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Release No: 298-95
June 01, 1995



The U.S. Navy will hold a christening ceremony for its newest Coastal Mine Hunter, Falcon (MHC 59), at noon on Saturday, June 3, 1995, at Intermarine USA Corporation, Savannah, Georgia. Lillian Darden, wife of former Representative George "Buddy" Darden, will break a bottle of champagne across the bow in the age-old Navy tradition, and formally name the ship.

Representative Saxby Chambliss of Georgia will be the ceremony's principal speaker.

Coastal Mine Hunters are named for birds. Four previous ships have been named Falcon: a Mexican War gunboat (1846-1848); a motor boat which served in a non-commissioned status during World War I; a minesweeper (1918-1946) that conducted rescue and salvage missions in World War II; and a motor mine sweeper (AMS 190) which served from 1954-1976.

Falcon is the ninth of 12 Osprey Class ships authorized by Congress to be built. The ship's primary mission is reconnaissance, classification, and neutralization of moored and bottom mines in harbors and coastal waterways. The 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.

Falcon measures 188 feet in length, has a beam of 36 feet and displaces approximately 895 tons (fully loaded). The ship will carry a crew of five officers and 46 enlisted personnel.

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