A commissioning ceremony for the Pacific Northwest’s third and newest Marine Protector Class Cutter is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Friday, at Coast Guard Group Port Angeles, in Port Angeles, Wash.
The Coast Guard Cutter Wahoo, an 87-ft. patrol boat, will assume the primary missions of search and rescue, law enforcement, and homeland security in the Strait of Juan de Fuca and Puget Sound
. It is equipped with advanced state-of-the-art navigational technology, a fast small boat rear-launch system, and 25-knot capacity.
U.S. Senator Patty Murray
, who was instrumental in bringing the cutter Wahoo to Puget Sound, will be the keynote speaker.
Coast Guard Senior Chief Petty Officer Thomas J. Johnson is assuming the position of Officer in Charge of the Wahoo. This will be his second time in his 26-year career in the Coast Guard to be stationed in Port Angeles. He comes to the Northwest from Eureka, Calif., where he was in command of the 87-ft. cutter Barracuda.
The commissioning ceremony is the most important event in a Coast Guard cutter’s history, a proud tradition dating back to the early days of the Revenue Cutter Service and the U.S. Lifesaving Service. At the heart of the ceremony is the acceptance of the ship by the Coast Guard, entitling the ship to thereafter fly the Coast Guard Ensign and hold the designation of U.S. Coast Guard Cutter.
The Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe in Port Angeles is sponsoring the Wahoo. Sponsoring a cutter entails developing and maintaining a close long-term relationship with the vessel and its crew.