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Coast Guard commissions 10th national security cutter


Coast Guard Cutter Calhoun crew members board the ship for the first time following its commissioning on April 20, 2024, in Charleston, South Carolina. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Senior Chief Petty Officer Nick Ameen

The Coast Guard commissioned Coast Guard Cutter Calhoun, the 10th national security cutter (NSC), at its Charleston, South Carolina, homeport on April 20. Calhoun will be stationed in Charleston along with NSCs Hamilton, James and Stone. The cutter’s name honors Charles Calhoun, the first master chief petty officer of the Coast Guard.

“National security cutters demonstrate our unique capabilities … anywhere there’s a need for maritime governance and sovereignty,” said Adm. Linda Fagan, Coast Guard commandant, who presided over the ceremony. “These ships are state of the art, and they enable Coast Guard operations in a way never imagined during Master Chief Calhoun’s service. This ship will serve our nation well.”

The commissioning event coincided with the 99th anniversary of the date of Calhoun’s birth in 1925. In his comments at the event, Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard Heath Jones said, “When you sail this amazing ship, you will carry out Master Chief Calhoun’s legacy, his devotion to our people and to getting the mission done by ensuring that our workforce has everything they need.”

NSCs feature advanced command, control, communications, computers, cyber, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance equipment; aviation support facilities; stern cutter boat launch; and long-endurance station keeping. The 418-foot cutters have an endurance of 60 to 90 days and can serve as operational-level headquarters for complex law enforcement, defense and national security missions involving the Coast Guard and multiple partner agencies. They are replacing the capabilities of the 1960s-era 378-foot high-endurance cutters.

With Calhoun’s commissioning, there are 10 NSCs in service. In addition to the four stationed in Charleston, Bertholf, Waesche, Stratton and Munro are stationed in Alameda, California, and Kimball and Midgett are in Honolulu. Production is underway on the 11th NSC.

For more information: National Security Cutter Program page