The U.S. Coast Guard on Friday commissioned its newest national security cutter, USCGC Stone (WMSL 758), during a ceremony at Coast Guard Base Charleston, in South Carolina. Adm. Karl Schultz, the commandant U.S. Coast Guard, presided over the ceremony.
Built by Huntington Ingalls Industries’ Ingalls Shipbuilding division in Pascagoula, Miss., Stone is the ninth legend-class national security cutter in the Coast Guard’s fleet.
Legend-class national security cutters are 418 feet in length, 54 feet in beam and 4,600 long tons in displacement. They have a top speed of more than 28 knots, a range of 12,000 nautical miles, an endurance of up to 90 days and can hold a crew of up to 150. These new cutters are replacing the high endurance Hamilton-class cutters in service since the 1960s.
The Stone launched on October 4, 2019, for sea trials. Following sea trials, the crew conducted their maiden voyage Operation Southern Cross, a patrol to the South Atlantic supporting counter illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.
Taking the newly-accepted cutter on its shakedown cruise, Stone’s crew covered over 21,000 miles (18,250 nautical miles) over 68 days. A mutual interest in combating IUUF activities offered an opportunity to collaborate for Stone’s crew. They interacted with partners in Guyana, Brazil, Uruguay and Portugal, strengthening relationships and laying the foundation for increased partnerships to counter illicit maritime activity.
The cutter’s namesake comes from Cmdr. Elmer “Archie” Fowler Stone, who in 1917 became the Coast Guard’s first aviator and, two years later, was the pilot of the NC-4, a Navy airplane, which in 1919 was the first aircraft to accomplish a trans-Atlantic flight, landing in Portugal.
Laura Cavallo, the grandniece of the ship’s namesake and ship’s sponsor, was in attendance at the commissioning ceremony.
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