|USCGC Cypress (WLB-210)|
|Launched:||27 October 2001|
|Commissioned:||11 October 2002|
|Status:||Active in service|
|Displacement:||2,000 tons (full load)|
|Length:||225 ft (69 m)|
|Beam:||46 ft (14 m)|
|Draft:||13 ft (4.0 m)|
Two 3,100 hp Caterpillar |
|Complement:||8 officers, 40 enlisted|
|Armament:||2 x .50 caliber machine guns|
USCGC Cypress (WLB-210) is the tenth ship of the U.S. Coast Guards seagoing buoy tenders. She is outfitted with some of the most advanced technological and navigational capabilities currently available.
The previous ship USCG Cypress WAGL-211, was one of eight Manzanita class tenders constructed for the Lighthouse Service. The ship was commissioned on 21 July 1908, decommissioned 20 August 1946 and sold o 18 March 1947.
The advances made from the 180 foot vintage seagoing buoytenders to the current Juniper class are all-encompassing. The current Cypress is much larger at 225 feet and 2000 tons, and was the first cutter to fully leverage and implement many technological advances such as electronic charting, position keeping, and remote engineering monitoring and control. Cypress is also designed to skim and recover oil in the event of an oil spill.
Cypress's Integrated Ship Control System has an Electronic Charting Display and Information System (ECDIS) which enables fixing her position to within five meters every second. Her Dynamic Positioning System (DPS) uses this positioning information, the ship's controllable pitch propeller, and the stern and bow thrusters to keep the ship on station without any human input.
These systems allow Cypress and her crew to work more buoys in less time, more efficiently and safely, and in tougher environmental conditions than her predecessors. Cypress's Machinery Plant Control and Monitoring System (MPCMS) has over 1000 sensors throughout the ship. This system makes it possible for one person in the engineroom control center to monitor the ship’s plant while underway. Cypress and her crew are adept at handling various missions such as aids to navigation, law enforcement, homeland security, ice breaking, environmental pollution response, and search and rescue.
CYPRESS’ main operating area stretches along 900 miles of the Gulf Coast, from Apalachicola, Florida to the Mexican Border in Brownsville, Texas, where she is responsible for the maintenance of 120 floating aids to navigation. CYPRESS is truly a multi-mission unit that personifies the Coast Guard’s motto “Semper Paratus,” meaning Always Ready.
Since her commissioning, CYPRESS has distinguished herself through exemplary performance in a wide range of operations. CYPRESS participated in historic hurricane recovery operations after the devastations of Ivan, Katrina, and Rita, recovering and re-establishing buoys that were up to 24 nautical miles off station and re-establishing critical Gulf Coast channels including Pensacola, Mobile, Gulfport, Pascagoula, New Orleans, Sabine, and Corpus Christi.
In 2004, CYPRESS successfully recovered a sunken 38,000 pound “Blue Angels” F/A-18A Hornet from 40 feet under water in the Gulf of Mexico and has since served as the center point for the annual Blue Angels’ famed air show at Pensacola Beach, FL. In 2005, CYPRESS contributed to the re-build and extension of the Galveston ship channel entrance, the portal to the busy Houston-Galveston area and used by more than 6,000 large vessels annually. CYPRESS’ daily commitment to operational excellence has been recognized by her exemplary performance during three successive rounds of the U.S. Navy’s Command Assessment of Readiness and Training (CART) and Tailored Annual Cutter Training (TACT), where CYPRESS earned three Battle “E” awards for outstanding operational readiness and performance.
In spring 2007, CYPRESS completed her first extended Alien Migration Interdiction Operations (AMIO) patrol for Coast Guard District Seven. During this patrol, CYPRESS set the standard for other cutters by successfully chasing and interdicting two go-fast smuggler vessels and seven suspected smugglers; as well as processing over 75 illegal migrants. In addition to routine and emergency servicing of approximately 120 federal aids to navigation, CYPRESS also assists the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the National Data Buoy Center (NDBC) by servicing approximately twenty weather buoys throughout the Gulf of Mexico, critical to assisting professional mariners with voyage planning as well as tracking and predicting hurricanes. CYPRESS has also operated in support of her secondary missions, engaging in Maritime Law Enforcement patrols and conducting search and rescue (SAR). In her most recent SAR case, CYPRESS successfully rescued 8 people from their recreational boat just minutes before it sank. CYPRESS promptly responded to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill impacting the Gulf of Mexico, conducting oil recovery operations and support of the operational commander’s goals.
From April to May 2012 the Cypress underwent a drydock period at Tampa Shipbuilding Company.
- This article incorporates public domain material from the United States Coast Guard document "USCG Cypress".
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