Huntington Ingalls Industries Ingalls Shipbuilding division christened the Legend-class National Security Cutter Midgett (WMSL 757) today in front of hundreds of guests.
“We often speak of our service as a family, our Coast Guard family,” said Adm. Charles Michel, vice commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard, who was the ceremony’s keynote speaker. “The Midgett name takes that seriously with a family legacy unprecedented in the armed services, a family that is all about service before self. Such a special name deserves to be emblazoned on a special platform. The Ingalls Shipbuilding team have built this incredible platform, something to be incredibly proud of and something the men and women of the United States Coast Guard take very proudly.”
The ship is named to honor John Allen Midgett, who was awarded the Silver Cup by the U.K. Board of Trade in 1918 for the renowned rescue of 42 British sailors aboard the British tanker Mirlo after it was torpedoed by a German U-boat off the coast of North Carolina. He was also awarded the Gold Lifesaving Medal by the U.S. Coast Guard in 1924. Midgett was a senior enlisted member of the U.S. Lifesaving Service when it merged with the U.S. Lighthouse Service and U.S. Revenue Cutter Service to become today’s U.S. Coast Guard.
“Midgett is the eighth ship we have built in this class,” said Ingalls Shipbuilding President Brian Cuccias. “And with her, we’ve proven once again that American workers, Ingalls shipbuilders, can take on some of the most challenging manufacturing projects in the world. All Ingalls ships are built with one goal in mind: to protect the brave men and women who protect our freedom. Our Ingalls/Coast Guard team continues to get stronger and more efficient with every ship we produce. And Midgett will be no exception.”
Jazania O’Neal, Midgett’s granddaughter, is the ship’s sponsor. She christened the ship by breaking a bottle of sparkling wine across its bow, saying, “In the name of the United States of America, I christen thee Midgett. May God bless this ship and all who sail in her.”
Ingalls is the sole builder of Legend-class NSCs and has successfully delivered six to the Coast Guard. Midgett, the eighth ship in the class, was successfully launched in November. Kimball (WMSL 756) is scheduled to be delivered to the Coast Guard in 2018.
Legend-class NSCs are the flagships of the U.S. Coast Guard. They are the most technologically advanced ships in the Coast Guard’s fleet, with capabilities for maritime homeland security, law enforcement and national security missions. NSCs are 418 feet long with a 54-foot beam and displace 4,500 tons with a full load. They have a top speed of 28 knots, a range of 12,000 miles, an endurance of 60 days and a crew of 120. The Legend-class of cutters plays an important role in enhancing the Coast Guard’s operational readiness, capacity and effectiveness at a time when the demand for their services has never been greater.