US Coast Guard’s historic sail training ship starts final phase of life extension work

USCGC Eagle. Photo: US Coast Guard

The US Coast Guard’s sail training ship Eagle arrived at the Coast Guard Yard in Curtis Bay on September 9 to start the final phase of its service life extension work.

The 81-year-old ship’s service life extension project is part of the in-service vessel sustainment (ISVS) program and is divided into four phases over four years to ensure the ship remains available for summer training sessions.

The work for this phase includes the replacement of the main propulsion system and is the culmination of efforts to provide an additional 15 years of service life for the ship.

Cutter Eagle will receive a new MTU 8V4000 engine, ZF gearbox, propeller, automation system and other related components.

Prior to beginning her life as a US Coast Guard ship, Eagle was known as the Horst Wessel. The 295-foot three-mast originally sailed under the German Nazi regime before the US received the vessel as part of war reparations in 1946.

Eagle’s home port is New London, on the Thames River at the U. S. Coast Guard Academy. The Eagle’s primary mission is training for cadets and officer candidates. However, the Coast Guard accommodates requests for a limited number of port visits each year, when these do not interfere with the cutter’s primary training mission.

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