5th National Security Cutter, James, completes acceptance trials

The fifth Ingalls-built U.S. Coast Guard National Security Cutter, James (WMSL 754), sailed the Gulf of Mexico last week for her successful builder’s sea trials. Photo by Lance Davis/Huntington Ingalls Industries

The fifth Ingalls-built U.S. Coast Guard National Security Cutter, James sea trials. Photo by Lance Davis/Huntington Ingalls Industries

PORTSMOUTH, Va. — The fifth National Security Cutter, James, successfully completed several days of rigorous acceptance trials Thursday to ensure the cutter meets its contractual requirements and is ready for delivery to the Coast Guard.

The Coast Guard and the U.S. Navy’s Board of Inspection and Survey conducted the acceptance trials in Pascagoula, Mississippi, and at sea in the Gulf of Mexico.

Acceptance trials are the final significant milestone, or final exam, before the government takes ownership of a new cutter. Representatives from the Board of Inspection and Survey inspected all of James’ systems, tested its shipboard equipment, examined the quality of the cutter’s construction and evaluated its performance and compliance with the contractual specifications to identify any noteworthy deficiencies that need to be corrected prior to delivery.

“The highly successful completion of these acceptance trials confirms that the shipbuilding efforts of Huntington Ingalls Industries and Coast Guard acquisitions have been outstanding,” said Capt. Andrew Tiongson, James’ prospective commanding officer.

“The crew and I are excited to take acceptance of James’ on June 5. We can’t wait to sail the cutter through the Gulf of Mexico and along the eastern seaboard to Boston for its commissioning in early August and to our homeport of Charleston, South Carolina by September.”

The Board of Inspection and Survey will soon make a formal recommendation regarding the cutter’s acceptance to the Coast Guard. The Coast Guard will work with the shipbuilder, Huntington Ingalls Industries, during the next few weeks to adjudicate identified discrepancies prior to James’ acceptance. James’ builder’s trials last month resulted in no major issues with the cutter’s systems.

The cutter is named for Capt. Joshua James, who is considered one of the most celebrated lifesavers in the world. His lifesaving career began at age 15 when he joined the Massachusetts Humane Society and ended with his death while on duty with the U.S. Life-Saving Service at age 75. James is credited with saving more than 600 lives during his time with the U.S. Life-Saving Service, which merged with the Revenue Cutter Service in 1915 to create the modern U.S. Coast Guard.

James is the fifth of eight planned National Security Cutters and the second to be home ported on the East Coast in Charleston. At 418 feet and 4,500 tons, the Legend-class NSC is the centerpiece of the Coast Guard fleet.

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