Ingalls delivers cutter James to the United States Coast Guard - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Ingalls delivers cutter James to the United States Coast Guard

The James is named for Capt. Joshua James, who is credited with saving 600 lives as a member of the U.S. Life Saving Service. (Photo source: WLOX) The James is named for Capt. Joshua James, who is credited with saving 600 lives as a member of the U.S. Life Saving Service. (Photo source: WLOX)
A delivery ceremony was held aboard the vessel this morning at the shipyard in Pascagoula. (Photo source: WLOX) A delivery ceremony was held aboard the vessel this morning at the shipyard in Pascagoula. (Photo source: WLOX)
The captain of the James called it a proud day for his crew, for the men and women who built the cutter and for our nation. (Photo source: WLOX) The captain of the James called it a proud day for his crew, for the men and women who built the cutter and for our nation. (Photo source: WLOX)
PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) - Pride and patriotism were on display in Pascagoula on Friday.

Ingalls shipyard delivered its newest ship to the U.S. military during a special ceremony.

The national security cutter "James" was handed over to the U.S. Coast Guard. The Coast Guard crew, along with the men and women who built the ship, gathered on deck to celebrate.

“Welcome to the first official day in the life of U.S. Coast Guard cutter James,” said the prospective executive officer, who welcomed the crowd.

Many who helped build the 418 foot vessel stood on the deck beside the young men and women who will take her to sea for the Coast Guard.

“Give them the courage they need to fulfill whatever mission is given them in the coming years,” the chaplain prayed during the invocation.

It was a bittersweet day for Jim French, who oversees the national security cutter program. This marked his last day on the job after 40 years of service at Ingalls.

“When you start from start to finish, laying the keel on these ships, all the way through delivering and being a plank holder, it's special for the people on the ship. And it's special for the people that build the ships,” said French, as he reflected on his time spent devoted to ship building and planning.

Prospective commanding officer Andrew Tiongson took time to recognize the shipyard workers who built James.

Among those honored was Rafael Falla, a welder, who came to this country from his native Guatemala 32 years ago.

“He worked extensively on the exterior of the cutter. This is a guy who welds this ship together,” the captain said, proudly.

“And I take it seriously. Because for men and women that serve in the United States Coast Guard, to me it is an honor, but I take it seriously to serve and protect this country,” said Falla, who wasn't expecting to be singled out, but was appreciative of the recognition of a job well done.

The ship has quite a celebrated namesake. Captain Joshua James saved some 600 lives during his years with the U.S. Life Saving Service.

“We have been entrusted to breathe life into this cutter. And to set it up for operational success for decades to come,” the prospective commanding officer, Capt. Andrew Tiongson told his crew, “Blaze a trail that's focused on mission, proficiency and shipmates. A trail that will be worthy of the great legacy of Captain Joshua James.”

The Coast Guard cutter James will sail for Boston, where it will be commissioned on August 8th. Following that, it will be stationed at Charleston, South Carolina.

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