Ingalls christens sixth national security cutter

The following is the text of a news release from Huntington Ingalls Industries:

(PASCAGOULA, Miss.) — Huntington Ingalls Industries’ Ingalls Shipbuilding division christened the company’s sixth U.S. Coast Guard national security cutter (NSC), Munro (WMSL 755), on Saturday in front of nearly 600 guests.

Julie Sheehan, the great-niece of the ship’s namesake, Signalman First Class Douglas Munro, is the ship’s sponsor. At the culmination of the ceremony, she smashed a bottle across the bow of the ship, proclaiming, “May God bless this ship and all who sail in her.”

Adm. Paul Zukunft, commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard, was the ceremony’s principal speaker. “I couldn’t help but notice when I drove into the shipyard today the banner that read, ‘What you do today matters,’” he said. “Nothing could be truer than what you do today at Huntington Ingalls, because 45 years from today — if not longer — this ship will continue to serve our nation. Many of us will have crossed the bar by that time, but this ship will live on.”

Munro died heroically on Sept. 27, 1942, on Guadalcanal. Having volunteered to evacuate a detachment of U.S. Marines who were facing annihilation by a large and unanticipated enemy force, he succeeded in safely extricating them and in doing so was mortally wounded.

For his heroic and selfless actions in the completion of this rescue mission, Munro was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor. He is the Coast Guard’s sole recipient of the award.

Ingalls has delivered five NSCs, and three more, including Munro, are currently under construction.

“Our Ingalls/Coast Guard team continues to get stronger, proving that serial production and stable requirements have a direct effect on improving quality, cost and schedule, and this program has been an excellent one,” said Ingalls Shipbuilding President Brian Cuccias. “The national security cutters are clearly changing the game in how to protect our country. Not only does that make us proud, but more importantly, it makes our enemies nervous. It is our job to build a ship that protects the brave men and women who go into harm’s way. And it is a job our shipbuilders take very seriously.”

Legend-class NSCs are the flagships of the Coast Guard’s cutter fleet. Designed to replace the 378‐foot Hamilton-class high-endurance cutters that entered service during the 1960s, they are 418 feet long with a 54-foot beam and displace 4,500 tons with a full load. They have a top speed of 28 knots, a range of 12,000 miles, an endurance of 60 days and a crew of 110.

NSCs are capable of meeting all maritime security mission needs required of the high-endurance cutter. They include an aft launch and recovery area for two rigid hull inflatable boats and a flight deck to accommodate a range of manned and unmanned rotary-wing aircraft. The Legend class is the largest and most technologically advanced class of cutter in the Coast Guard, with robust capabilities for maritime homeland security, law enforcement, marine safety, environmental protection and national defense missions. NSCs play an important role enhancing the Coast Guard’s operational readiness, capacity and effectiveness at a time when the demand for their services has never been greater.

By Professional Mariner Staff