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Coast Guard authenticates keel for 10th national security cutter


Ship sponsor Christina Calhoun Zubowicz puts her initials onto a steel plate that will be welded inside the Coast Guard’s 10th national security cutter, which will be named Calhoun in honor of her grandfather, Charles L. Calhoun. Also present are (from left) George Nungesser, Ingalls Shipbuilding vice president of program management; Christopher Tanner, a structural welder at Ingalls; and Capt. Peter Morisseau, commanding officer, U.S. Coast Guard Project Resident Office Gulf Coast. Courtesy photo by Lance Davis/HII.

The Coast Guard and Ingalls Shipbuilding authenticated the keel for the 10th national security cutter (NSC), Calhoun, in Pascagoula, Mississippi, July 23.

Cutter sponsor Christina Calhoun Zubowicz, granddaughter of the cutter’s namesake, Master Chief Petty Officer Charles Calhoun, was present at the event, which ceremonially marks the beginning of Calhoun’s construction. Her initials were affixed onto a steel plate that later will be fastened to the ship’s structure to authenticate that the keel was "truly and fairly laid."

The cutter’s namesake served as the first master chief petty officer of the Coast Guard, from August 1969 to August 1973. The master chief petty officer is the senior enlisted member of the service and the principal adviser to the commandant of the Coast Guard on matters affecting the enlisted ranks. During his tenure, Calhoun was a member of the board that created the Coast Guard cutterman insignia, established an advisory program to hear enlisted personnel concerns, expanded career counseling programs and was instrumental in the development of the Coast Guard’s service dress uniform. Calhoun passed away in 2002.

The NSC acquisition program addresses the Coast Guard’s need for open-ocean patrol cutters with the seakeeping, habitability, endurance and technological advancement to serve as command and control centers in the most demanding maritime environments. The 418-foot NSC features advanced command, control, communication, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance equipment; aviation support facilities; stern cutter boat launch; and long-endurance station keeping.

Delivery of Calhoun is scheduled in fiscal year 2023. Nine NSCs are currently in service. Coast Guard cutters Hamilton, James and Stone are stationed in Charleston, South Carolina. Coast Guard cutters Bertholf, Waesche, Stratton and Munro are stationed in Alameda, California. Coast Guard cutters Kimball and Midgett are stationed in Honolulu.

For more information: National Security Cutter Program page