Coast Guard updates training center pier to better serve aging assets

Coast Guard Training Center Cape May NewsCAPE MAY, N.J. – Coast Guard Training Center Cape May is undergoing a major pier-side rehabilitation project to better support the Coast Guard’s aging legacy ships moored there.

Training Center Cape May serves as the homeport to Coast Guard Cutter Vigorous and Coast Guard Cutter Dependable providing critical logistical and support services in order to keep the aging ships deployed. The $2.28 million rehabilitation project will improve the stability and infrastructure where the two ships are currently moored and serviced.

“We strive to provide the highest level of support to our tenant commands to ensure they have the resources they need to successfully execute their mission,” said Capt. Bill Kelly, commanding officer of Training Center Cape May.

Both the Vigorous and the Dependable are critical to the Coast Guard’s myriad of missions. Medium endurance cutters like the Vigorous and Dependable are built for multi-week offshore patrols including operations requiring enhanced communications, and helicopter and pursuit boat operations, which provide a key capability for homeland security operations at sea.

For example, the crew of the Cutter Vigorous, which has been on patrol since Oct. 28, has already saved three lives and aided the interdiction and repatriation of 172 Haitian migrants. The Dependable crew has been on the frontlines of the Coast Guard’s marine fisheries mission and has conducted more than 280 fisheries boardings in the Northern Atlantic in 2011, which protects critical living marine resources and ensures the safety of life at sea.

However, both Vigorous and Dependable are part of the Reliance Class of Coast Guard cutters and were commissioned in the late 1960s. Because they are aging platforms, the cutters require more maintenance and logistical support to meet the demands of frontline operations. The Vigorous most recently underwent a major dockside availability at Training Center Cape May to repair several of the ship’s engineering components. The Dependable is scheduled to undergo an extensive dockside availability in the Summer of 2012 to repair numerous auxiliary systems aboard the ship.

The pier at Training Center Cape May is a critical component of those repair processes providing a stable and reliable work platform for the crews to maintain their legacy assets. The rehabilitation project will encase several piles, which are the foundation of the pier, in concrete. This concrete casing will reverse damage done by marine life that has bored into the wooden piles at the waterline. Several steel piles will also be installed in the pier in order to reinforce mooring points for the ships.


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