USCGC JUNIPER (WLB-201)
Tending Da Kine With Aloha
JUNIPER Information Sheet
JUNIPER is a 225 foot, Juniper-class seagoing buoy tender. There are 16 ships in the class and JUNIPER is the fifth ship produced. The keel of the ship was laid in 1998 by Marinette Shipbuilders in Wisconsin. The ship was commissioned in 1999 and sailed from the Great Lakes to Honolulu, Hawaii via the Panama Canal.
The ship is powered by two 3608 Caterpillar main diesel engines that are connected into a single reduction gear that turns a large 10 foot diameter controllable pitch propeller. The ship has dynamic positioning capability with the assistance of two tunnel thrusters located at the fore and aft extremities of the hull. WALNUT’s 20 ton crane is used to lift navigational buoys onto her forward working deck for servicing to maintain maritime mobility for commercial vessels.
WALNUT also has a dedicated dive team which can also be used to service federal aids to navigation, particularly in areas where the water depth is insufficient to maneuver the ship or in sensitive coral reef areas.
WALNUT uses its two small boats to conduct dive operations as well as law enforcement boardings in U.S. waters and the high seas. WALNUT is also capable of deploying a vessel-based Spilled Oil Recovery System (SORS) that can be used to help contain oil or other hazardous spills when required.
A brief synopsis and some operational highlights of WALNUT include:
- WALNUT routinely services more than 150 federal aids to navigation in U.S. waters each year. These aids are located in both the main Hawaiian Islands and in American Samoa.
- WALNUT was the first and only Juniper-class cutter to be deployed to Iraq in support of OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM. From 2002-2003, WALNUT was responsible for getting the port of Umm Qasr open to allow military and commercial supplies into Iraq.
- In 2004, WALNUT deployed to Guam to repair and restore other federal aids to navigation after a typhoon destroyed or damaged nearly every aid in the Marshall Islands.
- In 2006, WALNUT intercepted and seized the fishing vessel MARSHALLS 201 for illegally fishing in U.S. waters. WALNUT then escorted the vessel to Guam for prosecution.
- In 2007, WALNUT served as the On-Scene Commander for the M/V TONG CHENG preventing several hundred thousand gallons of oil from spilling into sensitive reef areas.
- Also in 2008, WALNUT conducted the first boardings in the Western and Central Pacific by the U.S. Coast Guard under a new high seas boarding and inspection regime for vessels party to the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission.
- In 2010, WALNUT deployed to the Gulf of Mexico along with 5 other Juniper-class buoy tenders during DEEPWATER HORIZON to exercise the Spilled Oil Recovery System (SORS) and provide direct assistance in response to more than 200 million gallons of oil spilled.