Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin based Cutter to return home after successful inspection

CLEVELAND – The crew of the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Mobile Bay is scheduled to return to its homeport of Sturgeon Bay, Wis., this week after completing a required Ready for Operations inspection here.

The three-day RFO is designed to ensure that assigned personnel are properly trained, qualified, certified and outfitted to perform the Coast Guard’s missions safely and effectively.

Coast Guard Cutter Mobile Bay“It was a very thorough evaluation process,” said Lt. Cmdr. Vasilios Tasikas, commanding officer of Coast Guard Cutter Mobile Bay, a 140-foot icebreaking tug. “Going through everything, from our administrative processes to aids to navigation evolutions, towing evolutions, firefighting and damage control drills, not only showed our superiors how capable we are, but we proved to ourselves that we can complete the mission.”

Mobile Bay’s successful inspection ensures that the crew, along with the crews of Ninth Coast Guard District cutters Mackinaw, Alder, Hollyhock and Bristol Bay, will be ready to take part in Operation Fall Retrieve, the annual removal of seasonal aids to navigation in the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway System. Fall Retrieve is the largest buoy recovery operation in the United States, and is conducted annually to prevent damage to aids to navigation by ice. The aids are installed once again when the ice thaws and clears, an operation known as Spring Restore.

In addition to their ATON responsibilities, Coast Guard cutters on the Great Lakes also perform ice breaking operations, designed to facilitate the movement of commercial vessels to meet the reasonable demands of commerce on the Great Lakes and to assist the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers with flood mitigation.

“This is the time of year when the Coast Guard ice breaking fleet prepares to take on the additional challenge of safely maintaining the maritime transportation system through the winter months,” said Cmdr. Kevin Dunn, chief of the Ninth Coast Guard District Waterways Management Branch. “It’s also important we ensure that our ships’ crews are ready to respond to emergencies, even in the harsh winter conditions found on the Great Lakes.”

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