Coast Guard Cutter CYPRESS is the tenth cutter of the Juniper Class of Seagoing Buoy Tenders constructed by the Marinette Marine Corporation in Marinette, Wisconsin, and the second cutter to bear the name CYPRESS. She was launched on October 27th, 2001, delivered to the Coast Guard on June 24th, 2002, and placed in Commission on October 11th, 2002. Aided by automated engineering controls and computer based navigation and communication equipment, CYPRESS is equipped to perform search and rescue, law enforcement, homeland security, pollution response, and domestic icebreaking missions, as well as fulfilling her primary mission of servicing and maintaining aids to navigation. CYPRESS’ main operating area stretches along 900 miles of the Gulf Coast, from Apalachicola, Florida to the Mexican Border in Brownsville, Texas, where she is responsible for the maintenance of 120 floating aids to navigation. CYPRESS is truly a multi-mission unit that personifies the Coast Guard’s motto “Semper Paratus,” meaning Always Ready.
Since her commissioning, CYPRESS has distinguished herself through exemplary performance in a wide range of operations. CYPRESS participated in historic hurricane recovery operations after the devastations of IVAN, KATRINA, and RITA, recovering and re-establishing buoys that were up to 24 nautical miles off station and re-establishing critical Gulf Coast channels including Pensacola, Mobile, Gulfport, Pascagoula, New Orleans, Sabine, and Corpus Christi. In 2004, CYPRESS successfully recovered a sunken 38,000 pound “Blue Angel” F/A-18A Hornet from 40 feet under water in the Gulf of Mexico and has since served as the center point for the annual Blue Angels’ famed air show at Pensacola Beach, FL. In 2005, CYPRESS contributed to the re-build and extension of the Galveston ship channel entrance, the portal to the busy Houston-Galveston area and used by more than 6,000 large vessels annually. CYPRESS’ daily commitment to operational excellence has been recognized by her exemplary performance during three successive rounds of the U.S. Navy’s Command Assessment of Readiness and Training (CART) and Tailored Annual Cutter Training (TACT), where CYPRESS earned three Battle “E” awards for outstanding operational readiness and performance. In spring 2007, CYPRESS completed her first extended Alien Migration Interdiction Operations (AMIO) patrol for Coast Guard District Seven. During this patrol, CYPRESS set the standard for other cutters by successfully chasing and interdicting two go-fast smuggler vessels and seven suspected smugglers; as well as processing over 75 illegal migrants. In addition to routine and emergency servicing of approximately 120 federal aids to navigation, CYPRESS also assists the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the National Data Buoy Center (NDBC) by servicing approximately twenty weather buoys throughout the Gulf of Mexico, critical to assisting professional mariners with voyage planning as well as tracking and predicting hurricanes. CYPRESS has also operated in support of her secondary missions, engaging in Maritime Law Enforcement patrols and conducting search and rescue (SAR). In her most recent SAR case, CYPRESS successfully rescued 8 people from their recreational boat just minutes before it sank. CYPRESS promptly responded to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill impacting the Gulf of Mexico, conducting oil recovery operations and support of the operational commander’s goals. CYPRESS remains Semper Paratus.