ANCHORAGE (AP) -- The Coast Guard's presence in Alaska will increase this year with a new cutter to be based in Valdez.
The Coast Guard plans to send a cutter to Valdez by September to increase security at the port, according to Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Thomas Collins.
U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens announced Collins' decision. Stevens said he asked Collins late last year to look into increasing the Coast Guard's Alaska area capabilities.
The Coast Guard will send a 110-foot Island-class cutter to the port.
Its primary mission will be search and rescue, fisheries enforcement, and homeland security.
The patrol boat has a speed of up to 30 knots and a five- to seven-day patrol endurance. It will carry a crew of about 17 guardsmen.
According to the Coast Guard, Island-class patrol boats are a modification of a highly successful British-designed patrol boat.
The boats are named after U-S islands.
They replaced the older 95-foot Cape-class patrol boats and are equipped with advanced electronics and navigation equipment.
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