Coast Guard Cutter Reliance patrols the Western Caribbean in support of the Joint Interagency Task Force – South October 2014. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Clinton McDonald)

USCGC Reliance Departs Portsmouth Naval Shipyard for Last Time

The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Reliance crew departed on patrol from the Naval Shipyard in Portsmouth, New Hampshire July 6, 2020, and return in August to its new homeport of Naval Air Station Pensacola in Florida.

After 32 years homeported in New Hampshire, Reliance will continue service with two other 210-foot medium endurance cutters homeported at Naval Air Station Pensacola, allowing the Coast Guard to better leverage efficiencies gained by clustering vessels of the same class.

U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Reliance has shifted homeports several times since its commissioning on June 24, 1964. Reliance has been homeported in Corpus Christi, Texas, Yorktown, Virginia, and Port Canaveral, Florida. More recently, Reliance replaced U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Vigilant in New Castle, New Hampshire in 1988, and in 1996, shifted berths to the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard.

During the time in New Hampshire, Reliance has contributed to the Coast Guard’s missions of Search and Rescue, living marine resource protection, and safeguarding New England port and waterways.

In 1989, Reliance acted as the on-scene commander for the Narragansett Bay Oil Spill. Reliance crews coordinated multiple assets and directed the cleanup of over 300,000 gallons of crude oil from the tanker ship, World Prodigy, that ran aground off the coast of Rhode Island.

In 1991, a crew of the Reliance assumed tactical command for the intersection of the fishing vessel, Hunter, which was spotted 100 miles south of Long Island and caught smuggling over five tons of cocaine.

Additionally, a Reliance crew was involved with port security operations during the September 11th terrorist attacks, responded to numerous Search and Rescue cases saving hundreds of lives at sea, and regulated New England’s fisheries to ensure sustainment of fishery stocks.

U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Reliance was originally designed with a stern exhaust system, a three inch gun deck capable of manning a 40 mm. antisubmarine cannon, a helicopter pad capable of carrying the out of commission HH-52 rotary wing aircraft, and a power plant system that combined diesel and gas combustion.

After undergoing a major maintenance availability in 1987, she was modified to include two pitch controlled main diesel engines capable of reaching a max speed of 18 knots, an exhaust stack that is presented amidships, an armament of one 25 mm. automatic machine gun and two .50 caliber machine guns, and a flight deck capable of carrying and deploying an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter.

The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Reliance crew would like to thank Portsmouth Naval Shipyard and the town of Kittery for being home to them and Reliance over the past 30 years.

Read more at USCG

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