November 12, 2006
Christening ceremony for first National Security Cutter
The first new U.S. Coast Guard high endurance cutter to be built in more than 35 years was christened Bertholf (WMSL 750) November 11 at Northrop Grumman's (NYSE:NOC) Pascagoula. Miss. shipyard.
The Veterans Day christening ceremony of the Coast Guard's first National Security Cutter (NSC) honored Coast Guard veterans several of whom attended the ceremony.
Mrs. Meryl Chertoff, wife of U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff, was the ship's sponsor and smashed the traditional champagne bottle against the bow of the 418-foot vessel.
U.S. Rep. Gene Taylor (D-Miss.), delivered remarks honoring the U.S. Coast Guard personnel and veterans at the ceremony.
The name Bertholf honors the U.S. Coast Guard's first Commandant, Ellsworth Price Bertholf (1866-1921).
The cutter is a 418-foot ship with a 4,300-ton displacement at full load.
Powered by a twin screw combined diesel and gas turbine power propulsion plant, the NSC is designed to travel at 28 knots maximum speed. The cutter includes an aft launch and recovery area for two rigid hull inflatable boats, a flight deck to accommodate a range of manned and unmanned rotary wing aircraftt, and state-of-the-art command and control electronics.
"Bertholf is the first ship we began work on in the wake of Katrina," said Philip A. Teel, president of Northrop Grumman Ship Systems sector. "Ask anyone with a hardhat and they will tell you that this ship led our recovery and return to excellence. Without exaggeration, many, if not most, of our shipbuilders who returned to work on this ship postponed the building of homes and in many cases the rebuilding of their lives to get this ship moving."
The cutter was designed to satisfy the Coast Guard's multi-mission responsibilities in homeland security, national defense, marine safety and environmental protection.