Western Nebraska Observer - Observations all along the line - Kimball & the Southern Panhandle First

USCGC Kimball In Open Waters


April 18, 2019

Courtesy Photo

Crew members stand in front of the $487.1 million ship at its home base, USCG Base Honolulu, in Hawaii,

If you live in the city of Kimball or Kimball County, you might think that a ship named Kimball would be local attraction and perhaps cruise the open waters of Oliver Lake. But then you might be wrong.

A new Coast Guard Cutter has entered the waters of the Pacific Ocean - the USCGC Kimball.

The Coast Guard reported that these new cutters, like the Kimball, are "designed to be the flagships of the Coast Guard's fleet, capable of executing the most challenging national security missions."

The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Kimball is the seventh of the Coast Guard's new breed of cutters. The commissioning for the USCGC Kimball had to be delayed due to the government shutdown in late 2018 and early 2019, but the ship had already been launched.

Who is this new $487.1 million ship named after? Well, not the town of Kimball but a man named Sumner Increase Kimball, not exactly a household name.

Sumner Kimball was not a railroad official like Thomas Kimball (the town of Kimball was named after him in 1885) but was the organizer of the U.S. Life Saving Service and the General Superintendent of Life Saving from 1878-1915.

According to "Stars and Strips," the new breed of "national security cutters" were built in Pascagoula, Miss., and will be homeported in Hawaii. The job of the Kimball will be to conduct operations from South America to the Bering Sea.

The 418 foot Kimball, has four decks and a top speed of 28 knots (about 32 mph) and has a range of 13,800 miles. The crew of 160 has the capacity to stay at sea for three months, if necessary.

While its main purpose is combat capability - the Kimball will be active in additional missions: stopping illegal immigration and the flood of illicit drugs, protecting domestic fisheries, and search and rescue, according to the Coast Guard.

Sorry to inform the town of Kimball but the USCGC Kimball was not named after us and will not be cruising around Oliver Lake. Although if it were here, at 418 feet long, it would have had a difficult time launching into Oliver.


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