On May 7, the Northrop Grumman Corporation-built (NYSE:NOC) National Security Cutter (NSC) USCGC Waesche was commissioned, allowing the service's most technologically-advanced maritime asset to join the Coast Guard fleet.
Waesche is named for Adm. Russell R. Waesche, who was the first Coast Guard commandant to achieve the rank of admiral. He led the Coast Guard from 1936 to 1946, which is the longest tenure of any USCG commandant.
Adm. Waesche's granddaughter and ship's sponsor Marilla Waesche Pivonka ordered the men and women of the Waesche crew to "man our ship and bring her to life." The crew responded with an "aye aye ma'am" and double-timed it through the spectators on Coast Guard Island in Alameda, Calif.
U.S. Coast Guard Capt. Lance Bardov assumed command as commanding officer of Waesche. The ship will be homeported in Alameda.
Waesche is the second of eight planned ships in the new class of highly capable, technologically advanced multimission cutters. Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding is responsible for the construction and testing of the NSC's hull, mechanical and electrical systems, while Lockheed Martin is building and integrating the command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (C4ISR) capabilities onboard the cutters.
The NSC is a 418-ft vessel with a 4,488 ton displacement at full load and is powered by a combined diesel and gas turbine power propulsion plant driving twin screws with a maximum speed of over 28 knots. The cutter includes an aft launch and recovery area for two rigid hull inflatable boats, an expansive flight deck able to accommodate a range of rotary wing manned and unmanned aircraft and state-of-the-art command and control systems. In addition, the cutter features improved habitability, and a design to facilitate optimized crewing and enhance onboard quality of life for a mixed gender crew.