Bar­que Eagle will once again call New Lon­don home af­ter over­haul

Coast Guard train­ing ship has been based in Baltimore since 2014

The Day - - FRONT PAGE - By JULIA BERGMAN Day Staff Writer

New Lon­don — With the com­ple­tion of a four-year, $29 mil­lion over­haul, the Coast Guard bar­que Eagle will once again be a fix­ture on the city’s wa­ter­front.

The ship’s home­port had shifted to Baltimore in the fall of 2014 while it un­der­went ex­ten­sive main­te­nance work to ex­tend its ser­vice life by 15 years.

The Eagle’s home­port will shift back to New Lon­don on July 26. The 295-foot ship will berth at Fort Trum­bull un­til City Pier, its per­ma­nent berth, is ready. The ship is cur­rently in Oslo, Norway.

Some ad­di­tional in­fra­struc­ture work is needed in or­der for Eagle to per­ma­nently moor at City Pier. The ship, when in port, is ex­pected to be a fea­ture of the Na­tional Coast Guard Mu­seum planned for the down­town New Lon­don wa­ter­front. The Na­tional Coast Guard Mu­seum As­so­ci­a­tion will pay for the work to City Pier to ac­com­mo­date the Eagle, mu­seum spokesman Drew Forster said. The cost and de­tails of that work are not yet avail­able.

The work on the Eagle was done in four, seven-month pe­ri­ods over the fall and win­ter months to main­tain the Eagle’s sum­mer train­ing sched­ule. The ship serves as a train­ing ves­sel for cadets at the Coast Guard Academy and can­di­dates from the Of­fi­cer Can­di­date School.

The last phase was the most com­plex be­cause it in­volved the re­place­ment of the ship’s main propulsion

sys­tem in Fe­bru­ary 2018, in­clud­ing a new Ger­man-made diesel en­gine. That re­quired cut­ting large holes in the ship in or­der to re­move the en­gine. The Eagle’s pre­vi­ous, diesel-pow­ered en­gine had been in use since about 1985.

Built in 1936 in Nazi Ger­many, the Eagle last un­der­went a ma­jor over­haul from 1978 to 1982.

The Eagle was ini­tially ex­pected to re­turn to New Lon­don in 2018 but was de­layed due to out­stand­ing work that needed to be done. The work in­cluded ren­o­vat­ing crew berthing and lounge ar­eas and re­pair­ing the pilot house, which was done in win­ter 2018-19. The to­tal cost of the project was $29 mil­lion, slightly higher than the ini­tial es­ti­mate of $28 mil­lion.

Mem­bers of the ship’s crew, most of whom have al­ready re­lo­cated to the New Lon­don area, are “thrilled” to re­turn to New Lon­don, which was des­ig­nated as a “Coast Guard City” in 2015, said En­sign An­gel­ica Brooks, pub­lic af­fairs of­fi­cer for the Eagle.

“Their re­turn to New Lon­don will mark the cul­mi­na­tion of a high-vis­i­bil­ity over­seas de­ploy­ment to Europe to help com­mem­o­rate the 75th an­niver­sary of D-Day, re­in­force im­por­tant re­la­tion­ships for the De­part­ments of Home­land Se­cu­rity, State, and De­fense, while also con­duct­ing the an­nual Coast Guard Academy cadet train­ing,” Brooks said.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.