ANCHORAGE (AP) -- The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Alex Haley was headed home to Kodiak for Christmas.
The cutter spent three months in Los Angeles getting its stern section fitted with a new retractable helicopter Hangar.
The Haley left Kodiak in August.
''It was disappointing to be away from my family for Thanksgiving, but I'm glad we are going home for Christmas,'' said Petty Officer 3rd Class Kevin Biggs, a member of the ship's engineering department.
The vessel's new hangar is larger than those aboard the rest of the Coast Guard's medium endurance cutter fleet, the agency said. The hangar will let the Haley's crews perform maintenance in safety, whereas before they had to struggle in often harsh and unpredictable weather.
The Alex Haley was formerly the U.S.S. Edenton, a 283-fott Navy vessel. In 1999, it underwent a $20 million overhaul and was assigned to Kodiak for fisheries enforcement and search-and-rescue missions in the Bering Sea, Gulf of Alaska and North Pacific.
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