Coast Guard Cutter Dauntless returns to Galveston

GALVESTON, Texas— The Coast Guard Cutter Dauntless, the largest Coast Guard cutter stationed along the Texas coast, will return to its homeport of Galveston, Monday, Dec. 21, 2009, at approximately 11 a.m. Aside from a brief period to resupply, this marks the cutter's first true return to its homeport since Hurricane Ike.

The 210-foot cutter and its crew were underway on a maritime law enforcement patrol in September 2008 when Hurricane Ike made landfall. Upon receiving news of the devastation that had occurred in the storm's path, the crew ended its patrol in St. Petersburg, Fla., leaving the cutter behind under the care of the crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Resolute. The crew of the Dauntless then returned to Galveston to attend to their families and begin the process of rebuilding.

In late December 2008, the Dauntless departed St. Petersburg, and sailed to the Coast Guard Yard in Baltimore. While at the Coast Guard Yard, the Dauntless underwent a modernization and service-life extension program called the Mission Effectiveness Program.

The entire crew of the Dauntless reported to the Coast Guard Yard in mid-October 2009, and set sail for Portsmouth, Va., where numerous other repairs and upgrades were made such as reinstituting the ship's training and machinery maintenance program, refurbishment of the ship's flight deck and an overhaul of one of the ship's main diesel engines. In December, the crew of the Dauntless departed from Portsmouth, and set sail for Galveston. During the 10-day journey home, the crew will complete several days of underway drills and Coast Guard mandated training.

"The crew is very eager to return to Galveston. We will be home just in time to spend the holidays with our families, which is a gift unto itself. The crew has been working 12-hour days, seven days per week for the past two months. We take extreme pride in our work and the cutter. Each of the 78 crewmembers stationed aboard the Dauntless carry a strong sense of pride and professionalism when it comes to supporting the Coast Guard's missions," said Cmdr. James Andrews, commanding officer of the Dauntless.

The general public is invited to welcome the cutter and crew back to Galveston. Seawolf Park has volunteered to be a venue to host the general public wishing to view the cutter returning to its homeport. The admittance fee has been waived for those in attendance for the homecoming ceremony. The staff asks that upon entering the park, guests mention they are in attendance for the homecoming ceremony.

The Dauntless' missions include counter-drug and alien interdiction, search and rescue, and homeland security and defense.

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