Politics & Government

Michelle Obama will serve as sponsor for National Security ship

PASCAGOULA — First lady Michelle Obama will serve as the sponsor of the third National Security Cutter, Stratton.

Officials celebrated the ship's construction Monday as the U.S. Coast Guard and Northrop Grumman laid the ship's keel at the Pascagoula shipyard.

Rear Adm. Ronald J. Rabago announced at the ceremony that Obama will serve as the Stratton's sponsor and she will attend the christening ceremony at Northrop Grumman, scheduled for next summer.

This is the first time a first lady has sponsored a U.S. Coast Guard cutter.

"As the sponsor, the first lady will be involved in the life of this cutter," said Rabago. "She will be very involved by attending the christening ceremony, the commissioning of the ship, and correspond with the crew through letters for information about missions."

Irwin F. Edenzon, general manager for Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding–Gulf Coast, said next summer shipbuilders across the Coast will be on stage.

“We will be able to show the nation how we build ships here at Northrop Grumman," he said. "It's a great day to be a shipbuilder and we are honored that the first lady has agreed to be the sponsor of this great ship and we welcome her as part of our shipbuilding family."

The Stratton is named in honor of Dorothy C. Stratton, the U.S. Coast Guard’s first female commissioned officer and director of the SPARS, the U.S. Coast Guard Women's Reserve, during World War II.

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