Hamilton is a name internalized by each and every Coast Guard member. It’s the name held by the “father” of the Coast Guard, Alexander Hamilton and a name that has continued to serve our country in the form of Coast Guard cutters since 1830. The crew of Hamilton, the newest cutter to bear the name, carries forward a more than 180-year tradition of serving aboard a vessel that bears the name of Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton, who created the Revenue Cutter Service in 1790.
“The names that will reside on the transom of these wonderful ships will inspire a generation of Coast Guard heroes that will always know their heritage, always know their history and they will always pay appropriate respect to the enlisted heroes that came before them.”
Being the spouse of an ‘ancient mariner’ provides a unique perspective into the world of Coast Guard cutters and life at sea. However, Linda Kapral Papp, wife of retired Adm. Bob Papp, is getting a different view of the cutter fleet through her new role: sponsor of the Coast Guard’s fourth National Security Cutter, Hamilton.
“Our crew used their unique capabilities and authorities as a military service, law enforcement agency, and member of the U.S. intelligence community to disrupt transnational organized crime networks in the Eastern Pacific and keep drugs from making it to the U.S.,” said Capt. Edward A. Westfall, commanding officer of Coast Guard Cutter Boutwell. “These illegal drug networks are dangerous breeding grounds for all types of trafficking and their immense profits fuel violence and instability.”
The U.S. Coast Guard Western Hemisphere Strategy is built around three priorities, combating networks, securing borders and safeguarding commerce. To meet these priorities, the strategy emphasizes the critical importance of offshore vessel and aircraft presence to support effective governance and sovereignty, as well as other concepts to ensure long-term success. That long-term vision relies heavily upon the ongoing acqusition of national security cutters and fast response cutters and future acquisition of offshore patrol cutters by the service but also requires us to lean heavily on an aging medium endurance cutter fleet made up of 210-foot and 270-foot cutters, some of which have been operational for as many as 45 years.
In October, Hamilton was christened by it’s sponsor, Linda Kapral Papp, wife of retired Adm. Bob Papp. In the months since, the cutter has been put through a series of tests culminating in sea trials to determine the readiness of the vessel to support Coast Guard missions. Yesterday, the Coast Guard formally accepted delivery of Hamilton at a ceremony in Pascagoula, Mississippi.
“Joshua James exhibited a commitment to excellence that permeates the Coast Guard to this day,” said Vice Commandant of the Coast Guard Vice Adm. Peter Neffenger. “He embodied the Coast Guard’s core values of honor, respect and devotion to duty and the guiding principles articulated in our new Commandant’s Direction long before we ever wrote them down.”
450 search and rescue cases. 591 people in distress. 83 saved lives. Sound like a lot to handle? These numbers are just a snap shot of the annual missions carried out by personnel assigned to Air Station Corpus Christi. With this level of responsibility, it is only fitting that the air station recently received their first HC-144 Ocean Sentry aircraft, the newest aircraft in the Coast Guard fleet.
During a ceremony this weekend, Alexander Hamilton, the service’s fourth national security cutter, was christened. This christening marks a significant step in the Hamilton becoming an official Coast Guard cutter.
Clark was one of six Coast Guardsman awarded the Navy Cross for actions during WWII, and his bravery and legacy will live on with the service’s newest fast response cutter – Coast Guard Cutter Paul Clark.