Three 270s Change Homeport from Boston to Portsmouth

“Coast Guard Cutter Forward and Coast Guard Cutter Bear, homeported in Portsmouth, Virginia, finish an at-sea transfer while underway on a two-month patrol. Coast Guard Cutter Forward returned to homeport on April 10, 2021.” (U.S. Coast Guard photo)

Below is a news release offering media access to a triple change of homeport ceremony.

USCGC Spencer (WMEC-905), Seneca WMEC-906), and Escanaba (WMEC-907) are changing homeport from Boston to Portsmouth, VA. Seneca has actually been there for about a year, but guess the ceremony makes it official. It means there are now nine 270 foot WMECs homeported in Portsmouth. The other units of the class are homeported in Kittery, ME/Portsmouth, NH–Naval Shipyard (908, 909) and Key West, FL (910, 913).

Why the change? I suspect to move the ships closer to the Eastern Pacific drug transit zones, to consolidate maintenance for the type, and to put the crews in a lower cost area.

There is also the fact that at least some of the 270s will be going through a service life extension program. When that happens, crewmembers will be transferred either individually or as a unit, and if all the units involved share the same homeport it will be much easier on the crew members and their families, and less costly for the service.

We last looked at homeports here.

united states coast guard

Media Advisory

U.S. Coast Guard 5th District Mid-Atlantic

Coast Guard to hold joint change-of-homeport ceremony in Portsmouth, Virginia

PORTSMOUTH, Va. — The Coast Guard is scheduled to hold a change-of-homeport ceremony at 10:30 a.m., Wednesday at Coast Guard Base Portsmouth.

WHO: Rear Adm. Laura Dickey, Coast Guard Fifth District commander, Capt. John Dewey, commanding officer of Base Portsmouth, Capt. Marc Brandt, master of ceremony, Cmdr. Benjamin Spector, commanding officer of USCGC Escanaba and Cmdr. Corey Kerns, commanding officer of USCGC Spencer.

WHAT: The Coast Guard is holding a joint change-of-homeport ceremony for the U.S. Coast Guard Cutters Escanaba, Spencer, and Seneca.

WHEN: Wednesday, Sept. 8, 2021, at 10:30 a.m.

WHERE: Coast Guard Base Portsmouth, 4000 Coast Guard Blvd., Portsmouth, Va., 23703

Media interested in attending this event are asked to contact the Atlantic Area Command Public Affairs Office at (757) 641-0763.

The USCGC Escanaba (WMEC 907) is a medium endurance cutter previously based in Boston. The ship was launched on Feb. 6, 1985, and formally commissioned on Aug. 29, 1987, in Grand Haven, Michigan, its predecessor’s homeport. Its predecessor, the USCGC Escanaba (WPG 77), sank during WWII and was originally named for the Escanaba River in Escanaba, Michigan. 

The USCGC Spencer (WMEC 905) is a medium endurance cutter previously based in Boston. On April 17, 1984, the ship was launched and commissioned on June 28, 1986, in Middletown, Rhode Island. It was named after its predecessor, the USCGC Spencer (WPG 36), a Treasury-class cutter named after John Canfield Spencer, United States secretary of the treasury from 1843 to 1844, who served during World War II was first used for search and rescue off Alaska’s fishing grounds.

The USCGC Seneca (WMEC 906) is a medium endurance cutter also previously based in Boston. On June 16, 1984, the ship was launched and commissioned on May 9, 1987, in Middletown, Rhode Island. It was named after its predecessor, the USRC Seneca (CG 17), a derelict destroyer with the mission to locate and destroy abandoned shipwrecks that were still afloat and a hazard to navigation.

The Famous-class cutters are responsible for various Coast Guard missions, including search and rescue, enforcement of laws and treaties, maritime defense, and protection of the environment. The versatility of the cutter makes it a cost-effective platform in carrying out national objectives.

Media planning to participate in the event must arrive no later than 9:45 a.m. Wednesday and must follow proper CDC guidelines for COVID-19.


5 thoughts on “Three 270s Change Homeport from Boston to Portsmouth

  1. Pingback: Chuck Hill's CG Blog

    • Probably some FRC. We have long had several large cutters there, but Boston has long been seen as a high cost area, With Newport RI and Portsmouth Naval Shipyard also in the First District, I don’t expect to see OPCs assigned to Boston, but I have seen nothing official. This is just my personal opinion.

  2. Pingback: “Coast Guard to host groundbreaking ceremony at Base Boston for Fast Response Cutter pier construction” –News Release | Chuck Hill's CG Blog

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