Cochran, Wicker Announce Shipbuilding Milestone

Coast Guard Accepts First-In-Class National Security Cutter

May 8, 2008

WASHINGTON – A significant milestone was reached today when the U.S. Coast Guard signed documents signaling the preliminary acceptance of its first National Security Cutter, The Bertholf.  The ship was built at Ingalls shipyard in Pascagoula and will be the Coast Guard’s largest and most technologically advanced vessel.

“The action of the Coast Guard today is evidence of the quality of work that has been accomplished by Mississippians on the Gulf Coast,” Senator Cochran said.  “I am proud that the workforce in Mississippi has produced a ship of this caliber.  This landmark achievement will open the door for more jobs for Mississippians.”  

Senator Wicker said:  "Delivery of the Bertholf represents a great achievement for both the Coast Guard and the shipbuilders at Ingalls.  This ship is the flagship of the Coast Guard's new modern fleet, and it will allow them to continue undertaking safety and security missions around the globe.  Most importantly, the Bertholf is a testament to the pride and professionalism of Mississippi's shipbuilders who delivered this remarkable ship despite setbacks from Hurricane Katrina."

The Coast Guard has plans to complete seven additional National Security Cutters in Pascagoula, and their ongoing construction represents approximately 1,100 Mississippi jobs.  Mississippi’s Congressional delegation has consistently supported full funding for National Security Cutter construction since the Coast Guard launched its Deepwater acquisitions program.

The 418 foot Bertholf will have a full time crew of 116 and it can house up to 146, allowing space for trainees and law enforcement officials. Following successful crew training, evaluation, and certification to make sure it meets all requirements, the Coast Guard will execute final acceptance of the vessel, whose home port will be at Alameda, California.