Coast Guard Cutter Kimball (WMSL 756) returns to its homeport in Honolulu after conducting final sea trials near Hawaii Aug. 20, 2019.
According to U.S. Coast Guard Pacific Area, Kimball, the seventh National Security Cutter built for the Coast Guard, is scheduled for a unique dual-commissioning ceremony with Coast Guard Cutter Midgett (WMSL 757), the eighth NSC, at both cutters’ new homeport in Honolulu Aug. 24, 2019.
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 U.S. Coast Guard’s top priorities.
The Kimball’s namesake, Sumner Kimball, served as superintendent of the Revenue Marine, establishing a training school that would later become the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. Kimball then was general superintendent of the Life-Saving Service (LSS) from 1878 until the LSS merged with the Revenue Marine to become the U.S. Coast Guard in 1915. The ship’s motto is Lead, Train, and Save.