CHARLESTON, S.C. – In a decommissioning ceremony Monday at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, the Coast Guard bid a fond farewell to its last East Coast-based high endurance cutter: the Cutter Gallatin.
Coast Guard Atlantic Area Commander Vice Adm. Robert C. Parker presided over the decommissioning where he commended the crew, its leaders and the cutter’s long and distinguished history.
“There is a special relationship that exists between sailor and ship, especially for a cutter as long-serving and loyal as Gallatin,” said. Capt. Caleb Corson, commanding officer of the Gallatin. “In writing the final chapter as the last high endurance cutter in the East Coast, its proud legacy will live on forever in Coast Guard history, our memories and in our hearts.”
As the sixth Coast Guard cutter bearing its namesake, the honorable Albert Gallatin, Secretary of the Treasury under Presidents Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, Gallatin’s distinguished history and contributions since 1968 include missions in maritime law enforcement, domestic and international humanitarian relief, search and rescue, nation-building and ambassador of goodwill.
Gallatin leaves the U.S. government service on a high note with its last drug bust halting the influx of 2.8 tons of cocaine over the course of three separate patrols in 2013.
As Gallatin is “released from active duty” from the U.S. Coast Guard, it will change flags and continue to serve as a Nigerian Navy ship. Months prior to the event, the cutter was slated for transfer to Nigeria through the Foreign Assistance Act.
The FSA allows the transfer of excess defense articles as a grant to friendly foreign governments under the auspices of the State Department.
Scheduled for commissioning in early December 2014, the first East Coast-based National Security Cutter Coast Guard Cutter Hamilton will replace the Gallatin.
Hamilton is the fourth NSC built for the Coast Guard with post-911 multi-mission capabilities. NSC’s are capable of performing critical homeland security, law enforcement and national defense missions in the most demanding open ocean environments.