US Coast Guard takes delivery of national security cutter Calhoun

The Coast Guard accepted delivery of the 10th national security cutter (NSC) on October 13 in Pascagoula, Mississippi. 

US Coast Guard

Coast Guard Cutter Calhoun is scheduled for commissioning in 2024 and will be homeported in Charleston, South Carolina, joining cutters Hamilton, James and Stone. 

The cutter’s namesake, Master Chief Petty Officer Charles Calhoun, served as the Coast Guard’s first master chief petty officer from August 1969 to August 1973.

He served as the senior enlisted member of the service and the principal adviser to the commandant on matters affecting the enlisted ranks. Calhoun was also responsible for developing the command master chief program at the district level and developing realistic dress and grooming standards that included allowing civilian clothing onboard cutters for liberty wear. 

The 418-foot NSCs are the most technologically advanced of the service’s newest classes of cutters, an essential element of the Department of Homeland Security’s layered security strategy. When combined with the future offshore patrol cutters, will comprise the Coast Guard’s offshore response capability.

NSCs feature advanced command, control, communications, computer, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance equipment; aviation support facilities; stern cutter boat launch; and long-endurance stationkeeping. 

The vessels have an endurance of up to 90 days and can serve as operational-level headquarters for complex law enforcement, defense and national security missions involving the Coast Guard and multiple partner agencies. They are replacing the 1960s-era 378-foot high-endurance cutters. 

In addition to cutters Calhoun, Hamilton, James and Stone in Charleston, cutters Bertholf, Waesche, Stratton and Munro are stationed in Alameda, California, and cutters Kimball and Midgett in Honolulu.