Tending Da Kine With Aloha


Image of CGC Walnut's Seal

   Unit History

USCGC JUNIPER is the lead ship of the U.S. Coast Guard’s current class of seagoing buoy tenders. She was commissioned in 1996 and was originally homeported in Newport, Rhode Island before she underwent an extensive maintenance period prior to arriving in Honolulu in late 2020, where she will spend the remainder of her service life. JUNIPER and her crew conduct various missions such as Aids to Navigation, Law Enforcement, Search and Rescue, and Maritime Environmental Protection and Defense Readiness missions from her homeport in Oahu.

The first vessel named JUNIPER was commissioned into the U.S. Lighthouse Service (USLHS) in 1903 as a harbor tender in Baltimore, Maryland where she was responsible for resupplying lighthouse and maintaining buoys in the Chesapeake Bay. By the time the U.S. Coast Guard incorporated the USLHS in 1939, the second vessel named JUNIPER was an 180-foot buoy tender homeported in Key West, Florida during World War II and tended aids to navigation in the 7th Naval District.

The present day JUNIPER assisted in the recovery operations following the crashes of TWA Flight 800 and Egypt Air 990 in 1996 and 1999. Immediately following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack in New York, she participated in anti-terrorist and force protection operations. During the DEEPWATER HORIZON oil spill in 2010, she spent over 150 days in the Gulf of Mexico conducting Pollution Response missions, and utilizing its Spilled Oil Recovery System (SORS) onboard to recover 145,660 gallons of oil.

Since arriving to Honolulu, JUNIPER has continued to conduct a host of missions in its Area of Responsibility, which covers approximately 60,000 square miles and encompasses the Hawaiian Islands, Midway Atoll, American Samoa, and the Central Pacific Exclusive Economic Zones. In August 2021, JUNIPER and her crew departed on her first deployment to Oceania in support of the Commandant’s Blue Pacific Campaign to increase U.S. presence throughout the Indo-Pacific theatre, while combating Illegal, Unregulated, and Unreported fishing under the Western and Central Fisheries Commission’s (WCPFC) High Seas Boarding and Inspection program. Currently, JUNIPER is the only WLB homeported on Oahu, responsible for servicing aids to navigation in the Main Hawaiian Islands, Midway Atoll, and American Samoa.