Coast Guard Cutter Waesche was welcomed to its new home at Coast Guard Island in Alameda, Calif., Sunday. Mothers, fathers, husbands, wives, sons and daughters all eagerly awaited for their Coast Guardsmen as they steamed into port aboard the newest and most advanced ride in the Coast Guard fleet.
The not-yet-commissioned cutter would make its namesake proud. Adm. Russell Waesche, Commandant from 1936 to 1945, is credited with an expansion of the Coast Guard’s roles as the service incorporated the Lighthouse Service, expanded it’s role inland and on the Great Lakes, and fought through World War II before transitioning back to the Treasury Department. In the same way, CGC Waesche and fellow Legend Class cutters represent the expanded mission set of today’s Coast Guard.
Known as National Security Cutters, they reflect the service’s growing contributions not just to homeland security but the War on Terror and other joint missions with the Department of Defense. In recent years the Coast Guard has directly contributed in combating piracy around the Horn of Africa, was deployed to Georgia during its conflict with Russia, and has seen its stake in the Arctic rise amid the receding ice and growing international territorial disputes.
The new cutter and its crew can count on being at the leading edge of this expansion into the globe’s hot spots. After all, that’s exactly what the ship was designed for. It’s increased range and sustainability, improved weaponry, and top-of-the-line command and control capabilities give it’s crew the tools to perform around the world.
Though their greatest strength surely comes from the smiling friends and family that will be waiting at the pier when they come home.