First Lady to sponsor a Coast Guard cutter

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The Coast Guard and Northrop Grumman recently laid the keel for the future Coast Guard cutter Stratton, the service's third National Security Cutter at Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding's Gulf Coast shipyard in Pascagoula, Miss., ceremoniously marking the beginning of Stratton's construction.

First lady Michelle Obama will serve as Stratton's sponsor. This is the first time a first lady has ever sponsored a Coast Guard cutter. As the sponsor, the first lady will be involved in the life of the cutter.
Stratton is the namesake of Capt. Dorothy Stratton who directed the Coast Guard's Women's Reserve, or SPARs, during World War II.

"I am honored to serve as sponsor of the Coast Guard cutter Stratton, named after one of the most extraordinary women to serve our nation in uniform," said Obama. "Every day, the United States Coast Guard keeps our families and communities safe at home and contributes to the defense of our nation overseas. This vessel will embody the strength of today's military and the enduring courage of our Coast Guard's men and women."

Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding's Gulf Coast shipyard in Pascagoula is under contract to build three NSCs including Waesche, which is approximately 90 percent complete, Stratton, which is more than 20 percent complete, and Hamilton, for which the Coast Guard has procured long lead time material.

In contrast with older cutters, the 418-foot long NSCs feature increased range and endurance (60- to 90-day patrol cycles); more powerful armament; larger flight decks; chemical, biological and radiological environmental hazard detection and defense; and improved Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance equipment.

To learn more about Capt. Dorothy Stratton, visit http://www.uscg.mil/history/people/DStrattonBio.asp.