HONOLULU, Hawaii -- The Coast Guard Cutter Galveston Island (WPB 1349), a 110-foot Island Class patrol boat, was decommissioned after nearly 26 years of service as part of recapitalization efforts during a ceremony at Coast Guard Base Honolulu, Friday.
Its years of service included numerous law enforcement cases, safety and security enforcement patrols, presidential security operations, and a variety of noteworthy rescues at sea.
“The ship has been integral to the Coast Guard’s numerous missions and District Fourteen initiatives since its commissioning,” said Lt. Steele Johnson, commanding officer of Galveston Island. “The island class patrol boats have been the workhorses of the Coast Guard for nearly 30 years, and this ship has been no exception. Serving with this fine crew on such an accomplished ship and platform has been the highlight of my career, and I’m extremely proud and blessed to have done so. The crew’s accomplishments and dedication to excellence honor those crews that have come before us and set the standard for crews of any ship to come. The Galveston Island may leave our service today, but its legacy lives on.”
The Galveston Island entered in commission-special status in a ceremony held at Bollinger Shipyards in Lockport, Louisiana, Feb. 24, 1992. On its maiden voyage, the crew stopped in Galveston, Texas, where the governor of Texas presented them with their own set of Texas longhorns for the ship. The mayor of the city also declared March 28 and 29 "USCGC Galveston Island Day" in the city.
Galveston Island was commissioned in Honolulu, June 8, 1992, by Rear Adm. William C. Donnel, then commander, Coast Guard 14th District. His wife, Mrs. Patricia Donnell was the ship’s sponsor.
Known as the “Pacific Prowler,” Galveston Island always served the Pacific region. Its first homeport was Apra Harbor, Guam, and shifted to Honolulu in the late summer of 2006. At that time the ship assumed the motto, "kelamoku nō ka 'oi" meaning "the best sailor."
Galveston Island is the last of 49 Island Class cutters built to replace the 95-foot Cape Class cutters. With a 16-person mixed-gender crew and an operating range exceeding 2,300 miles, it has been an excellent platform to conduct search and rescue response, ports waterways and coastal security operations, and to enforce the laws and treaties of the United States. The U.S. State Department is coordinating the transfer of Galveston Island through the Foreign Assistance Act. This act allows the transfer of excess defense articles as a grant to friendly, foreign governments.