Jan. 30, 2017 —
The cutter’s sponsor, Jazania O’Neal, writes her initials onto a steel plate that will be affixed to Midgett, the service’s eighth national security cutter. The ship was named in honor of the Midgett family members who have served in the Coast Guard. Photo courtesy of Huntington Ingalls Industries.
The Coast Guard and Ingalls Shipbuilding authenticated the keel for the eighth national security cutter (NSC), Midgett, in Pascagoula, Mississippi, today.
The ceremony formally marked the beginning of Midgett’s construction. The initials of cutter sponsor Jazania H. O’Neal were welded into a steel plate affixed to the ship’s structure to authenticate that the keel was “truly and fairly laid.”
The cutter is named in honor of the hundreds of members of the Midgett family who have served in the Coast Guard and its predecessor services. Seven Midgett family members, including Chief Warrant Officer John Allen Midgett Jr., have been awarded the Gold Lifesaving Medal, the Coast Guard’s highest award for saving a life. After the British tanker Mirlo was torpedoed in August 1918, Chief Warrant Officer Midgett and his lifeboat crew toiled through rough seas and fires from the tanker’s cargo of refined oil and gasoline to rescue 42 crewmembers.
The 418-foot NSC is designed to patrol the open ocean in the most demanding maritime environments and serves as a command and control center for complex law enforcement, defense and national security missions. The NSCs, which are replacing the 1960s-era 378-foot high endurance cutters, feature advanced command, control, communication, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance equipment; aviation support facilities; stern cutter boat launch; and long-endurance station keeping.
Midgett is slated to be the eighth NSC to enter service, with delivery scheduled in 2019. Five NSCs are in service. Coast Guard cutters Hamilton and James are stationed in Charleston, South Carolina, and Coast Guard cutters Bertholf, Waesche and Stratton are stationed in Alameda, California. The sixth NSC, Munro, will also be stationed in Alameda and was delivered in December 2016. Kimball, the seventh cutter, and Midgett will be stationed in Honolulu. The Coast Guard awarded a contract for production of the ninth NSC in December 2016.
For more information: National Security Cutter program page