March 2, 2020 —
Ship sponsor Laura Cavallo christens the ship by breaking a bottle of American sparkling wine on the hull of the Stone, the ninth national security cutter, in Pascagoula, Mississippi Feb. 29, 2020. Also participating in the ceremony are (left to right) are Rep. Steven Palazzo; Ingalls Shipbuilding President, Brian Cuccias; Alexandra Stone Bongiorno, matron of honor; Sen. Roger Wicker and Commandant of the Coast Guard, Adm. Karl Schultz. Photo courtesy of Lance Davis/Huntington Ingalls Industries.
The Coast Guard christened its ninth national security cutter (NSC), Stone, at Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula, Mississippi, Feb. 29.
Its namesake, Elmer Fowler Stone, was a Coast Guard innovator and aviator. In May 1919, he became the first person to pilot an aircraft across the Atlantic, for which he was awarded the Navy Cross.
Laura Cavallo, the great grandniece of Elmer Stone, is the ship’s sponsor and performed the honor of breaking a bottle of American sparkling wine across the ship’s bow during the christening ceremony.
The ship was launched Oct. 4, 2019, and is scheduled for delivery in 2020. It will be stationed in Charleston, South Carolina.
NSCs are replacing the 1960s-era 378-foot high endurance cutters; eight NSCs are currently in service. Each of the 418-foot cutters is designed to patrol the open ocean in the most demanding maritime environments and serve as a command and control center for complex law enforcement, defense and national security missions. The fleet features advanced command, control, communication, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance equipment; aviation support facilities; stern cutter boat launch; and long-endurance station keeping.
For more information: National Security Cutter Program page