Mission to Africa – Heading Home

Post Written by Petty Officer 3rd Class Victoria Bonk.

Cmdr. Robert Hendrickson shows course to take

Cmdr. Robert Hendrickson, commanding officer of CGC Mohawk, shows BM2 Julio Castro and Ensign Nathaniel Baladad, the 1st Lieutenant aboard the Mohawk, a course to take the Mohawk back to its homeport. U.S. Coast Guard photo by PA3 Victoria Bonk.

This week, CGC Mohawk is steaming back to its homeport of Key West, Fla. Just like when we came across the Atlantic Ocean on our trip over, it’s going to take about two weeks, so the crew is staying busy with full workdays. We are up and out of our racks at 7 a.m. and work until evening chow.

There is a lot to do before we pull into port, including getting the ship ready. We are cleaning and fixing everything that needs attention. The deck department is hard at work sanding, priming and painting parts of the weather decks on the ship.

SN Morgan paints a tie down cup

SN Justin Morgan, a crewmember aboard CGC Mohawk, paints a tie down cup on the flight deck. The crew is preparing the ship for it’s return to homeport after a three-month deployment to West Africa. U.S. Coast Guard photo by PA3 Victoria Bonk.

As the ship gets ready, we are also readying the new crew members for standing their in port duty. They are finishing up their damage control personal qualification standards, doing drills and taking tests.

“Since we have started our trip back the deck department quickly went to work chasing running rust and touching up paint and then began work on their preventive maintenance items to keep everything running like tops,” said Senior Chief Radford Hoffpauir, the master at arms aboard the Mohawk.

And for a little excitement, we have been doing gunnery exercises on the Mark 75, 76mm 62 caliber gun weapons system. These exercises are needed to train gun mount personnel in loading procedures and clearing miss-fire procedures.

“Communication is key every time we shoot the Mark 75. There is about 24 hours of preparation for 5 minutes of excitement so it is extremely important that combat, the gun mount team and bridge keep prefect communication throughout the shoot, said Petty Officer 1st Class John Harling, an electronics technician aboard the Mohawk. ” “This communication keeps everyone safe while doing their part during the exercise.”

Gunnery exercise

CGC Mohawk’s Mark 75, 76mm 62 caliber gun weapons system fires during a gunnery exercise to train gun mount personnel in loading procedures and clearing miss-fire procedures. U.S. Coast Guard photo by PA3 Victoria Bonk.

The trip back isn’t quite as smooth as the trip to Africa was, as we are following behind Hurricane Igor and have Hurricane Julia coming up behind us. The boat is rocking a little more than most of us would like, but we are adjusting.

The crew couldn’t be more excited to be heading home, and we are counting the days till we see our families and friends on the pier for us in Key West.

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11 Responses

  1. Amberly Callenius says:

    I cannot wait to see and meet everyone when you return to Key West, but most importantly I cannot wait to see my Husband; Walt Callenius; and start our new lives in Key West with the Mohawk Family!!!

  2. LT Kevin Rocks says:

    Woo Hoo MOHAWK! Look at that big gun roar!

    It was great working with you all while you were out here! Git’er home safe Junk Yard Bob!

  3. Mr. & Mrs. Freeman says:

    We’re very proud of every single crew member. God bless you all, and smooth sailing.

  4. Susan Floyd says:

    You all have accomplished so much while away on this unforgettable trip to W. Africa. So proud, Mohawk! Your safe return to Key West is surely a blessing. You’ve all been missed so much, been counting the days (13) to see my son, Thomas Floyd. I want be there to greet you when you arrive in KW but I’ll be anxiously waiting for a phone call to home.
    With love, Momma

  5. J. Alexandra Cavalier says:

    Proud of you all! Make it home safely, miss you Anthony Lee Taylor! See you soon! xoxo

  6. John R. Bonk says:

    Great job Tori, you have kept all informed of what Mohawks fine crew has accomplished. Be safe and I’m sure you will be happy to be back in the states. Love ya Mom & Dad

  7. Susan Floyd says:

    You all have accomplished so much while away on this unforgettable trip to W. Africa. So proud, Mohawk! Your safe return to Key West is surely a blessing. You’ve all been missed so much, been counting the days (13) to see my son, Thomas Floyd. I want be there to greet you when you arrive in KW but I’ll be anxiously waiting for a phone call to home.
    With love, Momma

  8. Ms. Washington says:

    Can’t wait til you are home, I’ve missed my fiance very much!

  9. Susan Floyd says:

    Tori,
    I want to personally thank you for sharing pictures and news of all our loved ones who have been away from family. You have aided in keeping our sanity, assurance and peace of mind when e-mail was our only communication. I wish you and all those who’ve shared in this trip the best in their career with the US Coast guard. My blessings are with you all!
    (Thomas Floyds’s mom)

  10. Glen Bartlett says:

    Smooth sailing boys

  11. the Taylors says:

    While standing at that rail, as you sail into Homeport,BE PROUD!Remember all that you had seen, and have accomplished during the past several months. We are very proud of all aboard the Mohawk. Ms Bonk, we will miss your blog. Thanks for keeping us all informed and updated. We salute you! Starry skies, and smooth sailing.
    Paul and Paula Taylor
    Kenton OH