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USCGC Stratton (WMSL-752)

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  • Phelps Hobart
    We can look forward to the next legend class cutter to be commissioned here, the Stratton, named for USCG Captain Dorothy Stratton,
    Message 1 of 1 , May 11, 2010
      We can look forward to the next legend class cutter to be commissioned here, the Stratton, named for USCG Captain Dorothy Stratton, http://www.uscg.mil/History/people/DStrattonBio.asp.
      Semper Paratus,
      Phelps Hobart
      Senior Vice President
      Pacific Central Region, NLUS
      USCGC Stratton (WMSL-752) is the name of the third Legend-class cutter of the United States Coast Guard. It is the first "white hull" cutter named after a woman since the 1980s (the USCGC Harriet Lane was launched in 1984). Stratton is named for Coast Guard Captain Dorothy C. Stratton (1899 – 2006). Stratton served as director of the SPARS, the Coast Guard Women's Reserve during World War II[1].

      Construction began in 2008 by Northrop Grumman's Ship System Ingalls Shipyard in Pascagoula, Mississippi. The keel was laid on July 20, 2009. The cutter's sponsor is Michelle Obama, who is the first First Lady to sponsor a Coast Guard cutter.[2]

      1. ^ Susan Gvozdas (2009-07-21). "Coast Guard Lays Keel for NSC Stratton". Navy Times. http://www.navytimes.com/news/2009/07/coastguard_stratton_072009w/. Retrieved 2009-08-02. 
      2. ^ "First Lady Leaves Her Mark on Future USCGC Stratton". United States Coast Guard. http://www.uscg.mil/comdt/blog/2009/07/first-lady-leaves-her-mark-on-future.asp. Retrieved 2009-08-02.


      Career (USCG)
      Namesake:Dorothy C. Stratton
      Ordered:January 2001
      Builder:Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding, Pascagoula, Mississippi
      Laid down:July 20, 2009
      Sponsored by:Michelle Obama
      Christened:2010 (scheduled)
      Status:Under construction
      General characteristics
      Displacement:4300 LT
      Length:418 ft (127 m)
      Propulsion:Combined Diesel and Gas
      Speed:28+ knots
      Range:12,000 nm
      Electronic warfare
      and decoys:
      AN/SLQ-32 Electronic Warfare System
      Armament:57 mm gun and Gunfire Control System
      Close-In Weapons System
      SRBOC/NULKA countermeasures chaff/rapid decoy launcher
      Aircraft carried:(2) MCH, or (4) VUAV or (1) MCH and (2) VUAV


      Northrop Grumman News Release*

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      Photo Release -- First Lady to Serve as Ship's Sponsor for U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Stratton; Keel Laying Held for Ship to Honor First Female Commissioned Officer in USCG

      PASCAGOULA, Miss.,  (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- As dozens of invited guests and shipbuilders gathered, Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) honored the memory of a Coast Guard pioneer by hosting a keel laying ceremony for the U.S. Coast Guard National Security Cutter Stratton (WMSL 752) here July 20, 2009.

      A photo accompanying this news release is available at http://media.globenewswire.com/noc/

      Stratton is named in honor of Dorothy C. Stratton (1899-2006), the U.S. Coast Guard's first female commissioned officer and director of the SPARS, the United States Coast Guard Women's Reserve, during World War II.

      First Lady Michelle Obama has been designated as the ship's sponsor.

      "I am honored to serve as the ship's sponsor of the United States Coast Guard cutter Stratton," Mrs. Obama wrote in a letter read by U.S. Coast Guard Rear Adm. Ronald J. Rabago, assistant commandant for Acquisition and Chief Acquisition Officer (CAO), during the keel laying ceremony. "I'm especially pleased that the cutter's namesake is Capt. Dorothy Stratton, a pioneer in our nation's military history. She is a source of inspiration for countless women in uniform and for young women and girls who may one day serve in our nation's armed forces."

      "It's a great day to be a shipbuilder," said Irwin F. Edenzon, vice president and general manager of Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding-Gulf Coast. "We're honored the First Lady has agreed to be the sponsor of this great ship and we welcome her as part of our shipbuilding family."

      Stratton is the third of eight National Security Cutters that comprise the Legend class, the most technologically sophisticated class of ship in the history of the Coast Guard. With its 418-foot length and 4,300 ton full load displacement, the NSC is the largest of the new multi-mission cutters.

      "We are all pleased and impressed with the dedication of the men and women of the Coast Guard's Gulf Coast Project Resident Office and of the Pascagoula shipyard," said Rear Adm. Rabago.

      "Their commitment to excellence in producing the National Security Cutter class to meet the demands for Coast Guard missions is truly inspiring. These eight cutters can't come soon enough, as they will be replacing a very old 378-foot Endurance-class cutters, which have been in service since the 1960s."

      The first NSC, USCGC Bertholf (WMSL 750), was commissioned August 4, 2008 and recently accomplished its first drug interdiction off of the coast of Guatemala. The second ship, Waesche (WMSL 751) was commissioned May 7, 2010.

      Powered by a twin propeller combined diesel and gas turbine power propulsion plant, the NSC is designed to travel at 29 knots maximum speed. The cutter includes an aft launch and recovery area for two rigid hull inflatable boats, a flight deck to accommodate a range of manned and unmanned rotary wing aircrafts, and state-of-the-art command and control electronics.

      Northrop Grumman Corporation is a leading global security company whose 120,000 employees provide innovative systems, products, and solutions in aerospace, electronics, information systems, shipbuilding and technical services to government and commercial customers worldwide.

      CONTACT:  Bill Glenn
                Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding
                (228) 935-3972
      * Updated May 11, 2010
      First Lady Leaves her Mark on Future USCGC Stratton by uscgpress.
      In this photo released by the U.S. Coast Guard, Rear Adm. Ronald Rábago, the Coast Guard’s assistant commandant for acquisition and chief acquisition officer, assists in the ceremonial welding of first lady Michelle Obama’s initials, authenticating the keel of the Coast Guard’s third National Security Cutter, the future Coast Guard Cutter Stratton (WMSL 752). Obama is the cutter’s sponsor and Rábago is her direct representative. The ceremony was performed at Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding-Gulf Coast, Pascagoula, Miss., July 20, 2009. (U.S. Coast Guard photo /Petty Officer 3rdClass Casey J. Ranel 

      SPARS Lead the Way
      We couldn’t go to sea, let alone command a Coast Guard cutter. We had no authority over any man in the Coast Guard, officer or enlisted. We couldn’t serve beyond the continental limits of the United States. Our command authority was severely limited…since we were untried, we knew that if one failed we all failed. That is why we tried so hard…We note with awe and respect, the widened opportunities the current women who are serving in the Coast Guard have. –Dorothy C. Stratton, CAPT, USCGR (W) upon the 50th Anniversary of the SPARs, 1992

      CAPT Stratton, born in 1889 in Brookfield, Missouri served as Dean of Women and assistant professor of psychology at Purdue University at the start of World War II. In 1942 she took a leave of absence from Purdue and joined the Navy WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service). Later that year Stratton received orders to proceed to the Office of the Commandant of the Coast Guard where she was tasked with organizing the Coast Guard Women’s Reserve. The Coast Guard appointed Stratton the SPARs first director and subsequently transferred her from the Navy to the Coast Guard with a rank of lieutenant commander. As director Stratton oversaw approximately 10,000 enlisted women and 1,000 commissioned officers. She achieved the rank of captain
      and served until shortly before the SPARs demobilized in 1946. Stratton died in 2006 at the age of 107. In 2008 the Coast Guard named its third National Security Cutter, the USCGC Stratton (WMSL-752) in her honor.

      The enlisted form the backbone of any military organization; it is no different in the Coast Guard. As the role of women in the Coast Guard fluctuated in the post-war Service, and with a female officer corps yet to develop, it was left to enlisted women to establish many significant firsts. Some of these groundbreaking women are featured below.
      Though women had served their country as lighthouse keepers, that duty, despite its dangers, was considered a civil service rather than a military one. Also, their numbers were in decline, and by the time the U.S. Lighthouse Service merged with the Coast Guard in 1939, only two women existed as official keepers.
      A war would finally open the way for women to serve in the Coast Guard. After Pearl Harbor, the need to put men to sea drastically reduced resources on shore; filling these openings with women would allow men to be deployed elsewhere. On November 23, 1942, legislation created the U.S. Coast Guard Women’s Reserves, better known as the SPARs (Semper Paratus, Always Ready). Unlike civilian employees, this group fell under military jurisdiction, subject to the needs of the service. More than 10,000 women volunteered between 1942 and 1946, and African American enlistees entered in 1944.
      SPARs endured the same processing as their male counterparts. Basic training included classes, physical education, aptitude tests, physical exams, drill, mess, and watch. In order to accommodate so many applicants several training centers rose up, including the campus of Oklahoma A&M University in
      Stillwater and the Pink Palace-- the Biltmore Hotel in Palm Beach, Florida. In 1943 the Coast Guard Academy established a training facility for a class of fifty SPAR officers, the only service academy to do so for their female reserves. At that time, any qualified woman was eligible to apply for officer training. Aptitude, work experience, personal preference, and needs of the service determined SPAR billets. Besides general administrative duties, assignments included parachute rigging, chaplains’ assistants, air control tower operators, boatswains’ mates, coxswains, radiomen, and drivers. Several became operators of the then top-secret, long-range aid to navigation known as LORAN.

      At the peak of World War II, in the Coast Guard Reserves, one out of every sixteen enlisted, and one out of every twelve officers, was a SPAR. They officially demobilized, however, on 30 June 1946. The Women’s Armed Services Act of 1948 integrated women into the military branches though it did not affect the Coast Guard because the Service fell under the Department of the Treasury rather than the Department of Defense. Some SPARs reactivated during the Korean Conflict but by 1956 there were only nine enlisted women and twelve female officers in the Coast Guard. From that point on the Coast Guard Women’s Reserve existed on paper but with no formal structure until a Congressional Law passed in 1973 declared that women would be eligible for active duty in both the regular Coast Guard and the Reserves and could serve side by side with men.
      Captain Dorothy C. Stratton, USCGR (W)
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