|Hamilton, under the control of its new Coast Guard crew, departs Huntington Ingalls shipyard in Pascagoula, Mississippi, en route to its future homeport of Charleston, South Carolina. Photo courtesy of Huntington Ingalls Industries.|
November 10, 2014 - The Coast Guard’s fourth National Security Cutter, Hamilton, departed Huntington Ingalls shipyard in Pascagoula, Mississippi, under a Coast Guard crew en route to its future homeport of Charleston, South Carolina, Nov. 1.
Hamilton will be commissioned in Charleston Dec. 6, 2014. The Coast Guard took formal possession of Hamilton Sept. 15, 2014, and the crew has used the time at the shipyard to move in and complete training and drills to acquaint themselves with the new cutter and ready the ship for departure. During Hamilton’s initial voyage, the crew plans to conduct training and exercises necessary for the cutter to be certified as Ready-For-Sea, including a stop at Pensacola, Florida, to onload ammunition for planned live-fire exercises.
Each NSC is built with the seakeeping, habitability, endurance and technological advancement to serve as command and control centers in the most demanding maritime environments. The NSC is 418 feet and has a range of 12,000 miles and endurance for 60- to 90-day patrol cycles. The NSCs are replacing the 378-foot High Endurance Cutters, which have been in service since the 1960s.
Three NSCs – Bertholf, Waesche and Stratton – are in service and based in Alameda, California. Like Hamilton, the fifth NSC, James, will be based in Charleston. James is scheduled for delivery to the Coast Guard in 2015. Delivery of the sixth NSC, Munro, is scheduled for 2016. The seventh, Kimball, is in production, and long lead time materials for the eighth, Midgett, have been ordered.