PORTSMOUTH, Va. – The Coast Guard will commission its newest national security cutter, Coast Guard Cutter Hamilton (WMSL 753) during an 11 a.m. ceremony Saturday at the Port of Charleston-Union Pier Terminal in Charleston, South Carolina. The cutter will be homeported in Charleston at the Fleet Law Enforcement Training Center.
Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Paul F. Zukunft will deliver the ceremony’s principal address. Mrs. Linda Kapral Papp, wife of retired Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Bob Papp, serves as the ship’s sponsor and will order the ship to “come to life” alongside Hamilton’s commanding officer, Capt. Douglas M. Fears. He is a native of Maryland’s Eastern Shore and leads a crew of 119.
The Hamilton is named after Alexander Hamilton, the first Secretary of the Treasury and the driving force behind the establishment of the Revenue Cutter Service, a precursor to the modern U.S. Coast Guard. This cutter is the sixth U.S. Coast Guard cutter that bears the name Hamilton. The first was the 75-foot U.S. Revenue Cutter Hamilton, commissioned in 1830.
Hamilton is the Coast Guard’s fourth 418-foot Legend-Class National Security Cutter and the first of its class to be homeported on the East Coast. The NSC is the most technologically sophisticated cutter in the Coast Guard fleet, capable of performing homeland security, law enforcement and national defense missions around the globe, but operations will be focused predominantly in the Western Hemisphere. The cutter is 418 feet long, has a top speed of 28 knots, a range of 12,000 miles and patrol endurance in excess of 90 days.
For over 224 years, the Coast Guard has maintained a persistent presence protecting the nation from threats on the sea, protecting people who use the sea, and protecting the sea itself. In the coming decades, the Coast Guard will continue to confront significant challenges to maritime safety, efficiency, and security in the Western Hemisphere and Hamilton will be on the front lines of those operations.
Hamilton will play a vital role in the Coast Guard’s ability to secure our nation’s maritime domain, save lives, interdict illicit traffic, alien smugglers and illegal aliens, protect ports, waterways and natural resources, by providing the American people a modern cutter to accomplish these missions to keep our Nation, our markets and our oceans secure and remain prosperous. This NSC will give the Coast Guard a persistent presence on the high seas that is critical to achieving our strategic priority of enabling effective governance, which in turn strengthens U.S., allied and partner nation sovereignty.