboard have patrolled U.S. and foreign coastal waters in support of Operations Noble Eagle and Iraqi Freedom. In light of these considerations, it was deemed appropriate to transfer five of the Navy’s 13 Cyclone-class ships to the Coast Guard for use in carrying out the maritime homeland defense mission.
The Coast Guard plans to homeport three of its five newly acquired ships at Pascagoula, Miss., and two at San Diego. The Navy will
retain ownership and all life cycle management maintenance responsibilities, depot management, and casualty corrective service up to $8 million in funding annually through FY08. The Coast Guard will assume responsibility for assignment of each ship’s 30 man crew, ships’ funding, retrofitting, operation and management in FY05.
Source: NAVSEA Newswire