The Seward Phoenix Log - News of the Eastern Kenai Peninsula since 1966

By Tommy Wells
Seward Phoenix Log 

Seward fighting to land new USCG ships

 


The City of Seward isn’t about to give up its connection to the United States Coast Guard without a fight. In fact, it intends to do whatever it can to extend its distinction of being a USCG community.

“I don’t think it is a secret that we are trying to convince the Coast Guard to homeport its new fast response cutters,” said Seward Assistant City Manager Ron Long on Monday. “We want to keep them here.”

Seward, which is currently the homeport for the USCG Mustang, is among several Alaska coastal communities vying for the six new ships that will be joining the Coast Guard’s fleet in 2021 or 2022. The new ships will replace some of the USCG’s aging ships, including the 110-foot Mustang.

The U.S. government is looking to homeport the new cutters in pairs, meaning only three communities will be selected as home ports. Early speculation is that Ketchikan and Kodiak will receive a pair of the new 154-foot ships, leaving Seward to vie with other communities for the final pair.

To handle the vessels, Long said Seward would have to upgrade its dock, making them larger to accommodate the new 154-foot cutters ships. The city would will also be forced to find a remedy to available housing. The new cutters will likely have larger crews, perhaps in excess of 22 sailors on each ship.

USCG officials have said they expect to announce the sites for its new cutters within a year.

 

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