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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 164-97
April 10, 1997

NAVY ANNOUNCES COMMISSIONING OF COASTAL MINE HUNTER CORMORANT (MHC 57)

The Osprey Class Coastal Mine Hunter Cormorant (MHC 57) will be commissioned during an 11a.m. ceremony on Saturday, April 12, 1997, at Harbor Island, Tampa, Fla.

Congressman Jim Davis, of Florida is the principal speaker. Suzanne P. Prueher, wife of Adm. Joseph W. Prueher, Commander in Chief, U.S. Pacific Command, is the ship's sponsor and will give the order to man our ship and bring her to life.

Coastal mine hunters are names after North American birds. Two previous ships have been named Cormorant. The first, a minesweeper (AM 40 and later ATO 133), served from 1919-1946, participated in the sweeping of the North Sea mine barrage and earned one battle star for World War II service. The second -- (AMS 122) also a minesweeper -- served from 1953 to 1970.

Cormorant is the seventh of 12 Osprey class ships scheduled to be built. Ships of this class are the world's largest mine hunters to be constructed entirely of fiberglass. This ship is capable of performing reconnaissance, classification, and neutralization of moored and bottom mines in coastal waters during worldwide Navy operations ForwardFrom the Sea. This ship is armed with two .50 caliber machine guns; a high definition, variable depth sonar; and a remotely-operated, robotic submarine used to neutralize mines.

Lt. Cmdr. Ronald W. Kennedy, USN, a native of Jersey City, N.J., is Cormorant's commanding officer. With a crew of five officers and 46 enlisted, Cormorant will join the U.S. Atlantic Fleet and will be homeported in Ingleside, Texas. Cormorant is 188 feet in length, has a beam of 36 feet, and displaces approximately 960 metric tons when fully loaded.

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