Coast Guard Cutter Munro Returns to Kodiak

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USCG Cutter Munro. Coast Guard file photo

Jacob Resneck/KMXT

The Munro, a high-endurance cutter and one of the largest in the Coast Guard fleet, has returned to its homeport in Kodiak. The Munro’s captain spoke to KMXT’s Jacob Resneck about the ship’s mission in the Bering Sea.

(munro pkg 3:51 sec "After three months … first of the year. I’m Jacob Resneck.")

After three months at sea, the Munro returned to Kodiak September 9. With about 170 crew members its mission is primarily to patrol the Bering Sea for search and rescue and enforcement of U.S. maritime law.

Captain Matthew Bell says emergencies are decreasing as civilian vessels increase their emergency preparedness.

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The Munro is fast. It can do 27 knots for interceptions. It’s also armed with a 76 millimeter deck gun and guided Phalanx Gatling gun designed to defend against air-to-sea missiles. It also has an HH-65 "Dolphin" helicopter making it versatile for all types of missions.

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The 378-foot cutter is mostly charged with enforcing domestic fishing regulations. But Captain Bell says this past mission there were very few fishing boats found to be in violation.

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The Munro was recently in Seattle for some major engine work. Below deck, the work continues in Kodiak this week with Master Chief McMinn overseeing work on the Munro’s diesel engines and gas turbines.

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After three months at sea, many of the 170 crewmembers are taking time to catch up with their families. Ensign Nicole Tourot, says during missions port calls around Alaska are often a welcome break from the open ocean.

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The Munro has been homeported in Kodiak for the past three years. Before that it had seen action against pirates around the Horn of Africa and intercepted drug runners hauling cocaine. But Captain Bell who’s lived in Kodiak since 1987 says he’s proud of the ship being part of this community.

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The Munro isn’t due to leave port again until after the first of the year.

I’m Jacob Resneck.

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