WASHINGTON — The U.S. Coast Guard conducted preliminary acceptance of the second National Security Cutter, Waesche (WMSL 751), during a ceremony Friday at Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding, Pascagoula, Miss., marking the official transfer of Waesche from the shipbuilder to the Coast Guard.
Rear Adm. Ronald J. Rábago, the Coast Guard’s Assistant Commandant for Acquisition, presided over the ceremony held on Waesche’s flight deck. Friday’s delivery is a major milestone in Waesche’s transition to full operational status in the Coast Guard’s fleet, allowing Waesche to enter “In-Commission Special” status prior to formal commissioning. “In-Commission Special” status begins when the Coast Guard’s crew formally takes responsibility of the vessel and moves aboard the cutter. Waesche’s sail away from Pascagoula is scheduled for late December, followed by further crew training and certification in Pensacola, Fla., then departure to her new homeport of Alameda, Calif., in late January. Final acceptance of Waesche will occur following a year-long warranty period and completion of final acceptance trials.
“Hundreds of people have poured themselves into the acquisition and construction of this fine ship over the past four years,” said Capt. Lance Bardo, Waesche’s prospective commanding officer. “We have been chosen to take this brand new, major national asset to sea to prepare her for a lifetime of service in public safety and national security.”
During recently completed acceptance trails, the U.S. Navy’s Board of Inspection and Survey recommended acceptance and described Waesche as very capable, meeting or exceeding readiness expectations. The positive results of Waesche acceptance trials reflect lessons learned from the first National Security Cutter, Bertholf (WMSL 750).
The 418-foot Waesche is the second ship in the new Legend-class of cutters designed to be the flagship of the Coast Guard’s modernized fleet, capable of executing the most challenging maritime safety and security missions around the globe. Eight cutters are planned for the class. More information on the National Security Cutter program can be found online at http://www.uscg.mil/acquisition/nsc/default.asp.