Keel authentication ceremony at Ingalls
Ingalls and the Coast Guard are celebrating the first major milestone in the shipbuilding process: a $486 million ship’s foundation being completed.
This ship’s namesake is the late U.S. Coast Guard Commander Elmer Fowler Stone. Stone was the Coast Guard’s first naval aviator back in 1917. His great niece Laura Cavallo was chosen as the sponsor. She had her initials welded into a plate that will be fixed into stone throughout its lifetime. “When they contacted me just a couple of months ago, I had no idea that he had such an impact on the Coast Guard and I’m proud to represent them. This is something that my family contributed to the country and so I can take a picture of it and say listen ‘that’s what I did,’” said Cavallo.
The keel, or base, of a ship is essentially its backbone and with it complete, many members of Ingalls and the Coast Guard gathered at a ceremony in the shipyard. This is the ninth ship Ingalls has built in its class as a national security cutter for the U.S. Coast Guard.
Members of the Coast Guard say they are so thankful to have this partnership with Ingalls and that this ship is really going to be one of a kind. Ingalls Vice President of Programs Kari Wilkinson said, “The milestone in the shipbuilding process is as you can imagine the construction span, these ships don’t come together overnight and so we have a dedicated team between the Coast Guard, the ship builders, all of the communities that come together. So, the milestone today is a way for us to come together and reflect on that contribution and that dedication. This is one of many milestones this ship will undergo and we’re proud to be a part of it.”
Stone is going to be a multi-mission ship, meaning it can do anything from chasing drug runners to ice operations. National security cutters like this are 418 feet long and can displace 4,500 tons.