The U.S. Coast Guard Juniper-class seagoing buoy tender USCGC Willow (WLB-202) arrived at the Coast Guard Yard in Curtis Bay, Maryland, on April 28 to begin phase two of its major maintenance availability (MMA).
Through the MMA, the ship is receiving major structural repairs and upgrades to systems in order for the asset to meet its intended service life.
Willow is one of two 225-foot seagoing buoy tenders that is undergoing a two-phased MMA. By splitting the work into two distinct phases – the first phase was completed in August 2017 – the Coast Guard was able to balance the acceleration of the MMA program while ensuring the availability of the 225-foot seagoing buoy tender class to carry out critical Coast Guard operations.
USCGC Willow is homeported in Charleston, South Carolina. Her primary missions are aids-to-navigation (ATON), law enforcement, and search and rescue (SAR). The vessel also performs missions such as ice breaking, marine environmental protection, and living marine resources. This cutter is responsible for servicing 257 aids-to-navigation in District Seven ranging from South Carolina down to the Caribbean, including Cuba, Haiti, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.
The Coast Guard’s 225-foot Juniper-class seagoing buoy tenders were commissioned between 1996 and 2004 and have a service life expectancy of 30 years. The MMA is one of several projects that comprise the In-Service Vessel Sustainment (ISVS) program to restore mission readiness, improve reliability and reduce maintenance costs of the service’s legacy cutter fleet.