USCGC Waesche comes home to Alameda
The U.S. Coast Guard commissioned its newest national security cutter, the USCGC Waesche, in a ceremony Friday in the cutter’s new homeport of Alameda. The 418-foot Waesche (pronounced way-shee) is the second of eight cutters designed to meet the Guard’s broadening security mission and to replace existing ships that are more than three decades old. The ship will be able to travel faster for longer than its predecessors, and the Coast Guard expects it will have a better ability to launch and land small boats, helicopters and eventually, unmanned drones. The Waesche and its sister ships, which include its predecessor and berthmate, the Bertholf, and a third ship, the Stratton, are part of a 25-year, $24 billion program to modernize the Coast Guard’s fleet. It is named after the Adm. Russell R. Waesche, who commanded the Coast Guard from 1936-1945 and oversaw its greatest expansion, and will be commanded by Capt. Lance L. Bardo. The ship was built by Northrup Grumman Shipbuilding in Pascagoula, Miss.