The Coast Guard accepted delivery of the fourth National Security Cutter, Hamilton, in Pascagoula, Miss., Monday.
Hamilton will be the first of two NSCs to be homeported in Charleston, S.C. The cutter will be commissioned into service Dec. 6.
“After three years of fabrication and expert craftsmanship, Ingalls shipyard has delivered a great ship to the Coast Guard,” said Capt. Douglas Fears, the prospective commanding officer of Hamilton. “The Coast Guard's Project Resident Office has fastidiously overseen the production of Hamilton through all key acquisition milestones.”
The cutter is now officially an asset of the Coast Guard and custody is turned over from the shipyard to its commanding officer and crew.
“Hamilton's crew has prepared over six months for this day, and we are both honored and humbled to be entrusted with the task of bringing this great ship to life and readying her for decades of service to our nation,” Fears said.
The Hamilton is the sixth cutter in Coast Guard history named after Alexander Hamilton, who as the first Secretary of the Treasury prompted Congress to create the Revenue Marine, a precursor to the modern Coast Guard.
The first three NSCs – Coast Guard cutters Bertholf,Waesche and Stratton – are performing operations from their Alameda, Calif., homeport. The fifth NSC, James, is scheduled to be delivered in the summer of 2015. The keel laying for the sixth, Munro, is scheduled for later this fall, with delivery scheduled for 2016. The seventh, Kimball, is under production, and long lead time materials for the eighth, Midgett, have been ordered.
The Legend-class NSC is the largest multipurpose cutter in the Coast Guard fleet and is replacing the 378' high endurance cutter, which has been in service since the 1960s. The 418' NSC has a top speed of 28 knots and a range of 12,000 NM. It is capable of performing 60- to 90-day patrols.