US Coast Guard welcomes new NSC

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The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Munro (WMSL 755), the military service’s newly-commissioned National Security Cutter, and crew arrived at its homeport at Coast Guard Island in Alameda on Thursday, April 6th.

Munro is the sixth NSC to be commissioned and the fourth to be homeported on the West Coast in Alameda.

Newer assets, such as the NSC, are heavily involved in combating Transnational Organized Crime networks. Since the first operational deployment of a National Security Cutter in Fiscal Year 2009, three Alameda-based NSCs – Waesche, Bertholf and Stratton – removed more than 98 metric tons of cocaine worth an estimated $2.9 billion wholesale combined.

As a proud ‘Coast Guard City,’ the City of Alameda welcomes the crew of the Munro to its new homeport at Coast Guard Island,” said Trish Herrera Spencer, the mayor of the City of Alameda. “Alameda has been a home away from home for generations of Coast Guard men and women and having a fourth state-of-the-art National Security Cutter based in Alameda demonstrates the Coast Guard’s continued commitment to our local community. Our nation faces significant threats posed by violent Transnational Organized Crime networks and Coast Guard crews like those aboard the Munro are on the front lines of this fight.”

Photo: US Coast Guard

Known as the Legend class, NSCs are designed to be the flagships of the Coast Guard’s fleet, capable of executing the most challenging national security missions, including support to U.S. combatant commanders. NSCs are 418 feet in length, 54 feet in beam and 4,600 long tons in displacement. They have a top speed in excess of 28 knots, a range of 12,000 nautical miles, endurance of up to 90 days and can hold a crew of up to 150. These new cutters are replacing the aging High Endurance Hamilton class cutters (378 feet) that have been in service since the 1960s.

Munro will routinely conduct operations from South America to the Bering Sea where the cutter’s unmatched combination of range, speed and ability to operate in extreme weather provide it the mission flexibility necessary to conduct alien migrant interdiction operations, domestic fisheries protection, search and rescue, counter-narcotics and homeland security operations at great distances from shore, keeping threats far from the U.S. mainland.

Photo: US Coast Guard

“I’ve witnessed the crew report as individuals from different units and form together as a cohesive team,” said Capt. Thomas King, the commanding officer of the Munro. “Their efforts paid off with the rescue of three people in the Pacific and the seizure of nearly $5 million of cocaine, which are unprecedented results for a cutter in a pre-commissioning phase. This crew is worthy of bearing the honor of being Munro plankowners.”

The Munro was commissioned in Seattle to honor the Coast Guard’s only Medal of Honor recipient, Signalman First Class Douglas A. Munro (1919– 1942). Munro was mortally wounded in action in the Guadalcanal campaign of World War II while providing covering fire during the evacuation of a detachment of 500 U.S. Marines who were under attack. Naming of the sixth NSC in honor of the former Washington state resident pays tribute to Munro’s heroism and legacy.

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