Navy League Plans New Coast Guard Cutter Commissioning The Navy League has been asked to plan and coordinate the commissioning of the Coast Guard s first largeJan 26, 2008 1 of 1View Source
Navy League Plans New Coast Guard Cutter Commissioning
The Navy League has been asked to plan and coordinate the commissioning of the Coast Guards first large cutter built in 35 years. The fund-raising campaign is underway to fund the traditional commissioning events scheduled for August 4, 2008 at Coast Guard Island in Alameda.
USCGC BERTHOLF (WMSL 750) is the first of eight National Security Cutters (known as the Legend Class) to be launched as part of the Coast Guards Deepwater $13 billion project, replacing aging operational vessels and aircraft over the next several years.
The Coast Guard requested assistance from the Navy League following the very successful commissioning of USS McCampbell (DDG 85) in August 2002 in San Francisco which was a Pacific Central Region project. Former Pacific Central Region President Jeanne Sharkey, who was Deputy Chair of the McCampbell commissioning committee for RADM Tom Brown, USN (Ret), gladly accepted the invitation. She is the Chair of the Committee and Don Hale, PCR President, is Deputy Chair. The Committee includes retired senior Navy and Coast Guard officers, business persons, Coast Guard Auxiliary personnel, Blue Star Moms, and Vince Patton, the eighth retired Master Chief of the Coast Guard. Honorary Chairs include U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein, Alameda County Supervisor Alice Lai-Bitker, Alameda Mayor Beverly Johnson, Matson Navigation CEO James Andrasick and film star Kevin Costner who starred in the movie Guardian, a story of the Coast Guards rescue swimmer program.
The Commissioning Committee has been working for several months planning fund-raising and ceremonial details, including activities for the ships crew, traditional receptions, crews requests for ship enhancements not included in the construction, money for the crews Morale, Well-being and Recreation Fund and funds for educational benefits for crew members. A request from the ship (certainly not self-serving!) was for tents to cover the flight decks to protect survivors of rescues-at-sea from the elements until they can be off-loaded safely.
The BERTH0LF is named for Commodore Ellsworth Price Bertholf, selected by President Woodrow Wilson in 1915 to become the first Commandant of the Coast Guard, after merging the U.S. Lifesaving Service with the Revenue Cutter Service. Bertholf, while stationed in Alaska with the Revenue Cutter Service, lead an expedition across the frozen north to save over 200 trapped American whalers from starvation at Point Barrow. The group herded reindeer across 1,600 miles to feed the starving men for which Bertholf was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal. Bertholf retired in 1919, and died in 1921. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
Donations (tax-deductible 501 C 3 ID # 68-0114586) to assist with this important and historic event may be made payable to CCCNLUS and mailed to Navy League, P.O. Box 2181, Alameda, CA 94501. A letter of acknowledgement and appreciation will be sent to each donor. Donors will be recognized in a Commissioning Ceremony publication.