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WLB 225' Juniper Class Buoy Tender Replacement

The 225' JUNIPER was commissioned in 1996 as the lead ship in the Coast Guard's Buoy Tender Replacement Project, a major acquisition to replace the WW II era 180' buoy tenders. The 225' WLB, along with the 175' WLM represent the latest in shipbuilding, propulsion, and ship control technology. The 225' WLB is equipped with a single controllable pitch propeller, bow and stern thrusters which give the cutter the maneuverability it needs to tend buoys offshore and in restricted waters. A Sophisticated Machinery Plant Control and Monitoring System and an Electronic Chart Display and Information System enable the 225' cutters to reduce the watch standing complement compared to the 180' cutters. A Dynamic Positioning System can hold the vessel within a 10 meter circle using the Global Positioning System allowing the crew to service and position floating aids to navigation more efficiently than before in winds to 30 knots and 8 foot seas.

In early 1990, the U.S. Coast Guard embarked on a major program to replace its fifty-year-old seagoing buoy tender fleet by requesting proposals for designs that would meet the Circular of Requirements (COR) for the replacement cutter. Subsequently, three shipyards were awarded contracts to develop contract designs and specifications for the vessel. On 28 January 1993, Marinette Marine Corporation (MMC) was awarded a contract for construction of the Juniper, the lead ship of the new class of Coast Guard seagoing buoy tenders. From even a cursory examination of the COR, while buoy tending remains the Juniper's primary mission, she will serve as a multi-mission vessel capable of recovering spilled oil, performing icebreaking, servicing fixed stations and other vessels with fuel, water and cargo, as well as conducting search and rescue and law enforcement operations.

Tactical testing for the 225-foot Juniper Class of Coast Guard Seagoing Buoy Tenders was conducted on June 9, 1998, and the preliminary results were forwarded to the sponsor in September 1998. The testing was conducted on the USCGC JUNIPER (WLB-201), the first ship of the class. The tests consisted of turning circles, acceleration to full speed from a standing stop, and deceleration from full speed. The turning circle tests were completed at speeds of 6, 9, 12 and 16 knots under almost optimum conditions of seas less than 2 feet and winds less than 15 knots. The majority of test runs were conducted to the port side with an occasional test to starboard to establish variation. The data were collected using the differential global positioning system (DGPS) and the Tactical Maneuvering, (TACMAN) GPS software. The tactical diameter for turn to port was smaller by approximately 14 percent than for turns to starboard. On an average, the ship accelerated to lull speed in 9.5 boat lengths and stopped in less than six boat lengths.

On September 2, 2004 the U.S. Coast Guard officially accepted the Coast Guard Cutter ALDER. The cutter was launched into the Menominee River at Marinette Marine Corporation on February 7, 2004 and has since been undergoing outfitting and sea trials. This date marks the first day the ship's crew will take responsibility for the cutter and the cutter will be placed into a temporary "In-Commission Special" status. The cutter's official commissioning was tentatively scheduled to take place at her homeport of Duluth, Minnesota on June 10, 2005. ALDER is the last in a fleet of 16 Juniper class, 225-foot sea-going buoy tenders, 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-foot buoy tenders, began in 1996 when the Cutter Juniper was commissioned.

Number in Service 16
Length 225 ft
Beam 46 ft
Draft 13 ft
Displacement 2,000 tons
Buoy Deck Area 2,875 ft2
Commissioned 1996-2004

JUNIPERWLB 201 Newport, RI
WILLOWWLB 202 Newport, RI
KUKUIWLB 203 Honolulu, HI
ELMWLB 204 Atlantic Beach, NC
WALNUTWLB 205 Honolulu, HI
SPARWLB 206 Kodiak, AK
MAPLEWLB 207 Sitka, AK
ASPENWLB 208 San Francisco, CA
SYCAMOREWLB 209 Cordova, AK
CYPRESSWLB 210 Mobile, AL
OAKWLB 211 Charleston, SC
HICKORYWLB 212 Homer, AK
FIR WLB 213 Astoria, OR
HOLLYHOCKWLB 214 Port Huron, MI
SEQUOIAWLB 215 Apra Harbor, Guam
ALDERWLB 216 Duluth, MN



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