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Structural enhancement work to begin on second NSC, conclude on first


Coast Guard cutters Bertholf and Waesche

Coast Guard cutters Bertholf and Waesche, the first two national security cutters, steam in formation off the coast of southern California Feb. 26, 2010. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Jetta H. Disco.

Coast Guard Cutter Waesche, the service’s second national security cutter (NSC), arrived at Vigor Marine LLC’s Seattle shipyard today to begin structural enhancement work.

The enhancements take approximately a year to complete and will fully address fatigue life concerns identified in the original NSC design. Coast Guard Cutter Bertholf, the first NSC, also underwent structural enhancement work and is planned to depart the shipyard later this month.

It was determined during the early stages of NSC production that the cutters’ design would need structural modifications in some areas in order to achieve a 30-year design fatigue life. The Coast Guard and the shipbuilder completed additional analyses and engineering efforts to address the fatigue life concerns, resulting in the incorporation of structural enhancements into regular production during the construction of the third NSC, Coast Guard Cutter Stratton. Stratton and all subsequent NSCs have the enhancements already installed. Bertholf and Waesche were unable to receive the structural enhancements during production due to construction timelines.

Bertholf and Waesche are two of the four NSCs based in Alameda, California. Two NSCs are based in Charleston, South Carolina, and the next two to enter service will be based in Honolulu.

For more information: National Security Cutter Program page