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USCG: First Lady Welcomes Newest Cutter

Posted by LT Connie Braesch, USCG

Perhaps there is no better way to close out Women’s History Month than by welcoming the Coast Guard’s newest cutter – a cutter honoring the legacy of Capt. Dorothy Stratton.



First Lady Michelle Obama poses for a group photo with the crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Stratton before the ship's commissioning ceremony in Alameda, Calif., March 31, 2012. Obama is the official sponsor of Stratton and is the first First Lady to sponsor a Coast Guard cutter. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Patrick Kelley.

Earning the title “Coast Guard Cutter,” today marked the beginning of the Legend-class cutter’s 30-year service to our nation. It will no doubt carry with it Capt. Stratton’s legacy along with the Coast Guard’s rich history of maritime service on its 418 feet of cutting-edge and technically advanced capabilities.

Coast Guard Cutter Stratton was honored to have First Lady Michelle Obama, the ship’s sponsor, welcome it into service. With her name carved into the keel, Obama participated in the commissioning ceremony – placing the cutter into active service and ceremonially giving the order to bring the ship to life. All the more fitting way to end a month spent celebrating the accomplishments and contributions of women to our nation.

“No matter what this country asks of you, you always step up to answer the call,” said Obama to the Coast Guard men and women attending the commissioning ceremony. “Always. So it is fitting that all of you are here today, because it is that ethic of service that defined the life of this cutter’s namesake, Capt. Dorothy Stratton.”

As Capt. Stratton did 70 years ago for women, Cutter Stratton will do for the Coast Guard’s operational future.

Recapitalizing the fleet ensures the service’s ability to meet current and future operational requirements and safeguard U.S. national interests. Assets like the national security cutter and fast response cutter enable the nation’s maritime defenders to deliver vital services to the American public as well as execute the Coast Guard’s missions safely, reliably and effectively for decades to come.

Commanded by Capt. Charles Cashin, Stratton – following the proven success of its fellow national security cutters Bertholf and Waesche - will capitalize on its mission flexibility, range, speed and ability to operate in extreme weather to conduct drug interdiction, homeland security operations, domestic fisheries protection and search and rescue at great distances from shore.

“Stratton will allow us to continue to answer the call, and remain Semper Paratus, always ready, well into our third century of service to the nation,” said Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Bob Papp. “Stratton is a national asset designed and equipped to provide persistent presence at sea to detect and interdict maritime threats far from our shores and ensure our nation’s economic success.”
 

Capt. Charles Cashin takes First Lady Michelle Obama and her daughters on a tour of Stratton March 31, 2012. As the third national security cutter, Stratton is the largest and most technically advanced class of cutter in the Coast Guard. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Patrick Kelley.
Published by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Washington, D.C.
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