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CGC Polar Star
Last Post 09 Apr 2013 12:08 AM by Polarbill. 12 Replies.
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USMCUser is Offline
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USMC

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17 May 2012 12:52 PM
    My daughter just received her orders in Boot Camp to the CGC Polar Star in Seattle Washington. The Polar Star is in a re-activation status. Does anyone know where she will live?  Also, what type of work will she be doing while it is in re-activation?
    kwolfUser is Offline
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    17 May 2012 02:12 PM
    My dad was an officer on a wind class icebreaker about 20yrs ago and spent a year re-activating one so I showed him your question. My dad said it's basically crap work. He mentioned painting, watches, general work stuff. He said it depends on what kind of work they are currently doing. Depending what state the breaker is in she may be living on board.

    Hopefully someone else can add more but I hope that helps some.
    BellsUser is Offline
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    Bells

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    17 May 2012 07:34 PM
    She will live on the cutter for at least 6 months before they will let her put in for the barracks or government leased housing. Unless she is married, if she is then she will live on the economy.

    Right now the Star is at Todd shipyard so it is right near the CG base but not in it like the other cutters. I know alottt of people on that boat.

    They are pretty much slaving away right now, they are not working trop hours (0700-1300) they are working long hours (0700-1600 ?) and hard. They are needle gunning and re painting the whole cutter, and alot of engineering work. Let her know its going to be no cake walk right now, that boat it tough. They plan on getting underway in about a year so they are on a tight schedule. She is kind of going in at a good time since it is transfer season, a lot of people are going to be in and out so she definitely wont be the only new person at least.
    Take what you like and leave the rest behind.
    17JSLUDERUser is Offline
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    17JSLUDER

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    09 Jun 2012 05:08 PM
    They recently changed that, as soon as your daughter reports she can put her name on the GLH list. She no longer has to wait 4 months and be qualified before she can put her name on the list... although she does have to be qualified before she moves in, untill then she will be living onboard. Straight out of boot camp, she will be a non rate, putting her in the 12-man, which is a 12 person berthing with all females. We also ARE in trop hours. If your daughter is a SA/ SN her day will begin at 645 and end at 1300 unless she is on duty, which until she gets qualified, she will have duty every 3 days meaning she has to stay onboard 24 hours. If your daughter is a FA/FN her day will begin at 700. Regular days for Seamans, are painting, sanding, needle gunning, and cleaning, Fireman work down in the engine rooms. The ships schedule looks like this: SCHEDULE DETETED BY MODERATOR FOR OPSEC REASONS. 

    (i live and work on the polar star)

    Edit: upcoming ship's schedule removed for OPSEC reasons. Please don't give out patrol schedules or port call information on a public forum. - Cooch
    CoochUser is Offline
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    Cooch

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    09 Jun 2012 05:41 PM
    17JSLUDER,

    Please take a moment to educate yourself on what OPSEC is and why it's so important. You can read more here:

    http://www.uscg.org/Forum/aft/5417.aspx

    You can meet the standard, or you can set the standard. It's your choice.
    Civ2CoastieUser is Offline
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    Civ2Coastie

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    12 Nov 2012 02:57 AM
    Ohhhh Sluder. My silly silly shipmate. I'm gona give her hell when I see her after the holiday cooch.
    GM1USCG_RETUser is Offline
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    GM1USCG_RET

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    12 Nov 2012 03:24 PM
    Needle-gunning, belt-sanding, cleaning and painting is all very necessary and important work.  While you perform these tasks, you are also inspecting the ship's hull, deck, bulkheads and support structure for damage and structural integrity.  YOU may find a crack in an important rib, hull or deck plate that was previously undetected because it had 30+ years of paint covering it.  You may think your job description and your new NAME ("NON-RATE") are demeaning and derogatory...  You're right...  They are!  You know what?  The rest of us with "crows" or anchors have also "been there, done that".  

    You have been assigned to a very historic vessel.  Did you know she was originally designed to be Nuclear-Powered?  She was designed to be the world's most powerful ice-breaker by Lockheed Aircraft Company's "Skunk Works" new division:  Lockheed Shipbuilding.  They built exactly TWO ships; Polar Sea and Polar Star.  Ask your older shipmates why "nuke" icebreakers aren't allowed in Antarctica...   Something about a tree-huggers treaty of some sort.  Ask an Officer and you're guaranteed to hear about Russian and American icebreakers and their history.

    When you finally get underway, you'll think you got the dirty end of the stick when it comes to standing watches.  Did you ever think about the most junior members of the crew having one of the most important jobs on the ship?  Lookout watchstanders have saved COUNTLESS lives and many ships at sea.  When another ship (more likely a small sailboat) is lost at sea and sinks before it can send  a distress call, their ONLY hope of salvation is an observant fellow mariner.  Who aboard your cutter is most likely to see someone floating in a small raft, or hanging onto an Igloo cooler without a PFD???  Sometimes, its a tired "Snipe" who just got off an 8~hour watch in "The Hole" taking a breather on the flight deck before (hopefully) taking a quick shower and climbing in the rack for a few hours of sleep.  More than likely, its the SA a couple months out of boot camp that spots the nearly-dead sailor whose boat struck a 40' container that fell off a containership in heavy seas months before.  These containers "float" a few feet below the surface, ready to rip the keel off the 30' sailboat crewed by a recently retired couple on their "dream vacation" from California to Australia.  The sailboat sank in 48 seconds while the man and their 8-year old Collie slept in the "Vee-berth" forward and the woman stood watch at the helm near the stern of the boat...  Husband and dog went to the bottom with the boat in 2,863 feet of ocean.  She had been wearing her PFD as was her habit.  He never wore his, except in very foul weather.  The battery in her PFD's strobe light died days before.  

    Think this never happens?  Far more often than you think, but without a happy ending.  EPIRBs are expensive, so not all offshore sailors can afford them.  Containerships lose "boxes" overboard every day and never recover them.  How big are these menaces to navigation?  A "standard" intermodal container is 40' long, 8' wide and 8' tall.  90% of the world's freight is shipped in them.  The largest ships carry up to 15,000 of them.  10,000 are lost at sea every year.  Some of them sink. Some do not.  Some that are almost air-tight also contain potato chips that may cause the container to "float" a few inches to several feet below the surface of the ocean...

    I digress...  Bottom Line:  Sometimes the most junior member of the crew has the most important job.
    David ThompsonUser is Offline
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    06 Jan 2013 11:02 AM
    The Polar Star has been undergoing repairs to bring her back to active sea service, the ship has been out of service for a number of years due to meeting the service life of the ship. This does not mean it is not a safe ship to go to sea in or break ice, it means that a date was set years ago that after so many years of active service, the ship will need to be replaced or go into the shipyard for a complete hull inspection inside and out, as well as "EVERY PICE OF EQUIPMENT" on the ship then any thing that needs to be replaced is replaced or rebuilt. All pipe and wiring are checked,also new up to dated computer systems are installed, to bring her back to life, now I can answer your question, think of the ship as a old house with all the construction dust and dirt plus old dirt from being empty for a few years, now you move in, well that work will be done by your daughter as a non-Rate also during dockside time she will start learning the location of every space on the ship, as well as how to get there, she will learn about shipboard fire fighting, and emergency procedures, plus much more, then she will take a standard test to make sure she knows her ship and her job. As every young Coast Guard Member learns that they will be doing a lot of cleaning and painting , taking out the trash, washing dishes, cleaning the galley, these are things the junior non rates have to do as they start their way up the ladder to a rated petty officer, by watching the Rated members of the crew she will have a better idea of what she wants to do in the Coast Guard, during my service I saw many young petty officers that went direct to an "A" school then to their first unit, just to find out they did not like the work in the field they went to school for, your daughter can see first hand what each rate does, then apply For that rates "A" school. You should be proud of your daughter she has joined a fine service, I retired from the USCG after over 26 years, my last unit was the Polar Star
     
    D.J. Thompson , HSC, USCG, RET.
    BellsUser is Offline
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    06 Jan 2013 11:10 AM
    Nice, they came back to Delta Berth and are about to do some ice trials if they are not already. They are ready to be operational again, im happy for them that crew has put a lot into that cutter

    Take what you like and leave the rest behind.
    Old Guard2User is Offline
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    06 Jan 2013 11:19 AM
    Colin said all the ships did a "Chinese fire drill CG style" a week or two ago. Everyone put out, to bring the Star in, then everyone came back in to tie up?!?! Or something. That sounds like it was a fun day.
    Sector NY, Staten Island
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    06 Jan 2013 04:45 PM
    Can't answer that question directly but I do know that the BOS'N on my boat is heading over there this transfer season. He's awesome, salty as all hell, has almost as much sea time as I have years alive lol. Great guy, full of knowledge, understanding, love the guy to death. She'll be lucky to have him. Just a little positive note there.
    BellsUser is Offline
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    06 Jan 2013 04:50 PM
    Thats awesome! Im glad they are getting a good Bosn, that crew is still has a pretty uphill battle ahead of them.

    LOL exactly Macie, the Midget and the Mellon had to move for the Star to get in, and then the Midget and the Mellon were tied next to eachother like best friends, sharing one pier instead of each having their own pier. I think it was the first time all 5 cutters have been at the pier in over 4 years if not more, and it only last for a couple weeks
    Take what you like and leave the rest behind.
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    09 Apr 2013 12:08 AM
    I know from first had experience everyone in the engineering department works hard, all the time. That being said, I liked icebreaker duty better than anything else I experienced in the service. My first breaker was the Northwind, I went aboard in Jan 1970, a short time later we went on an AWW patrol. Four hundred miles of ice to get to Nome, walk a mile across the ice to get a few beers then North through the Bering Straits and soon stuck fast off Cape Prince of Wales.

    Icebreaker duty will take your daughter to places most people only dream of seeing, it really is worth all the hard work and underway time. Tough on families though.
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