Curtis Bay, MD -- Nine months ago, DILIGENCE began a major maintenance availability as a part of the Coast Guard’s Mission Effectiveness Program (MEP). The purpose of MEP is to refurbish the structure of the ship and to update some of the equipment on board. The major focuses were to reinforce areas of the ship’s steel hull and decks, update auxiliary equipment such as refrigeration and air-conditioning, and install new deck equipment enabling the cutter to deploy two significantly more capable small boats.
During the time without the ship, the DILIGENCE crew has been taking advantage of opportunities for professional development, attending over fifty different specialty schools including; Emergency Medical Technician, Small Cutter Damage Control, Finance and Procurement Desktop Operator, Shipboard Baking, Counter Drug Operations, and Tactical Coxswain schools. DILIGENCE's crewmembers also assisted more than twenty-five other Coast Guard cutters and small boat stations.
Currently, DILIGENCE is moored at the Coast Guard Yard in Curtis Bay, Maryland; however, she has reached significant milestones in preparing for sea. The cutter recently had successful "light offs": a basic test of both main diesel engines, the two ship service generators and emergency generator. The success of the light offs brings DILIGENCE one step closer to getting back to sea, but there is still plenty of work to do before the ship leaves the yard.
When the DILIGENCE was placed in the yard the Legacy Sustainment Support Unit (LSSU) took custody of the ship while it was to be worked on in the yard. At 1645 (4:45pm) on the 16th of July, the Commanding Officer of CGC DILIGENCE, Commander Harry M. Schmidt, signed for the ship taking custody back from the LSSU. The end of the week culminated when DILIGENCE's crew returned to Curtis Bay, MD and moved onboard, breathing life back into the cutter. While in Curtis Bay, the crew will make final preparations, including general housekeeping, loading equipment onto the ship, and conducting both a Sea Trials assessment with technical advisors from the Coast Guard Yard and a Ready for Sea Inspection by the Coast Guard’s Afloat Training Group.
With the Sea Trials and the Ready for Sea Inspection as the largest remaining hurdles, DILIGENCE is on track to return to Wilmington on August 2nd under a Coast Guard Auxiliary escort. The crew is anxious to get back on their boat. SN Jess Boyer exclaims, “I can't wait to finally be back underway on DILIGENCE. It's a cool experience that nothing else can replace!” All members are looking forward to the anticipated return of DILIGENCE to its rightful place at the Coast Guard moorings in downtown Wilmington where we can be close to our family, friends, and the oldest Coast Guard City on the East Coast.