The Coastal Mine Hunter Black Hawk (MHC 58) will be
commissioned in ceremonies at 12 noon, Saturday, May 11, 1996, at
Pier Two at the Naval Education Training Center, Newport, Rhode
Island. Congressman Jack Reed of Rhode Island will be the
principal speaker at the ceremony.
Black Hawk is the eighth of 12 Osprey Class ships authorized
by Congress to be built. Ships of this class are the world's
largest mine hunters to be constructed entirely of fiberglass and
are capable of performing reconnaissance, classification and
neutralization of moored and bottom mines in harbors and coastal
waters. 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.
Coastal mine hunters are named for birds. Two previous
ships have been named Black Hawk. The first, a steamer (1862-
1865), participated in the Vicksburg campaign as part of the
Mississippi Squadron during the Civil War. The second, a
destroyer tender (1918-1946), served 20 years in the Far East in
addition to taking part in both world wars.
Lieutenant Commander Bruce W. Nichols, USN, a native of
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, will take command of the Black Hawk
with a crew of five officers and 46 sailors. The ship measures
188 feet in length, has a beam of 36 feet and displaces
approximately 895 metric tons when fully loaded. Black Hawk will
be homeported in Ingleside, Texas.
Foe information related to the commissioning, Naval
Education and Training Center point of contact is David Sanders,