Coast Guard Press Release:
Coast Guard Cutter Eagle Meets Coast Guard Cutter Bertholf (For Release)
SAN FRANCISCO -- U. S. Coast Guard cutter Bertholf approaches U. S. Coast Guard cutter Eagle in the San Francisco Bay here July 23.
This represents the first time the oldest built cutter and the newest built cutter in the Coast Guard have transited together.
Bertholf, the Coast Guard's first 418-foot National Security Cutter homeported here, is the lead ship in the new Legend class of cutters designed to be the flagship of the modernized Coast Guard fleet.
Eagle, a three-masted sailing barque with 21,350 square feet of sail homeported in New London, Conn., is the only active commissioned sailing vessel in the U.S. maritime services.
Eagle serves as a seagoing classroom for approximately 175 cadets and instructors from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. Sailing in Eagle, cadets handle more than 20,000 square feet of sail and 5 miles of rigging. Over 200 lines must be coordinated during a major ship maneuver. (U. S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Melissa Hauck)
New Coast Guard ship arrives in Alameda
REUNITING ON THE DOCK OF THE BAY
By Sean Maher, Oakland Tribune, Article Launched: 07/23/2008 07:15:21 PM PDT
Bertholf Sails Home, Finally
ALAMEDA — The first new Coast Guard ship in almost four decades reached home Wednesday, reuniting its crew with family and friends they hadn't seen in six months.
The Bertholf, a 420-foot ship and the first of its class in the Coast Guard, is a multi-mission ship designed for law enforcement, search-and-rescue missions and working military operations with the Navy, said Coast Guard spokesman Lt. Dave Oney.
Crew members spent the past six months training on the ship in Pascagoula, Miss., and arrived home Wednesday after a goodwill tour.
"A lot of these guys have been putting in 16 hours a day," Oney said. "So we're going to give them a little rest before we officially commission the ship on Aug. 4."
Family members lined up at a dock on Coast Guard Island in Alameda, posting hand-painted signs with such messages as "It's about time."
Ramon Renteria, 54, of Sacramento, waited two hours in the afternoon heat for his son, Marc Antony Renteria, to be allowed off the ship. The proud father wore a small American flag sticking up from the back of his brown Budweiser baseball cap.
"We're going to have some margaritas," Ramon Renteria said. "I have three bottles of (Jose) Cuervo Reserva de la Familia at home. They're $100 each, but it is my son's birthday today. I know we are going to have fun."
Renteria said his son has loved the ocean since he was a child.
"Since he was 5 years old, I used to take him to Seal Beach. ... I would hold him by the hand, and he loved the water, loved the ocean," Renteria said.
Marc Antony Renteria's wife of almost 10 years, Simone, rejoined her husband with their two daughters in tow when the ship stopped in San Francisco earlier Wednesday.
"I slept about two hours last night," she said. "The house had to be spotless, and I couldn't sleep anyway."
Some family members had to postpone their reunion.
Jamie Urbina of Concord stood on the dock with her son, Lee, waiting for husband Ernesto Urbina to arrive. Both husband and wife are Coast Guardsmen, Jamie Urbina said. She could only spare enough time to help 21/2-year-old Lee wave hello to his father before she had to rush off to drive for Vice Admiral David Pekoske, who was in town to man the Coast Guard cutter Eagle, which will lead the 2008 Festival of Sail Parade from San Francisco on Wednesday.
Even though she hasn't seen her husband since February, Urbina made no complaints.
"That's the way the cookie crumbles," she said. "You have to do the job."
The success of the ship's production — it is the first of eight such vessels planned for production — is a welcome turnaround for the Coast Guard, which suffered public embarrassment last year when $100 million in efforts to elongate eight 110-foot-long patrol boats left all eight ruined and out of service.
The Bertholf travels at up to 28 knots, faster than any such ship in the Coast Guard, and features improved housing conditions for crew members, officials said.
"I was in a room with six people, coming from the 300 roommates I had in the Navy," Marc Antony Renteria said while on board, waiting to disembark to rejoin his family. He said the new ship had received fantastic response throughout its trip, approval he said is well deserved.
"To be honest, I think this is one great ship. The best part is the automation; you can just sit at a screen monitor and run almost everything," he said.
The Bertholf also features a 57 mm forward mount gun, which can discharge 220 rounds per minute and is the first of its kind, said Coast Guard spokesman Michael Anderson.
"We beat the Navy to it," Anderson said. "Look at the serial number: It's 001.
"The best part is it only loads one kind of round; you tell the ammunition what to do from a computer," Anderson said. "It can be explosive, armor penetrating; it can explode in the air. You don't have to load several different kinds of rounds. Disabling fire for large cargo vessels will be the main use. And it's all pinpoint accurate."
The ship will officially enter service Aug. 4, in an invitation-only commissioning ceremony officials say could be the largest in Coast Guard history.