The U.S. Coast Guard transferred a decommissioned 378-foot high endurance cutter, the former USCGC Sherman (WHEC-720), to the Sri Lanka Navy at a ceremony in Honolulu on Aug. 27.
The occasion marked the ninth such transfer through the Office of International Acquisition’s Excess Defense Articles (EDA) program; the first high endurance cutter transfer through the program occurred in 2011.
“As a U.S. Coast Guard cutter, Sherman established a laudable record in securing and defending the United States of America,” Rear Adm. Michael Haycock, assistant commandant for acquisition and chief acquisition officer for the U.S. Coast Guard, highlighted during the ceremony. “The United States is proud to transfer this cutter to the Sri Lankan government to support their efforts in the mission curbing the drug trade through their nation.”
Through its Foreign Military Sales Program, the Coast Guard is also providing $12 million in equipment, technical assistance and overhaul work. This encompasses one small boat, various spares and tools, and a maintenance, upgrade and training period in Honolulu, including a center section overhaul and a generator overhaul before the ship departs for Sri Lanka, scheduled for February 2019.
Sherman entered service in September 1968 and was decommissioned in March 2018. The U.S. has also transferred three high endurance cutters to the Philippine navy, two each to the Bangladeshi and Nigerian navies, and one to the Vietnamese coast guard. Three cutters in the class remain in service in the Pacific. The Sri Lanka navy has also received a 210-foot medium endurance cutter through the EDA program, the former Coast Guard Cutter Courageous in 2004.
In addition to helping build and sustain global maritime partnerships in support of the Coast Guard’s national maritime strategy, each high endurance cutter transfer also helps the service avoid approximately $12 million in disposal costs.
The high endurance cutters are being replaced by the national security cutters, six of which are already in service. The seventh NSC, Kimball, is scheduled for delivery at its Honolulu homeport this fall.