“Together with my shipmates, we’re beginning the most important milestones in the life of a cutter,” said Capt. Doug Fears, Hamilton’s commanding officer and the most senior member of the crew. “The Cutter Hamilton is now officially in active service to execute the most challenging maritime security, law enforcement, and national defense missions.”
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.”
Waesche’s participation in RIMPAC 2014 will highlight the Coast Guard’s unique capabilities and partnerships with Department of Defense entities and international partners along the Pacific Rim. It will also serve as a unique, large-scale training opportunity that will provide realistic training in support of a wide range of Coast Guard missions, including search and rescue, maritime interdiction, humanitarian assistance, disaster relief and national defense missions.
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.
The Coast Guard completed the second of three planned shipboard demonstrations of unmanned aircraft system capabilities aboard Coast Guard Cutter Bertholf. These exercises are part of an ongoing effort to explore UAS capabilities and shipboard handling techniques. The Coast Guard is using knowledge gained from these demonstrations to inform a future cutter-based UAS acquisition project.
We asked our Facebook fans if they could ask an operations specialist anything, what would it be? And with more than 200 questions asked, it was clear you were all eager to hear more about the men and women who make up the operations specialist rate. We picked the top five most “liked” questions and asked two operations specialists to help answer them: Petty Officer 1st Class Jeremy Young and Petty Officer 2nd Class Brandon Daves.