Alert Returns Home After a Disappointing Series of Casualties

USCGC Alert (WMEC-630), newest of the remaining 14 ships of its class.

The USCGC ALERT (WMEC-630), one of 14 remaining 210 foot cutters had what must have been a very frustrating cruise. The Navy League’s on-line magazine reports,

“The crew departed Astoria Feb. 5 to conduct a counter-narcotics patrol in the Eastern Pacific when the ship suffered more than 35 equipment casualties within the first 19 days of their patrol, including malfunctions in the ship’s radar, propulsion and fuel systems.

“The ship’s main diesel engine also suffered a crankcase explosion, resulting from a seized bearing on an oil pump, which caused a week-long delay in Panama while the crew inspected the engine. Following the inspection, a decision was made to end the patrol.”

The ship has returned to its homeport, March 16. 39 days away from homeport and nothing to show for it.

As disappointing as this may have been, I applaud the fact that the Coast Guard is making public the difficulties of operating units well past their “best if used by” date. Otherwise everyone just assumes everything is alright. Everything is not alright.


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