Eagle is undergoing the final phase of a four-year service life extension project at the Coast Guard Yard in Baltimore as part of the Coast Guard’s In-Service Vessel Sustainment Program. Work began in 2014 and has been conducted in four phases so the ship could carry out its training role – providing U.S. Coast Guard Academy cadets with training in seamanship, engineering and leadership – each summer.
Tag: coast guard cutter eagle
Former Coast Guardsman Jim Briggs, one of the first American crewmembers on the Coast Guard Cutter Eagle, was able to check the last item off his bucket list recently: visiting his old cutter 66 years after he left it.
Thanks to an opportunity from the Academy’s Alumni Association, Christian and his classmate Jim Mongold set sail aboard the Coast Guard Eagle once again, sailing from London to Madeira, Portugal during this summer’s training cruise. The former cadets hadn’t been on the Eagle for 40 years.
This training is called, “School of the Ship,” and before the cadets are allowed to handle lines, set sails or get underway, they must go through it. The school transforms the Eagle into a hands-on classroom and gives the cadets a crash course in sailing because for the next few weeks they are responsible for working the ship’s complex system of lines and sails, and it is up the crew to teach them.
The only square-rigger in U.S. government service, Coast Guard Cutter Eagle has offered generations of Coast Guard Academy cadets an unparalleled leadership experience at sea. For nearly two decades, Auxiliarist George White has been part of that leadership experience. White, a member of the all-volunteer Coast Guard Auxiliary, served as a mentor to cadets aboard the sail-training vessel and was recently presented the Coast Guard Distinguished Public Service Award in recognition of his outstanding service.
It was 6:30 a.m. on a crisp fall day. Coast Guard members were lined up ready for the task at hand – a mystery basket. The Coast Guard members were all chefs competing in the 10th annual Military Chef’s Cook-Off, joining more than 60 other chefs to show off their skills, training and culinary techniques.
With 23 sails harnessing wind as the ship’s primary means of propulsion, Eagle’s operators take the weather very seriously. While Eagle generally navigates in the direction of its next port call, the ship often sails on whatever wind is present. The ship can only sail approximately 75 degrees off the true wind, and thus if the wind is blowing from the direction of the next port call, planning a transit can be challenging. Observing, predicting and responding to the weather all play a huge role in life on the barque.
It can be daunting when swabs first walk up to the Coast Guard Cutter Eagle during ‘Swab Summer.’ The triple-masted, barque-rigged, tall ship sways in the water like a brilliant reminder of our presence at sea and the 223 years of maritime history in our service.
Cadets face a multitude of challenges when stepping aboard Eagle. Shipboard living conditions are tight, and all cadets work, stand watches and attend training nearly 16 or more hours a day, sometimes while feeling seasick. Other cadets faced overcoming their fears of climbing 147-feet high into the rigging.
Boatswain’s mates training for their rate – also known as A-school – normally does not include any time underway on a Coast Guard cutter. However, this spring 48 A-school students set sail from Charleston, S.C., alongside officer candidates from both Coast Guard Officer Candidate School and National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration Basic Officer Training.