According to a Facebook post by the US Embassy in Vietnam, a former the United States Coast Guard (USCG) vessel donated to the Vietnam Coast Guard (Cáº£nh sÃ¡t biá»ƒn Viá»‡t Nam) arrived on Friday. The CSB (Cáº£nh SÃ¡t Biá»ƒn – Coast Guard) 8021, formerly known as the USCGC (United States Coast Guard Cutter) John Midgett (WHEC-726), and its crew arrived safely in a Vietnamese port (though the post did not specify where exactly). CSB 8021 departed Seattle, Washington for Vietnam on June 1, 2021.
CSB 8021, previously USCGC John Midgett (WHEC-726), was the twelfth and latest of the United States Coast Guard’s fleet of 378 ft (115 m) Hamilton-class high endurance cutters. The Hamilton-class high endurance cutters were designed to be a highly versatile platform capable of performing various operations, including maritime law enforcement, search and rescue, oceanographic research, and defense operations. As the John Midgett continue to be retired, the name Midgett will remain in use with USCGC Midgett (WMSL-757) John Midgett after being commissioned on August 24, 2019.
The CSB 8021 is a cutter weighing over 3,000 tons and spans around 115 meters. It is equipped with numerous weapons and sensors, though most of the radar and weapon systems on it have been removed prior to the transfer to Vietnam, save for a 76 millimeter naval gun. The hull was designed with a V cross section, and through tank testing the hull was expected to survive and stay afloat longer after suffering damage. They are powered by a Combined Diesel or Gas (CODOG) system consisting of two diesel engines and two gas turbines, and have controllable-pitch propellers. Because of their endurance and capabilities, the cutters commonly deployed with Carrier Battle Groups.
Vietnam received a second coast guard cutter from the United States, bolstering that nation’s capability to push back against China’s maritime antagonism in the South China Sea, which is believed to hold a wealth of petroleum and minerals. It is also a major shipping route. The Vietnam Coast Guard received the first cutter in May 2017. Vietnam and China vessels routinely clash in the sea, sometimes within Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone. Since 2011, the United States has provided more than $450 million in support of defense and security programs in Vietnam.