The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Midgett (WMSL 757) arrived Friday at its new homeport in Honolulu.
The Midgett is the eighth of the Coast Guard’s national security cutters and the second to be homeported in Hawaii. Its sister ship, the Coast Guard Cutter Kimball (WMSL 756) arrived Dec. 22, 2018. Both cutters are scheduled to be commissioned Aug. 24 during a ceremony presided over by Adm. Karl Schultz, the Coast Guard’s commandant.
“The U.S. Coast Guard has an enduring role in the Indo-Pacific Region, going back over 150 years, and our commitment today is as strong as ever,” said Schultz. “The national security cutters are the flagships of the fleet, and the homeporting of the Kimball and Midgett in Hawaii and their future deployments throughout the Indo-Pacific demonstrate the U.S. Coast Guard’s dedication to safeguarding the nation’s maritime safety, security and economic interests throughout the region.”
Advanced command-and-control capabilities and an unmatched combination of range, speed and ability to operate in extreme weather enable national security cutters to deploy globally to confront national security threats, to strengthen maritime governance, to support economic prosperity and to promote individual sovereignty.
Known as the Legend-class, national security cutters are capable of executing the most challenging national security missions, including support to U.S. combatant commanders. They 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 high endurance Hamilton-class cutters (378 feet) that have been in service since the 1960s.
While national security cutters possess advanced capabilities, over 70 percent of the Coast Guard’s offshore presence exists in the service’s aging fleet of medium endurance cutters. Many of these ships are over 50-years-old and approaching the end of their service life. Replacing the fleet with new offshore patrol cutters is one of the Coast Guard’s top priorities.
Midgett is named to honor all members of the Midgett family who served in the Coast Guard and its predecessor services. At least ten members of the family earned high honors for their heroic lifesaving efforts. Among them, the Coast Guard awarded various family members seven gold lifesaving medals, the service’s highest award for saving a life, and three silver lifesaving medals.
The Midgett’s transit to Hawaii was punctuated by two interdictions of suspected low-profile go-fast vessels in the Eastern Pacific Ocean, the first July 25 and a second July 31. The boardings resulted in a combined seizure of over 6,700 pounds of cocaine, estimated to be worth over $89 million.
“The national security cutter gets you further faster and delivers more capability once on-scene than any other cutter in the history of our service,” said Capt. Alan McCabe, Midgett’s commanding officer. “I am incredibly proud of the crew’s efforts making these two seizures possible, and we are eager to conduct future operations throughout the Pacific.”