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Acquisition Update: Coast Guard Christens Seventh National Security Cutter

March 6, 2017

The Coast Guard christened its seventh national security cutter (NSC), Kimball, at Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula, Mississippi, March 4.

Kay Webber Cochran is the ship’s sponsor and performed the honor of breaking the bottle of American sparkling wine across the ship’s bow during the christening ceremony.

The cutter’s namesake, Sumner Kimball, was appointed chief of the Treasury Department’s Revenue Marine Division in 1871; he reformed the Revenue Cutter Service and established a training school for young officers that would later develop into the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. Kimball also organized the nation’s network of volunteer lifesaving stations into the U.S. Life-Saving Service, of which he served as general superintendent until it merged with the Revenue Cutter Service to become the modern Coast Guard in 1915.

The cutter Kimball will be the first NSC homeported in Honolulu and is scheduled for delivery in 2018. Five NSCs are in service, with three based in Alameda, California, and two in Charleston, South Carolina. The sixth NSC, Munro, will also be homeported in Alameda and was delivered in December 2016. The eighth NSC, Midgett, will be the second NSC stationed in Honolulu and is scheduled for delivery in 2019.

The 418-foot NSCs, which are replacing the 1960s-era 378-foot high endurance cutters, support multiple missions, including homeland security and defense. Designed to navigate in the most demanding maritime environments on 60- to 90-day patrols, the cutters feature two types of standardized cutter boats with stern and side davit launch and recovery capabilities; advanced command, control, communication, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance equipment; aviation support facilities; and long-endurance station keeping.

NSCs contributed to the Coast Guard’s impressive record in counterdrug operations in fiscal year 2016. NSCs interdicted more than 85,970 total pounds of cocaine, valued at over $1.1 billion, between Oct. 1, 2015, and Sept. 30, 2016.

For more information: National Security Cutter program page