- Associated Press - Friday, May 26, 2017

SITKA, Alaska (AP) - The U.S. Coast Guard has told Alaska city officials that one or two new ships could be stationed in Sitka.

Lt. Cmdr. Michael Newell said the Coast Guard is still trying to figure out if it would be feasible to station additional fast response cutters at the city’s base, the Daily Sitka Sentinel reported (https://bit.ly/2qjnrKC ) Thursday.

“There’s probably four to five home ports that they’re looking at right now and Sitka is one of them,” he said.

There are some concerns about housing the ships and whether the support the cutters will need is in Sitka, Newell said.

“We’re still in the planning phases to try to figure out how to best get the logistics done before we throw a new unit in at the home port,” Newell said.

Each of the new 154-foot (47-meter) vessels would require a 24-person crew as well as 12 to 18 shore-side staff members to assist with maintenance, he said.

The new ships have not been built yet and would not be in Sitka for a few years.

“Assuming that there’s no production delays, we’re talking somewhere around 2022 to 2025,” he said.

The vessels would be part of a fleet of six new fast response cutters that would be stationed in Alaska. Ketchikan recently welcomed two of the new ships.

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Information from: Daily Sitka (Alaska) Sentinel, https://www.sitkasentinel.com/


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