3rd National Security Cutter completes builder’s trials

Coast Guard Headquarters NewsWASHINGTON — The third National Security Cutter, Stratton, successfully completed builder’s trials in Pascagoula, Miss., Friday, marking a significant step in preparing Stratton for delivery to the U.S. Coast Guard.

Builder’s trials are the shipbuilder’s first opportunity to operate the cutter at sea and survey the current status of shipboard systems. Teams from Huntington Ingalls Shipbuilding and Lockheed Martin Maritime Systems and Sensors operated propulsion, communications, damage control, weapons, aviation and small boat launch and recovery facilities and assessed the cutters underway performance during the five-day event. Personnel from the Coast Guard’s Project Resident Office Gulf Coast and other subject matter experts from the Coast Guard Surface Forces Logistics Center, Stratton crew, U.S. Navy Supervisor of Shipbuilding Gulf Coast and Naval Warfare Centers were on hand to observe the trials.

“I am thrilled that Stratton has successfully completed builder’s trials, which brings this magnificent ship one step closer to commissioning and performing the valued services for which she was built,” said Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Bob Papp. “I look forward to a day when all eight national security cutters are complete and patrolling our Nation’s coasts with their state-of-the-art capabilities engaged in protecting those on the sea, protecting America from threats delivered by sea, and protecting the sea itself.”

Preparations for acceptance trials, conducted by the Coast Guard and the U.S. Navy’s Board of Inspection and Survey, can now begin with the successful completion of the builder’s trials. Acceptance trials are the final significant milestone before delivery and are used to ensure the cutter meets all contractual requirements. The U.S. Navy’s Board of Inspection and Survey will evaluate all aspects of Stratton’s systems and performance and based upon their findings, will make a recommendation regarding acceptance of Stratton to the Coast Guard.

The Coast Guard Cutter Stratton is named for Capt. Dorothy Stratton, who became the first director of the Woman’s Reserve of the Coast Guard in 1942, known as the SPARs. The ranks of the SPARs grew precipitously under Stratton’s leadership; by the end of World War II, 11,000 women had served their country as SPARs. The Stratton was christened by Michelle Obama on July 23, 2010 and is the first Coast Guard cutter sponsored by a first lady.

The 418-foot Legend class National Security Cutter is the flagship of the Coast Guard’s recapitalized fleet and the most capable cutter ever operated by the service. The NSC is the first Coast Guard cutter class to feature both a small boat stern launch and a flight deck and is the only Department of Homeland Security maritime asset able to protect its crew against biological, radiological and chemical threats, enabling operations where those hazards are present. Two National Security Cutters, the Coast Guard Cutter Bertholf and the Coast Guard Cutter Waesche, have been commissioned and are executing Coast Guard missions in the Pacific Ocean. The Coast Guard plans to acquire a total of eight National Security Cutters.

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