Ingalls prepares for Kimball christening ceremony

Ingalls prepares for Kimball christening ceremony

PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) - Ingalls shipyard is getting ready to host another christening. The newest National Security Cutter, Kimball, will be christened during a ceremony Saturday morning.

Kimball is the latest legend class National Security Cutter. These vessels are the centerpiece of the Coast Guard fleet. This is the seventh ship in the NSC program built here at Ingalls.

"Our job is to really focus on how are we as efficient as we possibly can be. Because the nation needs us to be very efficient. So we need to do our part and the government does its. We certainly support all the build up that the executive branch and the navy needs," said Ingalls Shipbuilding President Brian Cuccias.

The ship's sponsor is Kay Webber Cochran, the wife of Mississippi Senator Thad Cochran. She says she's very proud of this ship and the men and women who built it.

"This is the greatest honor that I have ever had. I cried when they told me that the commandant had named me as the sponsor of the Kimball. I just cried and cried. And I said what does Thad say? And they said, oh he doesn't know, he doesn't even know we nominated you," said Kay Webber Cochran.

Hundreds of shipyard workers had a hand in building the 418-foot long vessel. Thomas Jacob is a pipefitter and tester.

"I'm very proud to see it. All the hard work we put in to get these jobs done and get these ships off to the Coast Guard so they can have a great, great, great ship to live on and sail to sea," said Jacob.

One shipyard worker who helped build the cutter has a special family connection. He's a distant cousin to the ship's namesake, Sumner Kimball.

"And I just started thinking about it and looked up the individual and said, wait a minute, he's from Maine. Let me ask around my family members. And they said, yep, we know who he is. And it went on from there," said Chris Kimball.

Sumner Kimball organized and directed the U.S. Life Saving Service. which would eventually would become today's U.S. Coast Guard.

Adm. Paul F. Zukunft, Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard, is the keynote speaker for Saturday's christening ceremony. Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant and Congressman Steven Palazzo are also scheduled to speak.

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