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Coast Guard christens 10th national security cutter


NSC Calhoun

Christina Calhoun Zubowicz christens the Coast Guard’s 10th national security cutter, Calhoun, June 4, 2022, in Pascagoula, Mississippi. Calhoun is named for her grandfather, Master Chief Petty Officer Charles L. Calhoun, the first master chief petty officer of the Coast Guard. Also pictured are Adm. Linda Fagan, Coast Guard commandant; Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard Heath Jones; Kari Wilkinson, Ingalls Shipbuilding president; and Capt. Timothy Sommella, prospective commanding officer of Calhoun. Photo courtesy of Huntington Ingalls Industries.

The Coast Guard christened its 10th national security cutter (NSC), Calhoun, at Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula, Mississippi, June 4.

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.

Calhoun’s granddaughter, Christina Calhoun Zubowicz, 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. Adm. Linda Fagan, commandant of the Coast Guard, presided over the ceremony in one of her first official duties as commandant.

The ship was launched April 2 and is scheduled for delivery in 2023. It will be stationed in Charleston, South Carolina, also home to cutters Hamilton, James and Stone.

NSCs are replacing the 1960s-era 378-foot high endurance cutters. Each 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 displace 4,500 tons with a full load, have a top speed of 12,000 miles and can endure 60- to 90- day patrol cycles. The cutters feature 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