The U.S Coast Guard’s two newest national security cutters have been commissioned during a ceremony presided over by Adm. Karl Schultz, the Coast Guard’s commandant.
The Coast Guard Cutter Kimball (WMSL 756) and the Coast Guard Cutter Midgett (WMSL 757) were ‘brought to life’ during the rare dual-commissioning ceremony at Base Honolulu where the two cutters homeport. The Kimball and Midgett are the seventh and eighth legend-class national security cutters in the Coast Guard’s fleet.
“These national security cutters will continue our 150 years of partnership and commitment to the Pacific region – since September 1849, when Revenue Cutter Lawrence sailed into Honolulu Harbor escorted by Native Hawaiians in outrigger canoes,” said Schultz. “In today’s complex geostrategic environment with rising great power competition, the importance and demand for a strong Coast Guard presence in the Pacific has never been greater.”
The Kimball and Midgett, along with the three fast response cutters also homeported in Honolulu, will further advance the Coast Guard’s longstanding commitment to safeguard the nation’s maritime safety, security, and economic interests through critical deployments across the Indo-Pacific region.
Advanced command-and-control capabilities and an unmatched combination of range, speed and ability to operate in extreme weather enable these ships to confront national security threats, strengthen maritime governance, support economic prosperity, and promote individual sovereignty.
From the Bering Sea and the Arctic to patrolling known drug trafficking zones off Central and South America to working to strengthen the capabilities of our partners across the Indo-Pacific, national security cutters deploy globally to conduct essential Coast Guard missions.
Known as the Legend-class, national security cutters are capable of executing the most challenging national security missions, including support to U.S. combatant commanders. They are 418 feet in length, 54 feet in beam and 4,600 long tons in displacement. They have a top speed of more than 28 knots, a range of 12,000 nautical miles, an endurance of up to 90 days and can hold a crew of up to 150. These new cutters are replacing the high endurance Hamilton-class cutters (378 feet) that have been in service since the 1960s.
The Midgett’s transit to Hawaii was punctuated by two interdictions of suspected low-profile go-fast vessels in the Eastern Pacific Ocean, the first July 25 and a second July 31. The boardings resulted in a combined seizure of over 6,700 pounds of cocaine, estimated to be worth over $89 million.
National security cutters are responsible for 40 percent of the 460,000 pounds of cocaine interdicted by the Coast Guard in the fiscal year 2018. National security cutter crews have interdicted more than 92,000 pounds of cocaine to date in the fiscal year 2019.