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New Coast Guard cutter calls Honolulu home

The Coast Guard Cutter Joseph Gerczak passes by Aloha Tower in Honolulu Harbor while en route to Coast Guard Base Honolulu, Feb. 4, 2018. The Joseph Gerczak is the second of three 154-foot fast response cutters stationed in Hawaii.

TARA MOLLE/U.S. COAST GUARD

By THE HONOLULU STAR-ADVERTISER Published: February 5, 2018

(TRIBUNE NEWS SERVICE) — The second of three new Coast Guard cutters to be stationed in Hawaii arrived Sunday, strengthening the capabilities for search and rescue operations around Hawaii.

The cutter Joseph Gerczak sailed into Honolulu Harbor after completing a 42-day voyage from Key West, Fla., where it was delivered by the shipbuilder in November.

The cutter is one of 58 fast-response cutters the Coast Guard is acquiring to replace the 1980s-era, 110-foot Island- class patrol boats. The 154-foot cutters are designed for search and rescue missions; fisheries enforcement; drug and migrant interdiction; port, waterway and coastal security; and national defense, the Coast Guard said.

They excel at patrolling coastal regions and feature advanced control, communication, computer, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance gear. The vessels can also launch and recover small boats from the stern.

The Coast Guard plans to have three fast-response cutters stationed in Honolulu by the spring of 2019. The sister ship Oliver Berry arrived in September.

A commissioning ceremony for the Gerczak is scheduled for March 9.

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