BOSTON — The Coast Guard will officially debut its newest National Security Cutter(NSC), Coast Guard Cutter James (WMSL 754) during an 11 a.m. ceremony Saturday, Aug. 8 at Coast Guard Base Boston.
Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Paul F. Zukunft will deliver the ceremony’s principal address. Mrs. Charlene James Benoit, of Milford, Connecticut, the ship’s sponsor and great-great niece of the ship’s namesake, and James’ commanding officer, Capt. Andrew J. Tiongson, will order the ship to “come to life.” Tiongson is a native of Somerville, Massachusetts, and leads a crew of 119.
The cutter is named for Capt. Joshua James, who is one of the most celebrated lifesavers in history. 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 in Hull, Massachusetts, 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 homeported on the East Coast. The cutter will be homeported in Charleston, South Carolina, at the Fleet Law Enforcement Training Center. At 418 feet and 4,500 tons, the Legend-class NSC is the centerpiece of the Coast Guard fleet. The NSC is the most technologically sophisticated cutter in the Coast Guard, capable of performing homeland security, law enforcement, and national defense missions around the globe.
For more than 225 years, the Coast Guard has maintained a persistent presence protecting the nation from threats on the sea, protecting people who use the sea, and protecting the sea itself. In the coming decades, the Coast Guard will continue to confront significant challenges to maritime safety, efficiency, and security in the Western Hemisphere, and James will be at the forefront of those operations.
James will play a vital role in the Coast Guard’s ability to secure our nation’s maritime domain and borders; save lives; interdict illicit traffic, alien smugglers and illegal aliens; and protect ports, waterways and natural resources by providing the American people a modern cutter to accomplish this variety of national security missions. This NSC will give the Coast Guard a persistent presence on the high seas that is critical to achieving our strategic objective of enabling effective governance, which in turn strengthens U.S., allied and partner nation sovereignty.
The time-honored tradition of commissioning a ship dates back to ancient times, and ceremonially completes the cycle from christening and launching to full status as a cutter in the United States Coast Guard.