GULF OF MEXICO — In honor of the late Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg (D-N.J.), the Cutter Mohawk's crew retired a commissioning penant at sea Monday, June 10 to commemorate his commissioning of the cutter more than 20 years ago and to thank the senator's family for their lifetime of support for the Coast Guard.
In 1989, Lautenberg, his wife Bonnie and several members of his family christened the newly commissioned medium-endurance Cutter Mohawk in Rhode Island.
During Monday’s ceremony, the Mohawk’s crew retired (lowered) the commissioning pennant and the Coast Guard ensign that flew high atop the cutter’s mast to be presented to the family for their decades of support for the Coast Guard, the cutter and its crew.
At the noon formation, eight bells were rung and Cmdr. Adam B. Morrison, Commanding Officer, spoke to the crew about the Lautenberg family’s role as advocates for the Coast Guard and in particular, the cutter Mohawk. Morrison read the first entry into the Ship’s Record of Inspections on Nov. 14, 1990 by Lautenberg to Mohawk’s first Commanding Officer, Cmdr. R. R. Beardsworth, which described the fondness and pride that the Senator felt for Mohawk and her crew. Following the remarks, the crew observed a moment of silence in his memory
For nearly 20 years, the Lautenberg family sponsored an award scholarship fund for Mohawk crewmembers. Named for the Senator’s first daughter, the Ellen Lautenberg Award was given to deserving crewmembers to fund their personal and professional development through advanced education opportunities.
Lautenberg’s committee and subcommittee assignments include Appropriations subcommittee on Homeland Security and Commerce, Science & Transportation subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries & Coast Guard.
The 270-foot Famous Class Cutter Mohawk continues to proudly execute the Coast Guard’s various missions out of its current homeport of Key West, Fla., patrolling the Florida Straits, the Gulf of Mexico, and throughout the Caribbean. Medium endurance cutters like the Mohawk are built for multi-week offshore patrols including operations requiring enhanced communications, and helicopter and pursuit boat operations, which provide a key capability for homeland security operations at sea.