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New Coast Guard Cutter Arrives in Hawai‘i

December 23, 2018, 1:49 PM HST
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Officials welcomed U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Kimball (WMSL 756) to Coast Guard Base Honolulu on Saturday, Dec. 22, 2018.

The crew of USCGC Kimball (WMSL 756) arrive in Honolulu Dec. 22, 2018, escorted by members of Maritime Safety and Security Team Honolulu. Known as the Legend-class, NSCs are designed to be the flagships of the Coast Guard’s fleet, capable of executing the most challenging national security missions, including support to U.S. combatant commanders. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Chief Petty Officer Sara Muir/Released)

The Kimball is the seventh of the Coast Guard’s National Security Cutters and the first to be homeported in Hawai‘i. The vessel is arriving following a transit from Pascagoula, Mississippi, where it was built.

A second NSC will arrive next year. Known as the Legend-class, NSCs are designed to be the flagships of the Coast Guard’s fleet, capable of executing the most challenging national security missions, including support to U.S. combatant commanders. NSCs 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 aging High Endurance Hamilton-class cutters (378 feet) that have been in service since the 1960s.

The crew of USCGC Kimball (WMSL 756) cheer the first of the team ashore upon arrival in Honolulu Dec. 22, 2018. NSCs 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. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Chief Petty Officer Sara Muir/Released)

Kimball will routinely conduct operations from South America to the Bering Sea. The cutter’s unmatched combination of range, speed, and ability to operate in extreme weather provide it the mission flexibility necessary to conduct alien migrant interdiction operations, domestic fisheries protection, search and rescue, counter-narcotics and homeland security operations at great distances from shore, keeping threats far from the U.S. mainland.

The cutter’s namesake is Sumner Kimball. While Kimball was not a member of the Coast Guard, he was appointed the superintendent of the Life-Saving Service, a predecessor service of the Coast Guard. Kimball reformed the Revenue Cutter Service and established a training school for young officers that would later develop into the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. His efforts to transform the collection of facilities around the U.S. coastline led to a coherent and well-trained organization.

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