Hilo-based U.S. Coast Guard cutter back to port after six month drydock

HONOLULU — The crew of the U. S. Coast Guard Cutter Kiska returned to home port in Hilo last weekend after nearly six months in dry dock at the Marisco Shipyard in Kapolei. Yesterday, the crew welcomed state and county partners for an open house.

“Our open house was a great success,” said Kiska commanding officer Lt. Charlotte Mundy, who was in charge of her first patrol during a transit last weekend from Honolulu to Hilo. “We were very pleased with the turnout and were privileged to welcome our partners aboard for a tour.”

More than 20 Big Island officials, including representatives from the Hawaii County Fire Dept, Hawaii County Civil Defense, Navy League, and Coast Guard Auxiliary, joined the Kiska’s crew for the open house.

The 20-member crew of Kiska departed Hilo March 25 to transit to Oahu for dry docking preparations. The maintenance period was originally scheduled for two months, but was significantly extended to replace portions of the hull that were severely degraded. Other work projects included maintenance and repair of mechanical systems and preservation of storage tanks. In addition to the work done in dry dock, both ship’s service diesel generators were replaced by Coast Guard personnel.

During the time away from Hilo, the ship has seen over half the crew change out, including the commanding officer. Lt. Mundy relieved Lt. Matthew Chong as Kiska’s Commanding Officer in a ceremony at Base Support Unit, Honolulu, May 16, 2009.

“The entire crew worked hard to get the work done and the ship into good shape,” said Mundy. “Now we’re looking forward to patrols again from Hilo and resuming our ties in the community.”

The Kiska is a 110-foot patrol boat and routinely performs search and rescue and law enforcement missions in the main Hawaiian islands.

Editors Note: For an inside look at the life of Cutter Kiska’s Commanding Officer, you can visit Lieutenant Mundy’s blog at http://justagirlindaworld.blogspot.com. It’s a personal blog so you’ll read things that have nothing to do with the Coast Guard but overall it’s an interesting looks through a CO’s eyes.

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