US Coast Guard commissions newest national security cutter

The US Coast Guard has welcomed its newest cutter into the fleet, the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Calhoun (WMSL 759).


Calhoun is the tenth Legend-class national security cutter (NSC) to join the Coast Guard and is the fourth NSC to be homeported in North Charleston alongside Coast Guard Cutters Hamilton (WMSL 753), James (WMSL 754) and Stone (WMSL 758).

Calhoun’s namesake comes from the first Master Chief Petty Officer of the US Coast Guard, Charles L. Calhoun. Calhoun led a distinguished career, serving in the U.S. Navy during World War II prior to enlisting in the Coast Guard in 1946.  The commissioning ceremony’s date of April 20 is in honor of Calhoun’s birthday.

Construction of Calhoun began in 2019 and the cutter was officially delivered to the US Coast Guard in October 2023 from Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula, Mississippi.

After deploying in support of oil spill response and counter migration, Calhoun arrived at its homeport in North Charleston on December 3, 2023.

The commissioning of Calhoun officially places the cutter in service for the US Coast Guard and marks the most significant milestone of the cutter’s life to date.

The 127.4-meter Legend-class national security cutters are equipped with command and control equipment, the ability to launch and house multiple small boats and aircraft, and an advanced engineering plant capable of reaching speeds of roughly 30 mph.

The cutter’s primary missions will include counterdrug operations, migrant interdiction, living marine resources and defense readiness in support of Coast Guard operations.