Capt. Thomas King assumes the command of the Coast Guard Cutter Munro during the cutter’s commissioning ceremony in Seattle, April 1, 2017. The 418-foot national security cutter will be stationed in Alameda, California. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Jonathan Klingenberg.

Acquisition Update: Coast Guard Commissions Sixth National Security Cutter

April 3, 2017

The Coast Guard commissioned the sixth national security cutter (NSC), Munro, in Seattle April 1.

Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Paul Zukunft presided over the commissioning ceremony to accept the sixth NSC into the service’s fleet.

Munro will be stationed in Alameda, California, alongside the first three NSCs to enter service, Coast Guard cutters Bertholf, Waesche and Stratton. The commissioning ceremony was held in Seattle to honor the cutter’s namesake, Signalman First Class Douglas A. Munro, who lived in South Cle Elum, Washington, before enlisting in the Coast Guard in Seattle.

Munro is best known for volunteering to command the rescue expedition to evacuate a detachment of Marines at Guadalcanal on Sept. 27, 1942. After the Marines came under attack from an unexpectedly large enemy force, Munro loaded the majority of the men into the boats, but the rest were having difficulty embarking under heavy fire. He maneuvered his boat into a position to serve as a cover for the remaining men, successfully evacuating all of the Marines. This exposed him to greater enemy fire, which mortally wounded him. He was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart and is the only Coast Guardsman to be awarded a Medal of Honor.

The NSC is designed to navigate in the most demanding maritime environments on 60- to 90-day patrols and supports multiple missions, including homeland security and national defense. The 418-foot cutters, which are replacing the 1960-era 378-foot high endurance cutters, feature advanced command, control, communication, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance equipment; two types of standardized cutters boats with stern and side davit launch and recovery capabilities; aviation support facilities; and long-endurance station keeping.

Six NSCs are in service, with four based in Alameda and two in Charleston, South Carolina. The seventh and eighth NSCs, Kimball and Midgett, will be stationed in Honolulu. The Kimball was christened in March 2017 and is scheduled for delivery in 2018. The Midgett was christened in January 2017 and is scheduled for delivery in 2019.

Between Oct. 1, 2015, and Sept. 30, 2016, NSCs interdicted more than 85,970 total pounds of cocaine, contributing to the Coast Guard’s impressive drug interdiction record in fiscal year 2016.

For more information: National Security Cutter program page