Huntington Ingalls Industries’ Ingalls Shipbuilding, Pascagoula, Miss., division ceremonially authenticated the keel of 418' Legend-class national security cutter Calhoun (WMSL 759) recently.

The keel authentication, initially planned for 2020, was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This is a very special keel authentication ceremony for a multitude of reasons,” George Nungesser, Ingalls’ vice president of program management, said in a prepared statement. “While we were able to work steadily and safely though the pandemic, visitation to the shipyard made commemorating major shipbuilding milestones a challenge. We are proud to be able to celebrate our talented shipbuilders and their successes today during this ceremonial keel laying.”

Calhoun recently reached the halfway point of its construction. Ingalls is the builder-of-record for the Legend-class NSC program and has delivered nine national security cutters with two more under construction.

NSC 10 is named for Charles L. Calhoun, the first master chief petty officer of the Coast Guard. He served in the U.S. Navy for three years during World War II and was honorably discharged as a torpedoman second class in February 1946. Seven months later, he enlisted in the Coast Guard and held various leadership positions over the course of 14 years. He served as master chief petty officer of the Coast Guard from Aug. 27, 1969, until Aug. 1, 1973.

The sponsor of NSC 10 is Christina Calhoun Zubowicz, the granddaughter of Charles L. Calhoun.

“I want to thank the entire United States Coast Guard for this opportunity and recognize their fervent efforts in protecting America's economic, national and border security,” Zubowicz said. “May abundant divine protection, luck and blessings surround the ship: and the men and women - the shipbuilders, in crafting the new innovative national security cutter, Calhoun.”

The Legend-class NSC is the most technologically advanced ship in the Coast Guard’s fleet, according to a statement from Huntington Ingalls, which enables it to meet the high demands required for maritime and homeland security, law enforcement, marine safety, environmental protection and national defense missions. NSCs can reach a top speed of 28 knots. They have a range of 12,000 miles, an endurance of 60 days and a crew of 120.