Sri Lanka Navy’s Newest Vessel, Ex-U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Sherman, Arrives in Colombo

An Ex-U.S. Coast Guard Hamilton-class high endurance cutter, USCGC Sherman, delivered to the Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) by the U.S. government, arrived at the port of Colombo at around 10.00 a.m. on May 12.

Sri Lanka Navy welcomed the newly arrived platform in compliance with naval traditions at the harbour premises. The ship is commanded by Captain (ND) Rohitha Abeysinghe and its crew is comprised of 22 officers and 111 sailors.

This occasion was also attended by Commander of the Navy, Vice Admiral Piyal De Silva, Navy Chief of Staff, Rear Admiral Nishantha Ulugetenne and Director General Operations, Rear Admiral Niraja Attygalle and a host of senior officers from the Naval Headquarters and Western Naval Command.

Subsequently, Commander of the Navy, flanked by rest of the officers, made an inspection visit onboard the ship and supervised the functional and operational aspects of the vessel. Meanwhile, the ship is scheduled to receive its auspicious commissioning from the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, Maithripala Sirisena in the near future.

Former Commander of the Navy, Admiral Sirimevan Ranasinghe officially took over the Ex-USCG ‘Sherman’ into Sri Lanka Navy from Rear Admiral Haycock, Assistant Commandant Acquisition and Chief Acquisition Officer of USCG, in a ceremony held at Honolulu, Hawaii on 27th August last year. The transfer was under the U.S. Coast Guard Office of International Acquisition’s Excess Defense Articles (EDA) program.

Once commissioned, the ship would be the largest combat vessel in the Sri Lanka Navy service at 3250 tonnes and second former United States cutter in its service. The Sri Lanka Navy had received a 210-foot Reliance-class medium endurance cutter, the former USCGC Courageous (WMEC-622), through the EDA program in 2004. She is currently serving the Sri Lankan Navy as SLNS Samudura (P-621).

The new vessel will be utilized by the Sri Lanka Navy for patrol and surveillance missions in the deep seas around Sri Lanka providing the maritime security and assistance to search and rescue operations.

The former USCGC Sherman (WHEC-720) was laid down January 25, 1967 at Avondale Shipyards near New Orleans, Louisiana and launched September 3, 1968. She was named for John Sherman, the 32nd United States Secretary of the Treasury and author of the Sherman Antitrust Act.

The vessel entered U.S. Coast Guard service in September 1968 and was decommissioned in March 2018.

USCGC Sherman (WHEC-720)
USCGC Sherman (WHEC-720) underway on 28 December 2007 while in U.S. Coast Guard service. U.S. Coast Guard Photo.

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