Ingalls Shipbuilding christens ship named after Coast Guard pioneer

Calhoun was the first Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard.
Calhoun was the first Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard.
Published: Jun. 4, 2022 at 6:21 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

PASCAGOULA, Miss. (WLOX) - Ship sponsors busted a bottle of champagne for a celebration at Ingalls Shipbuilding on Saturday morning.

The ceremony was to officially christen the Legend-class national security cutter, named after Charles L. Calhoun.

Calhoun was the first Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard.

Vincent Patton is the first black master chief petty officer of the Coast Guard and said he knew Calhoun personally.

“He was the greatest guy ever. He was stern when you needed to be stern. More importantly, it was the nurturing, parenting-type of relationship that he had,” Patton said.

Calhoun was a master chief petty officer from 1969 through 1973.

The current Coast Guard’s Master Chief Petty Officer Heath Jones said by being the first person in the role, Calhoun set the standard for the position.

“He masterfully took the way that we did things before then, took them to a new modern era. These are the things that I look to do with the Coast Guard for the next four years,” Jones said.

Officials said the ship features state-of-the-art technology so it can assist with both national and global security missions.

Wednesday, Admiral Linda Fagan was appointed by President Joe Biden as the first female commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard.

She said she’s more than impressed by how well the crews built the ship.

“It’s an incredible workforce, great energy and you see that energy reflected in the quality in the ship that we will soon commission,” Fagan said.

Electrical foreman Justin Reynolds said the work isn’t easy to build the ship, so he’s grateful for the teammates he has.

“It’s a very hot, hot, hard process. But we have some dedicated workers that come out here every day that give their 100 percent. It’s going to work out for everybody,” Reynolds said.

Officials said it takes between three to five years to build this type of ship.

Want more WLOX news in your inbox? Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.

Copyright 2022 WLOX. All rights reserved.