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U.S. Coast Guard ship headed to SE Asia for new mission

USCGC Midgett, the twelfth and last of the Coast Guard's fleet of 378 foot High Endurance Cutters. (U.S. Coast Guard/Released)

The former U.S. Coast Guard Cutter John Midgett left the Puget Sound on June 1 en route to its new home as part of the Vietnamese Coast Guard.

The 378-foot ship was officially transferred to the Vietnamese Coast Guard on Aug. 14, 2020, but, due to a ban on international travel to Vietnam because of COVID-19, the voyage was postponed. The ship is now called the Vietnamese Coast Guard Cutter CSB 8021.

The former Midgett was decommissioned in March 2020 after more than 48 years of service. After a year of dry-dock repairs and maintenance at the Lake Union shipyard, a 46-person crew from Vietnam arrived at U.S. Coast Guard Base Seattle in February 2021 to participate in training alongside U.S. Coast Guardsmen.

“This transfer strengthens the partnership between the U.S. Coast Guard and Vietnam Coast Guard, increases service interoperability, and ultimately bolsters maritime governance in a free and open Indo-Pacific,” said Coast Guard spokesperson Lt. Scott Carr.

The ship had been named for John Alan Midgett Jr., who served more than 40 years in the U.S. life-saving service, the former service that became the U.S Coast Guard when it merged with the Revenue Cutter Service in 1915. The Midgett was one of the first Cutters to deploy to the Persian Gulf in 2006 for Operation Enduring Freedom where it supported the U.S. Navy.

The ship has been home-ported in Seattle since 1991. Its responsibilities included homeland security missions, search-and-rescue and maritime law enforcement.

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