Volume 1, Issue 1
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Letter from the Commanding Officer to the Family and Friends of Stratton.
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A U.S. Coast Guard HH-65C Dauphin helicopter lands on the newest National Security cutter, Stratton, off Annapolis, Maryland, during the ship's East Coast shakedown cruise last November 1. As the third of eight 418-foot vessels planned to replace the 1960s vintage 378-foot High Endurance cutters, Stratton was to begin Pacific patrols in March, based in Alameda, California.
Originally all eight were to be assigned to the West Coast but during Stratton's Baltimore visit two days later, Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Robert J. Papp, Jr. said two of the new cutters likely would be assigned to Atlantic duty. Intended to enforce U.S. fisheries, immigration, narcotics, and environmental laws offshore, the cutters carry two helicopters plus three 23-foot RIBs that can be launched in heavy seas through a protected stern ramp, making the cutters important search-and-rescue assets on both coasts, as they become operational.
A 2015 launching is planned for the last in what the Coast Guard has dubbed the Legend Class, with vessels named for "legendary" service members. The latest cutter bears the name of Captain Dorothy C. Stratton, who joined in 1942 as the first recruit in the Coast Guard Women's Reserve. She went on to create the name "SPAR" for the unit, an acronym made up of the Coast Guard's motto Semper Paratus and its English translation, "Always Ready."
The United States Coast Guard's National Security Cutter Stratton is coming to Alameda's Coast Guard Island.
The ship bears the name of Captain Dorothy C. Stratton, who joined the Coast Guard in 1942 as the first woman in the Women's Reserve of the Coast Guard. Stratton created the name "SPAR" for the Women's Reserve, an acronym made up of the Coast Guard's Latin motto Semper Paratus and its English translation "Always Ready."
The commandant of the Coast Guard, in Maryland this week to visit a newly launched national security cutter, said Thursday that he expects to deploy two of the state-of-the-art vessels off the East Coast.
Initially, the Coast Guard had planned to berth all eight national security cutters on the West Coast. Adm. Robert J. Papp Jr., the top officer in the service, said the plan is being revisited.
"The Pacific presents us with greater challenges then does the Atlantic," Papp said. "You need our more substantial ships out on the Pacific because of the weather conditions and the distances that they have to steam between places to be able to refuel and resupply. Ö [But] I don't want to leave our East Coast unprotected."
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey and Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Bob Papp observed the Coast Guard Cutter Stratton exercise its state-of-the-art homeland security capabilities as the ship sailed in the Chesapeake Bay near Annapolis, Md., Oct. 31.
The visit allowed Dempsey to see first-hand the functionality of the eight planned National Security Cutters and how the Coast Guard's new fleet of recapitalized cutters, aircraft and boats will provide unique security and defense capability to the American people.
"It's an impressive ship, crewed by outstanding young men and women - members of our Joint Force - who volunteered to serve their country in time of conflict," said Dempsey. "I came away impressed by the quality and capabilities of the Stratton and the men and women who operate her - a powerful combination for our nation."
On any other U.S. Coast Guard cutter of its size, the maneuver would have been impossible.
But yesterday Petty Officer 1st Class Marika Benggio easily lined up her 23-foot Short Range Prosecutor runabout with the stern of the USCGC Stratton and drove it inside the vessel's 418-foot hull.
"It's very nerve-racking," the 14-year Coast Guard veteran admitted. "But it just takes a little bit of practice. A little bit of skill."
The stern launch ramp was one of several features highlighted yesterday in the Chesapeake Bay as Coast Guard brass touted their newest Legend-class National Security Cutter. Among yesterday's visitors: Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, the newly appointed chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Adm. Robert J. Papp Jr., the commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard.
PASCAGOULA, Mississippi -- Shipyard workers lined the outer yard Friday morning to wave goodbye as the U.S. Coast Guard sailed away from Ingalls Shipbuilding with its latest national security cutter.
Stratton and its 121-person crew headed out for training along the eastern seaboard, where it will travel from Florida to Maryland over the next several weeks.
After that, they'll make their way home to Alameda, Calif., where sister ships Bertholf and Waesche are already homeported.
PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) - Proud shipyard workers bid farewell Friday to the newest Coast Guard cutter constructed at Ingalls Shipbuilding.
NSC Stratton is the third of eight such vessels being built in Pascagoula for the U.S. Coast Guard. The new class is the largest and most technologically advanced group in Coast Guard history.
The construction of NSC Stratton involved the talents of nearly a thousand shipyard workers.
MRS. OBAMA: Thank you all. Thank you. Thanks so much. Mike, thank you for that very kind introduction. I think you gave me a few promotions along the way, but thatís okay, Iíll take them.
And to you and all of the shipbuilders and their families who are here today -- congratulations on this truly magnificent ship. It is amazing.
PASCAGOULA, Mississippi (WALA) - Michelle Obama spent Friday morning in Pascagoula. She christened a Coast Guard cutter that honored a champion for women's rights.
The First Lady didn't let a stubborn champagne bottle stop her.
She kept trying and it broke on the second swing.
The ship Mrs. Obama christened honors one woman who fought for many.