Coast Guard Cutter Kimball returns to its homeport in Honolulu after conducting final sea training near Hawaii Aug. 20, 2019.
Based on 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 each cutters’ new homeport in Honolulu Aug. 24, 2019.
Known as the Legend-class, national safety cutters are capable of executing probably the most challenging national security missions, including assistance to U.S. combatant commanders. They are 54 feet in the beam, 418 feet in length and 4,600 long tons in displacement.
They have a top speed of greater than 28 knots, a spread of 12,000 nautical miles, an endurance of as much as 90 days and can hold a crew of as much as 150. These new cutters are replacing the excessive endurance Hamilton-class cutters (378 feet) which have been in service since the 1960s.
While national safety cutters possess superior capabilities, over 70 % of the Coast Guard’s offshore presence exists within the service’s aging fleet of medium endurance cutters. Many of those ships are over 50-years-previous and approaching the top of their service life. Substituting the fleet with new offshore patrol cutters is one of the U.S. Coast Guard’s high priorities.
The Kimball’s namesake, Sumner Kimball, served as superintendent of the Revenue Marine, establishing a training school that will later become the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. Kimball formerly was general superintendent of the Life-Saving Service from 1878 till the LSS united in 1915 with the Revenue Marine to become the U.S. Coast Guard. The ship’s motto is Lead, Train, and Save.