Alaska unit snapshot: Coast Guard Cutter Sycamore (WLB-209)

CGC Sycamore

The Coast Guard Cutter Sycamore crew sets one of two security zone buoys marking the restricted navigational area the Coast Guard patrols helping to protect the Trans Alaska pipeline terminal in the port of Valdez Thursday, Jan. 6, 2011. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

The Coast Guard Cutter Sycamore crew sets one of two security zone buoys marking the restricted navigational area the Coast Guard patrols helping to protect the Trans Alaska pipeline terminal in the port of Valdez Thursday, Jan. 6, 2011. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

Coast Guard Cutter Sycamore is a 225-foot seagoing buoy tender located in fishing community of Cordova on the east side of Prince William Sound in South Central Alaska along the Copper River Delta. They are affectionately known as the “Keeper of the Sound”. The cutter has a crew of 50 personnel, who work with aids to navigation, conduct search and rescue and law enforcement missions, open sea lanes through ice congested waterways and assist in containing and recovering oil spills. They service more than 127 aids to ensure the safety of mariners navigating the region.

Sycamore, launched in 2001, is the second Coast Guard cutter to be named Sycamore, following a 1940s-era inland rivers buoy tender. The cutter was commissioned in Cordova on July 2, 2002, replacing the 180-foot Coast Guard Cutter Sweetbrier, which had been stationed in Cordova since 1976. Sycamore is one of six buoy tenders in Alaska. In 2010, the cutter’s crew spent more than 100 days deployed to the West Coast for training and the Gulf of Mexico in support of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill response.

Cordova receives about 170 inches of precipitation each year, but is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. Hunting, fishing, hiking, bird watching, skiing, four-wheeling, recreational boating and berry picking opportunities abound year-round. Cordova is surrounded by glaciers and the town also hosts the annual Ice Worm Festival in February to celebrate the emergence of the ice worm and to break the winter blues.

For more information about Coast Guard Cutter Sycamore, visit http://www.uscg.mil/d17/cgcSycamore/.

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