Stratton sails away

UPDATE: Photo captions were corrected to give credit to Carol (Rene’) Shaw rather than Huntington Ingalls Industries.

Written by Brian Olexy, Coast Guard Acquisition Directorate

The third of eight planned national security cutters, Stratton, bid farewell to the Huntington Ingalls Industries shipyards last week.

Stratton will transit up the East Coast throughout the month, making stops in Pensacola, Fla., Charleston, S.C., and Baltimore’s Inner Harbor before heading to Alameda, Calif., where the ship will be homeported alongside the first two national security cutters, Coast Guard Cutters Bertholf and Waesche.

Stratton was christened by first lady Michelle Obama July 23, 2010, and was delivered to the Coast Guard last month at an “in-commission special” ceremony in Pascagoula, Miss. During this period, Stratton’s crew will gain hands-on experience with the cutter’s systems and operations. Stratton will be commissioned in spring 2012, at which time she’ll officially enter the operational fleet.

Check out the the below photos for an insider perspective as Stratton sailed away from the docks to soon join both Bertholf and Waesche as the most capable ships in the nation’s cutter fleet.

Stratton sits at the pier ready to depart. Once part of the operational fleet Stratton will be able to carry out more complex missions over greater distances. Photo courtesy of Carol (Rene') Shaw.

Stratton sits at the pier ready to depart. Once part of the operational fleet Stratton will be able to carry out more complex missions over greater distances. Photo courtesy of Carol (Rene’) Shaw.

Stratton pushes away from the pier. The 418-foot vessel has the command and control capabilities to provide government leadership with the timely information necessary for decision making in a crisis. Photo courtesy of Carol (Rene') Shaw.

Stratton pushes away from the pier. The 418-foot vessel has the command and control capabilities to provide government leadership with the timely information necessary for decision making in a crisis. Photo courtesy of Carol (Rene’) Shaw.

Stratton will have the ability to deploy two ship-helicopters and two boats on missions ranging from enforcing America’s Exclusive Economic Zone to humanitarian response and search and rescue. Photo courtesy of Carol (Rene') Shaw.

Stratton will have the ability to deploy two ship-helicopters and two boats on missions ranging from enforcing America’s Exclusive Economic Zone to humanitarian response and search and rescue. Photo courtesy of Carol (Rene’) Shaw.

The national security cutter will replace the aging 378-foot high endurance Hamilton-class cutters that have been in service since the 1960s. Photo courtesy of Carol (Rene') Shaw.

The national security cutter will replace the aging 378-foot high endurance Hamilton-class cutters that have been in service since the 1960s. Photo courtesy of Carol (Rene’) Shaw.

Stratton heads to sea ready to make stops in Pensacola, Fla., Charleston, S.C., and Baltimore’s Inner Harbor before heading to Alameda, Calif., where the ship will be homeported. Photo courtesy of Carol (Rene') Shaw.

Stratton heads to sea ready to make stops in Pensacola, Fla., Charleston, S.C., and Baltimore’s Inner Harbor before heading to Alameda, Calif., where the ship will be homeported. Photo courtesy of Carol (Rene’) Shaw.

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