The U.S. Coast Guard Juniper-class 225 ft seagoing buoy tender, USCGC Kukui (WLB-203) departed the Coast Guard Yard in Curtis Bay, Maryland, June 9, 2018, following completion of a midlife maintenance availability (MMA) through the In-Service Vessel Sustainment (ISVS) Program.
Kukui is the third of 16 225-foot seagoing buoy tenders to undergo MMA work through the ISVS Program. The work on the tenders includes an overhaul of the deck equipment and weight handling gear, updates to the machinery control system and HVAC systems, topside preservation and a stability assessment. The 225-foot Juniper-class seagoing buoy tenders were commissioned between 1996 and 2004.
Kukui will return to its previous homeport in Sitka, Alaska; the renovations will help keep the ship in service another 15 years.
USCGC Kukui (WLB-203)
USCGC Kukui (WLB-203) is the third cutter in the Juniper-class 225 ft (69 m) of seagoing buoy tenders. She is named after the official state tree of Hawaii and is the third ship to bear the name.
USCGC Kukui was built by the Marinette Marine Corporation in Wisconsin and launched on 3 May 1997. She has a length of 225 ft (69 m), a beam of 46 ft (14 m), and a draft of 13 ft (4.0 m). Kukui is propelled by two Caterpillar 3608 diesel engines rated at 3,100 horsepower, and has a top speed of 16 knots.
Kukui is also equipped with an oil-skimming system known as the Spilled Oil Recovery System (SORS) which is used in her mission of maritime environmental protection. The cutter has a 2,875 square foot buoy deck area with a crane used for servicing large ocean buoys.
Her primary mission being the servicing of aids-to navigation buoys in her area of responsibility (AOR). Kukui also conducts heavy lift aids-to-navigation operations, and law enforcement, homeland security, environmental pollution response, and search and rescue as directed.