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Largest US Coast Guard ship first cutter to enter Black Sea since 2008

USCGC Hamilton
USCGC Hamilton (WMSL 753) transits the Mediterranean Sea before heading into the Black Sea, April 27, 2021. Photo: US Navy

US Coast Guard’s Legend-class national security cutter USCGC Hamilton (WMSL 753), the largest cutter currently in service, entered the Black Sea for operations with NATO allies and partners on April 27.

By doing so, Hamilton became the first US Coast Guard Cutter to visit the Black Sea since 2008. The last US Coast Guard ship to visit the Black Sea, USCGC Dallas (WHEC 716) sailed to the Black Sea twice, in 2008 and 1995.

Hamilton’s operations in the region come after the US Navy’s Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Monterey (CG 61) and Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Thomas Hudner (DDG 116) operated in the Black Sea in March 2021.

This patrol also follows Hamilton’s logistics visits to Naples, Italy and Rota, Spain. The ship arrived in the European theater together with the smaller fast response cutters Charles Moulthrope and Robert Goldman, who are en route to their permanent homeport to Bahrain. They are the first two of six FRCs to be assigned to Patrol Forces Southwest Asia (PATFORSWA), the Coast Guard’s largest unit outside of the United States.

US Coast Guard is conducting a routine deployment in US Sixth Fleet, working alongside allies, building maritime domain awareness, and sharing best practices with partner nation navies and coast guards.

Headquartered in Naples, Italy, the US Sixth Fleet is responsible for the full spectrum of joint and naval operations in Europe and Africa.

US Coast Guard file photo of USCGC Hamilton

Hamilton is the fourth national security cutter and is the fifth named for the father of the US Coast Guard – Alexander Hamilton, the first Secretary of the Treasury and advocate for the creation of the US Revenue Cutter Service.