The Coast Guard Cutter Bluebell sits moored on the Willamette River waterfront in Portland, Ore., June 4, 2015. The Bluebell, which celebrated her 70th anniversary this year, is one of many ships participating in the 100th year of the Portland Rose Festival. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Chief Petty Officer David Mosley.)
The Congressional Research Service has issued a two page look at the Coast Guard’s Waterways Commerce Cutter (WCC) program.
The program is expected to replace 35 small tenders, including 18 WLRs, 13, WLICs, and four WLIs, with the first vessel completed in 2025 and all delivered by 2030.
“WCC”?? Ugh! Let’s keep in line with standard designations, and “L” does not stand for tender. It stood for Lightship; the early ATON CG vessel and as such current ATON vessels carry on that heritage… Let’s put this in line with WLB and WLM. The larger ones which work the Intra-Coastal Waterway should be “WLC” (C for Coastal). The tiny WLI replacements should be WLS (S for small). The River tenders should remain WLR (R for River)…
I can’t help but feel this is a missed opportunity to replace the 140’ WTGB ATON barges too. In fact, the whole domestic icebreaking tugs and coastal/riverine ATON vessels could probably be consolidated in design.
As far as I can tell, Waterways Commerce Cutter, WCC, is just the program designation and they still plan to designate them WLR, WLIC, and WLI.
This was updated Nov. 11, 2020
Both House and Senate Appropriations Committees have recommended approving the $25M requested in the budget request. (e.g. no change from the request).