USCGC Sycamore (WLB-209)

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USCGC Sycamore (WLB-209)
USCGC Sycamore sailing through Alaskan waters in May 2008.
USCGC Sycamore sailing through Alaskan waters in May 2008.
United States
Name: USCGC Sycamore (WLB-209)
Namesake: American sycamore tree
Builder: Marinette Marine Corporation, Marinette, Wisconsin, U.S.[1]
Launched: 28 July 2001[2]
Commissioned: 2 July 2002
Homeport: Cordova, Alaska, U.S.
Status: in active service
Badge: WLB-209's ship's crest.
General characteristics
Class and type: Juniper-class seagoing buoy tender[3]
Displacement: 2,000 long tons (2,000 t) full load[2]
Length: 225 ft (69 m)
Beam: 46 ft (14 m)
Draft: 13 ft (4.0 m)
  • 15 kn (28 km/h; 17 mph) at full load displacement
  • (75% rated power)
Range: 6,000 nmi (11,000 km; 6,900 mi) at 12 kn (22 km/h; 14 mph)
Complement: 7 officers, 42 enlisted
Armament: 2 x .50 caliber heavy machine guns

USCGC Sycamore (WLB-209) is a United States Coast Guard seagoing buoy tender, the second of her name and the ninth of the Juniper-class. She is home-ported in Cordova, Alaska, and normally tends aids-to-navigation (ATON) buoys, however she is also responsible for maintenance support of National Data Buoy Center's offshore weather buoys. In addition to her primary ATON role, Sycamore also performs other duties, such as, marine environmental protection, maritime law enforcement, icebreaking, and search and rescue.

Construction and characteristics[edit]

USCGC Sycamore being launched in July 2001.

USCGC Sycamore was built by the Marinette Marine Corporation in Wisconsin, launched in July 2001 and commissioned in Cordova, Alaska on 2 July 2002.[2] 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). Sycamore is propelled by two Caterpillar diesel engines rated at 3,100 horsepower, and has a top speed of 16 knots.[3] She has a single controllable-pitch propeller, which along with bow and stern thrusters, allow the ship to be maneuvered to set buoys close offshore and in restricted waters. A dynamic global positioning system coupled with machinery plant controls and a chart display and information system allow station-keeping of the ship with an accuracy of within five meters of the planned position without human intervention.[3] Sycamore 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 that is used for servicing large ocean buoys.[3]


USCGC Sycamore has an area of responsibility within the Seventeenth Coast Guard District which covers the U.S. state of Alaska. While her primary mission is servicing ATON, she is also tasked with maritime law enforcement, marine pollution prevention and response, treaty enforcement, defense and homeland security, and search and rescue. Sycamore has an icebreaking capability of 14 in (0.36 m) at 3 knots and 3 ft (0.91 m) backing and ramming.[2]


USCGC Sycamore in August 2012, anchored off the coast of Barrow, Alaska.

On 1 August 2006 Sycamore assisted the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) by transporting a towing assessment team to the stricken vessel MV Cougar Ace which was listing severely and in danger of sinking.[4] She further assisted NOAA contract salvors by providing soundings in the area of the proposed mooring for the Cougar Ace and monitored the tow for oil spills while escorting the salvors T/T Gladiator and T/T Sea Victory. Sycamore enforced a security zone during the tow.[5] During July 2010 Sycamore responded to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill by transiting the Panama Canal.[6] During the summer of 2012 Sycamore participated in Operation Arctic Shield 2012 accompanied by USCGC Bertholf, USCGC Alex Haley, and sister ship USCGC Hickory while conducting exercises in oil spill skimming under arctic conditions as well as exercises with NORTHCOM and the U.S. Navy.[7] On 28 July 2013, the tug Krystal Sea was maneuvering an attached barge and the barge struck the port bow section of the moored Sycamore causing damage to the railings and deck.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Marinette Marine Corp., Marinette WI", Index to U.S. Shipbuilders and Boatbuilders, website
  2. ^ a b c d "CGC Sycamore (WLB-209)". U.S. Coast Guard. Retrieved 9 April 2014.
  3. ^ a b c d "225-foot Seagoing Buoy Tender (WLB)", Cutters, Craft & U.S. Coast Guard-Manned Army & Navy Vessels, U.S. Coast Guard Historian's Office
  4. ^ "Evening Report - Aug. 1, 2006", R/R Cougar Ace Incident Report file, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
  5. ^ "Morning Report - Thursday, August 10, 2006", R/R Cougar Ace Incident Report file, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
  6. ^ Doane, Chris, "U.S. Coast Guard District 17: The expanding last frontier", Defense Media Network website, 22 March 2011
  7. ^ Jordan, Teri L., "Implementation of U.S. Policy in the Arctic", Monograph, School of Advanced Military Studies, pp 22–23
  8. ^ Andrews, Laurel, "Barge collides with docked Coast Guard cutter in Cordova", Alaska Dispatch website, 28 July 2013
References used

External links[edit]