Ninth District “BRAVO ZULU” to the USCGC Penobscot Bay

>We would like to extend a BRAVO ZULU to the United States Coast Guard cutter Penobscot Bay.

The Bayonne, N.J.-based, 140-foot ice breaking cutter departed Cleveland, and the Great Lakes, on April 4, 2010, after a more than 90-day temporary assignment to the Great Lakes Region. Penobscot Bay augmented the U.S. Coast Guard’s Great Lakes ice breaking fleet during Operations Coal Shovel and Taconite, the Coast Guard’s two major ice breaking operations.

“Their presence ensured the Coast Guard provided the best level of service and kept commerce moving during the winter season,” said Cmdr. Kevin Dunn, Chief of Waterways Management, Ninth Coast Guard District.

While operating in the Great Lakes, Penobscot Bay cleared paths for more than 25 commercial freighters, and solely facilitated the the safe navigation of 12 vessels. They spent more than 200 hours breaking Great Lakes ice, including more than 70 hours of preventative ice breaking to keep tracks and channels open for navigation. Overall, their efforts facilitated the safe transit of nearly one million tons of cargo valued at more than $100 million.

Additionally, Penobscot Bay responded to requests from Vermilion and Fairport Harbor, Ohio, to break ice out of the mouths of the Vermilion and Grand Rivers, respectively, to reduce the risk of flooding. In total, they dedicated more than 52 hours to flood relief operations.

During their deployment to the Great Lakes, Penobscot Bay conducted operations in all five Great Lakes, traveling approximately 2,468 nautical miles.

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Operation Coal Shovel encompasses southern Lake Huron, St. Clair/Detroit River systems and Lakes Erie and Ontario, including the St. Lawrence Seaway; while Operation Taconite encompasses Lake Superior, the St. Marys River, the Straits of Mackinac, Lake Michigan and northern Lake Huron. Operations Coal Shovel and Taconite are based on the statutory authorities of 14 USC 2, 14 USC 88 and 14 USC 141. Both direct ice breaking resources to the highest priority areas and missions based on the most current ice conditions.

Flood and storm damage reduction is a mission of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the U.S. Coast Guard provides support to USACE when requested and when a cutter is available. The 1917 Flood Control Act authorized USACE to have a significant federal role in flood control activities nationwide. Today, the USACE is responsible for all projects containing Federal flood control storage and is responsible for flood and storm damage reduction projects which are joint ventures between the Federal government and non-Federal sponsors.

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