It’s been nearly a year since our last update on the pile of steel that will ultimately be commissioned as Coast Guard Cutter Hamilton, the fourth Coast Guard national security cutter. In October, Hamilton was christened by it’s sponsor, Linda Kapral Papp, wife of retired Adm. Bob Papp. In the months since, the cutter has been put through a series of tests culminating in sea trials to determine the readiness of the vessel to support Coast Guard missions. Yesterday, the Coast Guard formally accepted delivery of Hamilton at a ceremony in Pascagoula, Mississippi.
“After three years of fabrication and expert craftsmanship, Ingalls shipyard has delivered a great ship to the Coast Guard,” said Capt. Douglas Fears, prospective commanding officer of Hamilton. “The Coast Guard’s Project Resident Office has fastidiously overseen the production of Hamilton through all key acquisition milestones. Finally, 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.”
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 national security cutter is the largest multipurpose cutter in the Coast Guard fleet and is replacing the 378-foot high endurance cutter, which has been in service since the 1960s. The NSC is 418 feet long and has a top speed of 28 knots and a range of 12,000 nautical miles. It is capable of performing 60- to 90-day patrols.
Next up is a planned December 6 commissioning ceremony where Hamilton will officially become an operational cutter as part of the Coast Guard surface fleet homeported in Charleston, South Carolina.