A new Coast Guard vessel, the Cutter Douglas Denman, arrived at its temporary homeport in Ketchikan in mid-August.
Once required shore infrastructure is completed it will be permanently homeported in Sitka.
The vessel sailed into Ketchikan on Aug. 19, after a 36-day journey that began in Key West, Florida.
The crew has undergone a year of administration and training in preparation to take ownership of the cutter. The engineering department alone attended three months of school in addition to the crew’s seven weeks of familiarity training in Lockport, Louisiana, and seven weeks of port delivery availability phase in Key West.
The Douglas Denman, the Coast Guard’s 49th Fast Response Cutter, traveled nearly 7,000 miles from Key West to Ketchikan via the Caribbean Sea, the Panama Canal and then up the west coast of Central America and the U.S.
Chief Petty Officer Hayes Printy, the cutter’s engineering chief, said that seeing the crew’s growth throughout the process and being able to make this unit what we want is an experience he will cherish.
The cutter is to be commissioned at the end of September and fully operational in its area of responsibility in Southeast Alaska, where it will be tasked with law enforcement, fisheries enforcement, search and rescue, and national security.
The cutter was named for Douglas Denman, who was awarded the Silver Star for valor while serving aboard the USS Calhoun during an undetected Japanese air attack off Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands on the night of Aug. 30, 1942. While severely wounded, Coxswain Denman remained on duty and helped rescue two other injured shipmates.