This morning, the Coast Guard took another important step in recapitalizing America’s cutter fleet. Stratton, the third of eight planned national security cutters, was handed over to Capt. Charles Cashin in an “in-commission special” ceremony in Pascagoula, Miss. He and his crew will call Stratton home on extended 90-day patrols executing the service’s most challenging maritime safety and security missions in the some of the most extreme maritime locales.
If you follow Coast Guard Compass, you may find it strange that we aren’t referring to Coast Guard Cutter Stratton. This is because Stratton won’t be officially welcomed to the fleet until its formal commissioning ceremony in 2012.
An “in-commission special” ceremony marks the transfer of ownership from the shipbuilder to the Coast Guard. This is a major milestone in the lifespan of a cutter giving the crew an opportunity to run their new ship through a series of rigorous exercises while also becoming proficient in operations prior to taking Stratton to sea on Coast Guard missions.
“The crew has been training for months in anticipation of the day we are finally able to take Stratton from the skilled and dedicated craftsmen who have built her,” said Cashin. “We are ready to see the ship in action, come together as a crew and take our place in the fleet doing the jobs that only a Coast Guard cutter can do, whenever and wherever needed.”
Once Cashin and his crew deem the ship ready for duty it will be commissioned as the Coast Guard Cutter Stratton and take its place alongside Coast Guard Cutters Bertholf and Waesche as the most capable ships in the nation’s Coast Guard cutter fleet.