First Lady welcomes newest cutter

First Lady Michelle Obama poses for a group photo with the crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Stratton

First Lady Michelle Obama poses for a group photo with the crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Stratton before the ship’s commissioning ceremony in Alameda, Calif., March 31, 2012. Obama is the official sponsor of Stratton and is the first First Lady to sponsor a Coast Guard cutter. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Patrick Kelley.

Perhaps there is no better way to close out Women’s History Month than by welcoming the Coast Guard’s newest cutter – a cutter honoring the legacy of Capt. Dorothy Stratton.

First Lady Michelle Obama walks past the Coast Guard Cutter Stratton

First Lady Michelle Obama walks past the Coast Guard Cutter Stratton at its homeport in Alameda, Calif., March 31, 2012. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Patrick Kelley.

Earning the title “Coast Guard Cutter,” today marked the beginning of the Legend-class cutter’s 30-year service to our nation. It will no doubt carry with it Capt. Stratton’s legacy along with the Coast Guard’s rich history of maritime service on its 418 feet of cutting-edge and technically advanced capabilities.

Coast Guard Cutter Stratton was honored to have First Lady Michelle Obama, the ship’s sponsor, welcome it into service. With her name carved into the keel, Obama participated in the commissioning ceremony – placing the cutter into active service and ceremonially giving the order to bring the ship to life. All the more fitting way to end a month spent celebrating the accomplishments and contributions of women to our nation.

“No matter what this country asks of you, you always step up to answer the call,” said Obama to the Coast Guard men and women attending the commissioning ceremony. “Always. So it is fitting that all of you are here today, because it is that ethic of service that defined the life of this cutter’s namesake, Capt. Dorothy Stratton.”

As Capt. Stratton did 70 years ago for women, Cutter Stratton will do for the Coast Guard’s operational future.

Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Bob Papp and Michelle Obama delivered remarks during the commissioning ceremony for the Coast Guard Cutter Stratton. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Patrick Kelley.

Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Bob Papp and Michelle Obama delivered remarks during the commissioning ceremony for the Coast Guard Cutter Stratton. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Patrick Kelley.

Recapitalizing the fleet ensures the service’s ability to meet current and future operational requirements and safeguard U.S. national interests. Assets like the national security cutter and fast response cutter enable the nation’s maritime defenders to deliver vital services to the American public as well as execute the Coast Guard’s missions safely, reliably and effectively for decades to come.

Commanded by Capt. Charles Cashin, Stratton – following the proven success of its fellow national security cutters Bertholf and Waesche - will capitalize on its mission flexibility, range, speed and ability to operate in extreme weather to conduct drug interdiction, homeland security operations, domestic fisheries protection and search and rescue at great distances from shore.

“Stratton will allow us to continue to answer the call, and remain Semper Paratus, always ready, well into our third century of service to the nation,” said Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Bob Papp. “Stratton is a national asset designed and equipped to provide persistent presence at sea to detect and interdict maritime threats far from our shores and ensure our nation’s economic success.”

Capt. Charles Cashin takes First Lady Michelle Obama and her daughters on a tour of Stratton

Capt. Charles Cashin takes First Lady Michelle Obama and her daughters on a tour of Stratton March 31, 2012. As the third national security cutter, Stratton is the largest and most technically advanced class of cutter in the Coast Guard. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Patrick Kelley.

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  • Karekn Lowe

    What an honor to have FLOTUS as Stratton’s sponsor, and to have her wonderful daughters participate in the ceremonies as well.   

  • Big_Johnson

    Outstanding!  Thank you Mrs Obama for sponsoring the intrepid crew of USCGC Stratton.  Its good to know this administration believes in the day-to-day hard work our  Coast Guard men and women do to keep this nation the great place that it is.

  • Captain Heidi Tiura

    The Coast Guard did a fabulous job with the commissioning of the Stratton. Thank you so much. Class act all the way.

  • OS3

    It would have been an honor to be a part of this day. What a great unforgettable moment to commission a cutter!!

  • Psusparks

    Looking mates. Great to have the First Lady there.

  • Frank Eaton

    This is sure a  long way from the old 311″s. Keep up the good work.
    Frank Eaton XDC2.

  • Dwain D Coleman

    I liked this story; wish I was still assigned to Coast Guard Island to witness this historical event and to see the first family. Dwain D. Coleman

  • Nixon_george1478

    Pure “CLASS”!

  • Poohgirl4

    What an honor for the First Lady

  • Millhrr

    Very nice.  Go Coasties.  The first Lady is a class act.

  • Tdasyco

    The USCGC HEALY at 420 feet is still the largest and probably the most technically advanced cutter in the Coast Guard PO Kelley

  • http://coastguard.dodlive.mil Lt. Connie Braesch

    Tdasyco, you are correct. The Cutter Healy is in fact the largest in the Coast Guard’s fleet. It is two feet longer than the national security cutters. Thanks for catching that in Petty Officer 2nd Class Patrick Kelley’s photo caption I edited.
    Regards,
    Lt. Connie Braesch
    Coast Guard public affairs

  • Jimmysmacks

    way to throw his name under the bus.

  • Tam

     Here’s a short video of the event from the Coast Guard Channel.