SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska

Discovery Center welcomes Coast Guard and Ketchikan community with free, special opening


April 10, 2017
Monday PM

(SitNews) Ketchikan, Alaska - In celebration of the upcoming commissioning of the Coast Guard Cutter John F. McCormick, the Southeast Alaska Discovery Center will be open to the public, free of charge, from 10 AM to 4 PM on Tuesday, April 11, 2017.

“We are thrilled to welcome the USCGC John F. McCormick and the Coast Guard community to Ketchikan and the Tongass National Forest,” center director Leslie Swada said. “Exploring the Discovery Center is a great way for newcomers and local residents alike to connect with the stories behind Southeast Alaska’s wild places and vibrant cultures.”

The Coast Guard Cutter John McCormick (WPC 1121), the 17th District’s first 154-foot Fast Response Cutter homeported in Ketchikan, will be commissioned on Wednesday morning (Apr. 12th) at the USCG Base Ketchikan.

The Coast Guard Cutter John McCormick (WPC-1121) and crew arrived to their home port at Coast Guard Base Ketchikan, on March 17, 2017. The Fast Response Cutter McCormick and its crew completed a 6,200-mile trip fmor Key West, Florida.
Photo by Petty Officer 1st Class William Colclough

The CGC John McCormick is the first of six Sentinel-class cutters that will homeport in Alaska. The 154-foot vessel is designed to patrol coastal regions and features advanced command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance equipment, including the ability to launch and recover standardized small boats from its stern.

The cutter is named after Boatswain John F. McCormick. McCormick received a Gold Lifesaving Medal for a heroic rescue on the Columbia River Bar in 1938. McCormick was officer-in-charge of the wooden 52-foot motor lifeboat Triumph out of Station Point Adams at the mouth of the Columbia River. On Mar. 26, 1938, McCormick and his crew managed to save Surfman Robert O. Bracken, who was swept overboard by a wave.

In a special ceremony Wednesday, the commissioning will be presided by the Vice Commandant of the Coast Guard, Adm. Charles Michel. Attendees include the 17th District commander, Rear Adm. Michael McAllister; Coast Guard Sector Juneau commander, Capt. Shannan Greene; and Cutter John McCormick’s commanding officer, Lt. Michael Moyseowicz. Also in attendance is the cutter’s sponsor Linda Jarmer, granddaughter of John McCormick.

The commissioning of a ship is an age-old tradition where the vessel is assigned to active service and the crew ceremoniously reports aboard to accept their positions that will be passed on like a torch until the ship’s life comes to an end in the service and it is decommissioned.

In celebration Tuesday, visitors are invited by the Discovery Center to explore the center’s four exhibit halls and discover Southeast Alaska’s unique coastal rainforests, vibrant native cultures, diverse ecosystems and the ways people make a sustainable living in the Tongass National Forest. In the center’s changing exhibit gallery is the annual Alaska Hummingbird Festival Juried Art Show, featuring Alaskan artists’ creative depictions of an amazing array of migratory birds. A rotating selection of films on Southeast Alaska and Ketchikan’s nature and culture will be shown in the Elizabeth Peratrovich Theater. Rangers will present hourly interpretive programs and answer questions about the Tongass.



Fast Response Cutter John McCormick arrives in Ketchikan By MARY KAUFFMAN - The Coast Guard Cutter John McCormick (WPC-1121) and its crew arrived to their homeport at Coast Guard Base Ketchikan, Friday afternoon after completing a 6,200-mile trip from Key West, Florida. - More...
SitNews - March 17, 2017


Editing by Mary Kauffman, SitNews


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