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Public Affairs Detachment San Diego

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News Release

Date: March 24, 2011

Contact: Petty Officer 2nd Class Henry G. Dunphy

(619) 278-7025

Coast Guard Cutter Hamilton to be decommissioned

Media Contact: Petty Officer Henry Dunphy, 619-252-1304

SAN DIEGO – A decommissioning ceremony for one of the Coast Guard’s oldest cutters will be held at quay wall five at  Naval Base San Diego Monday, March 28, at 3p.m.

The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Hamilton, a 378-foot, high endurance cutter homeported in San Diego, will be decommissioned after 44-years of service in a ceremony presided over by Vice Adm. Manson K. Brown, commander, Coast Guard Pacific Area.

A reunion is planned to take place after the decommissioning ceremony. Several old crewmembers, including members of the commissioning crew, will be in attendance.

The first of 12 Hamilton Class cutters, the Hamilton was commissioned in March 1967, and was named after Alexander Hamilton, the first U.S. Secretary of the Treasury, who founded the Revenue Cutter Services in 1790. The Revenue Cutter Service was the forerunner of today’s Coast Guard.

The Hamilton’s final deployment from November 29, 2010 to February 15, 2011, was a northern pacific patrol that took them up into the Bering Sea for about a three-month deployment in support of fisheries enforcement, aids to navigation and search and rescue. In addition to these missions, the crew of the Hamilton honored past Coast Guard personnel who participated in Bering Sea patrols by replacing weathered flags flying over a memorial dedicated to the Coast Guard in Dutch Harbor, Alaska. The crew of the Hamilton was also commended for their service during the holidays by Rear Adm. Christopher Colvin, commander Coast Guard District 17.

During a 1969 – 1970 deployment to Vietnam, the crew of the Hamilton intercepted weapons smugglers and fired more than 4,600 rounds of gunfire in support of U.S. and Vietnamese troops ashore. In 1994 the crew of the Hamilton received the Coast Guard Meritorious Unit Commendation for rescuing 135 Haitians after their sailboat capsized and sank. In 1996 the Hamilton served as a command and control platform for operation Frontier Shield, intercepting 14 drug-laden vessels carrying more than 115 tons of contraband worth 200 million dollars. In 1999, the crew of the Hamilton also seized over 5,940 pounds of cocaine bound for the United States in the Eastern Pacific.

The Hamilton was the first U.S. military vessel to employ the now common shipboard application of aircraft gas turbine jet engines with the use of controllable pitch propellers.  Hamilton’s two 1800 horsepower gas turbines can propel Hamilton at speeds up to 28 knots.

The Hamilton’s missions include national and maritime safety and security, maritime law enforcement, fisheries enforcement, drug and migrant interdiction, and search and rescue.

For additional information about the history of the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Hamilton follow the links below.

http://www.uscg.mil/pacarea/cgchamilton/history.asp

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USCGC_Hamilton_(WHEC-715)

***Editor's Note***

For media who wish to attend the ceremony, contact Petty Officer Henry Dunphy by 2 p.m., Friday at 619-252-1304 or henry.g.dunphy@uscg.mil.

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